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: 50.0% (Season: 51.8%, #64)
Providence: 48.2% (Season: 49.2%, #189)
Just a shade lower than both averages on the season, but in the case of the defense, that's really great! Well, I mean, not actually really great, but MU hasn't been particularly good at defensive eFG% all season, so you take the wins where you can get them, y'know? Impressively, overall the defense was better than usual even though LaDontae Henton was going totally bananas. The senior forward shot 9-22 overall, which doesn't sound that great, but he was 6-12 behind the arc, which gives Henton a 54.5% eFG% all by himself. Actually, on further perusal of the stat sheet, it's really just Kris Dunn (4-12) and Jalen Lindsey (0-7) who performed badly for Providence. Everyone else made a reasonable number of their shots. In any case, a solid job by Marquette.
On offense, I'm not going to look at a 50% outing and then complain about it. I will however point out that Duane Wilson was 2-9 with three missed three-pointers, Matt Carlino was 2-11, with both makes coming behind the arc in five attempts, and Jajuan Johnson was 3-13 with three missed three-pointers. We should point this out here: Jajuan Johnson came to Marquette with a reputation as a long range sniper. He shot 9-31 (.290) from the arc last season, and is just 7-36 (.194) this season. Dude. Please stop that, and by "that," I mean shooting threes at all.
Turnover Rate (TO%)
Marquette: 16.1% (Season: 17.4%, #52)
Providence: 24.1% (Season: 23.2%, #33)
Now this is what you like to see: slightly better than average in both categories. Marquette made their money on defense in the first half, where they provoked the Friars into 11 turnovers, which accounted for 32% of their possessions. On offense, it was protecting the ball in the second half that led to a better than average number, where MU only turned it over 14% of the time.
Kris Dunn had eight assists against Marquette, which is somehow better than his season long average, but he also coughed the ball up eight times. That's a way to find a balance on defense. On MU's side of things, Jajuan Johnson's bad day continued as he had a team high four turnovers. Via KenPom, Johnson had a Offensive Rating of 72 for this game, which, yeah, is bad. Juan Anderson's one flaw in this game is that he had three turnovers, but between his 6-8 shooting, three offensive rebounds, and two steals, I don't want to focus on his downside.
Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)
Marquette: 39.4% (Season: 30.0%, #206)
Providence: 31.4% (Season: 34.6%, #294)
HOLY CRAP REBOUNDING THIS IS EXCITING. Luke Fischer only ended up with two rebounds in the game, neither in the offensive end, but I'd like to consider his impact a net plus for Marquette. The aforementioned three offensive caroms from Juan Anderson led the individual players for Marquette, but the real boon to the Golden Eagles was Providence knocking Marquette's shots out of bounds, which led to four "team" offensive rebounds on the stat page.
Three Friars managed exactly two offensive rebounds, but that's it for team highs. In fact, those three guys - Kris Dunn, Tyler Harris, and Carson Desrosiers - were three of the four guys that led Providence in rebounding with five total grabs. Unsurprisingly, LaDontae Henton was the fourth.
Free Throw Rate (FTR)
Marquette: 40.7% (Season: 41.3%, #85)
Providence: 28.1% (Season: 27.0%, #21)
Eh, this is a few points either way of the season long averages, so that's fine. The significant work by Marquette was done in the second half where they shot 18 of their 24 free throws, and on the other end of the court, only allowed Providence to shoot seven FTs. Marquette's offensive FTR is slightly elevated by shooting eight freebies in the final minute as the Friars made an attempt to extend the game, but MU had compiled a FTR of 37% up to that point in the period, so it was already trending upwards anyway.