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. Normally, the first one would be Marquette's season long average, but until we get a few games into the season, we'll be using the final stats from last year as recorded on KenPom.com. The second is MU's ranking in that category and again, that'll be the 2014-15 final ranking, not this year's current numbers.
Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%)
Marquette: 44.7% (Last Season: 49.8%, #129)
Iowa: 63.6% (Last Season: 49.2%, #173)
I'm legitimately shocked that this is as good as it is on offense. Defense, yeah, that's a nightmare, absolutely. But when Marquette opened up by missing their first 11 three point attempts of the game, I expected this to end up as a total failure of a night. But MU hit seven of their final 19 three pointers, including 5-11 in the second half, and they ended up salvaging a halfway respectable number for the night. Your surprisingly helpful second half shooters: Haanif Cheatham (2-2), Sacar Anim (1-1), Sandy Cohen (1-1), and Traci Carter (1-2). Henry Ellenson, Duane Wilson, and Wally Ellenson were a combined 0-4.
The defense, oh my God, the defense. Where to start.... Iowa was actually much better in the second half, dropping in shots at an eFG clip of 67.2%. Even starting the second half with a 27 point lead, Iowa continued to be ridiculous from long range, draining five of their eight tries, with four different guys accounting for the makes. Seven different Hawkeyes found the bottom of the net from distance, including a 4-6 effort from Peter Jok. He scored 20 points in 18 minutes and I need a drink.
Turnover Rate (TO%)
Marquette: 25.8% (Last Season: 19.3%, #189)
Iowa: 16.1% (Last Season: 21.0%, #59)
Bad. Bad bad bad bad bad bad. Haanif Cheatham had SEVEN turnovers. Seven, and not the good kind of seven. Four of them came in the first half when everything was going completely to hell in about six different handbaskets. Henry Ellenson had two of his three miscues before the break, as did Sandy Cohen. Say what you will about Duane Wilson's shot selection overall, but after two first half turnovers, he didn't cough it up after intermission.
Marquette's efforts at both ends improved dramatically in the second half. Their offensive TO% dropped to essentially right where it was last season, while Iowa's ballooned from just 5.3% in the first half to a whopping 27.2% in the second. That's gotta be kind of frustrating for Fran McCaffery, as there was really no reason for Iowa to be making any kind of risky moves while spending a majority of the second half up by more than 25 points.
Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)
Marquette: 25.7% (Last Season: 29.0%, #247)
Iowa: 23.3% (Last Season: 36.4%, #339)
This passes as good news today. The actual positive about this is that Marquette was actually really good on the defensive glass in the first half when we could pretend that the game was still competitive. Iowa grabbed just three of the 18 chances that they had at getting an offensive rebound. Things kind of backslid in the second half (33.3%), but Iowa was actually missing fewer shots than in the first half, so there's that.
Marquette also got really sloppy on their own misses after the break. After snatching up over 30% of their misses in the first half (barely better than last year, but improvement is always good), that dropped waaaaaay down to just under 17% in the second half. If you were wondering if Luke Fischer's minutes were responsible for this one, well, they weren't. Fischer actually played nine minutes in the second half, an increase on his seven from the first half.
On the topic of Fischer being essentially absent from the game due to foul trouble: If anyone out there has access to Synergy and wants to write a FanPost about Henry Ellenson's time as MU's center on defense against Iowa, I'd love to see it. I have a nasty feeling that large sections of the bad parts of this game are largely attributable to my biggest fear about Ellenson.
Free Throw Rate (FTR)
Marquette: 24.6% (Last Season: 35.8%, #205)
Iowa: 10.6% (Last Season: 30.3%, #38)
Mind bendingly stupid jump shooting decisions + senior heavy team = very few trips to the foul line for your Golden Eagles. They were pretty lousy at getting to the line a year ago, but that's what happens when Matt Carlino is your leading scorer. This was a new level of bad, with four freebies in the final 120 seconds tacking on to make things look nicer than they actually were.
On the plus side: Wojo's coaching to the new player movement emphasis is continuing to work. Or, conversely, Iowa took a ton of threes (1/3 of their total field goal attempts) and got loose for a bunch of uncontested shots at the rim (42 points in the paint), and thus Marquette didn't even think about fouling them. Maybe a combination of both. Probably more the latter, though.