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Marquette Basketball Four Factors: at St. John's

Sandy Cohen isn't mentioned in this post, but he had a nice game and I wanted to give him some dap.
Sandy Cohen isn't mentioned in this post, but he had a nice game and I wanted to give him some dap.
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

If you're not familiar with the Four Factors as featured on, the concept is very simple: There are four main parts of a basketball game that contribute to a team's success. They are:

  • effective field goal percentage, or FG% with a bonus for made three pointers
  • turnover rate, or the % of possessions that end in a turnover
  • offensive rebound rate, or the % of possible offensive rebounds that the team grabbed
  • and free throw rate, or the ratio of free throws attempted to field goals attempted expressed as a percentage

We'll look at the numbers for Marquette and their opponent in both categories for each game. The opponent number doubles as Marquette's defensive numbers, since it's what they're allowing. Along side each of the individual game numbers, you'll see two numbers after that.  The first is Marquette's season long average in that category, and the second is their national ranking on

Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%)

Marquette: 38.3% (Season: 50.9%, #88)
St. John's: 41.7% (Season: 48.4%, #160)

GAAAAAAAH.  Wait.  Ok, the defense was pretty great.  Ok, I feel better now.  Not much, though.  That offensive shooting number is baaaaad.  Because eFG% gives you bonus points for making three pointers, you should generally be able to get to 50% pretty easily.  For example, if you look at the KenPom rankings, the team that's ranked 175th in the country, right in the middle of everyone, is shooting 48.8%.  Once you start going below 45%, you're having a bad night.  When you go below 40%, you're a rampaging disaster.  Matt Carlino did everything he could to propel Marquette in this game, shooting 5-11 behind the three point line, but there's only so much he can do.  Here's what I mean:


Block Rate (Blk%)

Marquette: 5.0%
St. John's: 21.7%

Usually block rate is just an individual player stat, but I think it's worth noting here.  All that it takes to calculate block rate is just dividing the team's blocks by the number of shots taken by the opponent.  St. John's blocked a lot of shots.  A LOT.  And each and every single one of those 13 blocks counted as a missed shot for the Golden Eagles.

We have to give a shoutout to D`Angelo Harrison under the eFG% heading.  The St. John's senior shot 3-11 from behind the arc to single-handedly doom the Red Storm's shooting percentage in this game.  Downside to this, though: Harrison was 2-3 from long range in the second half, when the Johnnies had an eFG% of 53.6%.  Can't win 100% of the time, I guess.

Turnover Rate (TO%)

Marquette: 24.1% (Season: 19.1%, #151)
St. John's: 19.3% (Season: 23.0%, #27)

Oh, no, not the turnovers again.  What happened to our reasonably sure-handed basketball team?  On the season, Marquette is approaching the middle of the pack nationwide as far as keeping track of the basketball, but in just Big East games, the Golden Eagles are turning it over 23.5% of the time.  That's the worst mark in the Big East, and it's not close.  The 2nd worst team is DePaul, and they only turn it over 20% of the time.  Derrick Wilson is turning the ball over on nearly 30% of the possessions when he's on the floor, and he's been particularly bad over Marquette's last three games with eight turnovers in that span.

If Marquette had been up to their usual defense in this game, it would at least balance out their offensive struggles.  But that wasn't the case.  They only forced 12 turnovers in this game, and while 19% is a pretty good number generally speaking, but it's not helpful when you're booting it around the gym and you usually do better than that, too.

Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)

Marquette: 46.5% (Season: 30.2%, #200)
St. John's: 41.0% (Season: 35.3%, #317)



I'm not a basketball savant, so I'm going to need someone to explain to me how Marquette can be so good at rebounding on one end, but so bad on the other.  Is this a function of the 1-3-1 zone, maybe?  With four of the players on the court starting out at the free throw line or higher, it does leave a lot of space for the other team to run around and get position to bump the 1 at the bottom of the zone out of the way to get rebounds.  A big thumbs up to Steve Taylor, Jr., who grabbed four balls off the offensive glass, but a thumbs down to Chris Obekpa and Sir`Dominic Pointer collecting 11 of the 16 offensive grabs that St. John's had.

Free Throw Rate (FTR)

Marquette: 25.0% (Season: 39.1%, #126)
St. John's: 21.7% (Season: 27.7%, #24)

It was a relatively foul free game with only 29 total fouls called in the game, and five of those came in the final 21 seconds when Marquette was trying to extend the game and St. John's was trying to stop Matt Carlino from tying the game on a three-ball.  You could maybe make an argument that some of those St. John's blocks were maybe actually fouls, which would have radically altered the game on a lot of levels.  However, when you get assigned James Breeding and Wally Rutecki as referees, you accept a low number of fouls and don't complain.  Much.