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Marquette Basketball Four Factors: vs Georgetown

How do you shoot 62% and lose? I'm still not sure I have an answer.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

If you're not familiar with the Four Factors as featured on KenPom.com, 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 KenPom.com.

Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%)

Marquette: 62.3% (Season: 51.5%, #79)
Georgetown: 57.8% (Season: 48.9%, #180)

It's rare when you see a team shoot 62%.  It's even rarer when you see a team shoot 62%, shoot better than their opponent, and still lose the basketball game.  Had the Golden Eagles come away with the win, then at least we could excuse the shoddy defense by saying "Hey, it's a win, let's not worry about it for now."

Four guys in this game - Duane Wilson, Matt Carlino, Tre Campbell, and D`Vauntes Smith-Rivera - all shot four or more three pointers in this game, and crazily enough, all four shot at least 50% from long range, with Campbell providing the low mark at exactly 2-4.  On the other end of the spectrum, Juan Anderson went 0-3 from distance and Jajuan Johnson missed his only deep try.  A few weeks back, I was advocating for Anderson to go ahead and let fly from behind the arc more often because he was hitting on better than 50% of his shots.  But in Big East games, he's just 2-12, which has knocked him down to just 36% on the season. While not good, it is slightly better than the 0-12 that Johnson has posted in league action.  Both dudes need to stop that.  Immediately.

Turnover Rate (TO%)

Marquette: 17.9% (Season: 19.1%, #152)
Georgetown: 13.7% (Season: 22.5%, #33)

Ah, crap.  Marquette found a way to get back to their more reliable ball handling ways in this game, but Georgetown was able to be even better, which kind of cut down on some of MU's offensive strength.  The real problems came in the first half, when the Golden Eagles gave the ball away more than 22% of the time, as well as in overtime, where MU coughed it up on 2 of 10 possessions.  Don't get me wrong: scoring on just one of nine shot attempts in the extra session was the biggest problem for the home team, but getting tagged for a turnover more often than you shake the bottom of the net is really bad.

The guards were the source of trouble for Marquette, as Duane Wilson, Matt Carlino, and Derrick Wilson combined for seven of the 13 team turnovers.  Strangely, the usually agile (for his size) Joshua Smith was responsible for three of the 10 Georgetown turnovers.  I hope that this was included as one of them:

Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)

Marquette: 21.2% (Season: 29.7%, #218)
Georgetown: 32.3% (Season: 35.1%, #316)

Ok, focus on the good news, focus on the good news.... Marquette was better than usual at getting their hands on their opponent's misses.  Any time MU can improve on one of the worst things that they do, then that's a good thing.

The obvious bad news is that Marquette couldn't get to very many of their own misses, and they weren't that good at doing that to start with.  Steve Taylor, Jr., was a bright spot, grabbing three balls off of the offensive glass.  But Joshua Smith was a large presence, snagging 10 of his game high 15 rebounds on the defensive end, providing Georgetown with a one-man Four Factors impact.

I suppose we should give Marquette a little bit of credit on OR% by pointing out that they weren't really missing all that much all afternoon long.  But when they badly needed an offensive rebound, say, in the second half when they were trying to get over the hump and get more than a one basket lead, they couldn't do it, grabbing just two of the possible 13 misses for a 15% rate.

Free Throw Rate (FTR)

Marquette: 35.1% (Season: 38.9%, #141)
Georgetown: 55.2% (Season: 29.2%, #33)

In the five minute overtime session, Georgetown compiled an FTR of 650%.  They shot 13 free throws against just two field goals.  Now, six of those came in the final 40 seconds as Marquette tried to extend the game.  But, this disparity is still singularly responsible for the Hoyas' decided advantage in this department.  Through the 40 minutes of regulation, Georgetown's FTR was 33.9%.  Higher than the usual number that Marquette allows, of course, but still much closer to that excellent season average than 55%.

You hate to assign reason for a win or a loss to one specific thing in a game, but since we're talking about free throws, we may as well draw some attention to it.  Coming into this game, Georgetown's Mikael Hopkins was shooting 54% from the charity stripe.  Here, in this game, he hit 11 of his 12 tries, including three of four in overtime.  On average, even after this, when he's now up to 62% on the season, Hopkins was likely to only hit about seven or eight of his attempts.  Forget about centimeters of Matt Carlino's shoe: if Hopkins was "average" in this game, Marquette would have won (relatively) easily.