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 one is the season long average for the Golden Eagles, and the next is where they rank across the country on KenPom.com.
Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%)
Marquette: 58.5% (This Season: 50.1%, #142)
Jackson State: 40.6% (This Season: 47.8%, #135)
Here's the good news: Marquette shot 21-33 on two point baskets in this game. For those of you with a calculator or scrap paper handy, you'll notice that that comes out to 63.6%. At this point, the three pointer is nothing but something that Marquette should be doing that keeps teams honest, because Marquette is top 30 in the country on field goal percentage on two point baskets.
On the topic of "let's only do this to keep the other team honest," Henry Ellenson was 7-11 overall and 7-8 from inside the arc. Duane Wilson was 6-14 in the game, and 3-5 inside the arc. Traci Carter was 2-8 and 1-3. Guys. You're killing me here. This isn't keeping the other team honest, this is openly letting them know that they should just let you go wild behind the arc.
The flip side of that coin is Haanif Cheatham who missed five of his 12 shots in the game, all of which were inside the arc. He was a perfect 4-4 behind the arc, which probably helps explain why he ranks #25 in the country in individual eFG%.
Ok, enough of Marquette's offensive issues. The defense was great against Jackson State. They did a particularly good job on JSU's two best guys, Raeford Worsham and Paris Collins. Those two gentlemen were frustrated into a combined 12-35 in the game, and they only attempted six triple between them. Marquette did their best defensive work in the second half, holding JSU to an eFG% of just 38% and forcing Worsham and Collins to go 5-22.
Turnover Rate (TO%)
Marquette: 20.5% (This Season: 21.5%, #302)
Jackson State: 21.3% (This Season: 17.8%, #208)
This is more like the Marquette team that we saw last season on both ends of the court. It's still not very good on offense, but I think we're going to have to continue to be patient with the team, as we are still watching freshmen carry the bulk of the minutes. They're going to make mistakes trying to do just a little more than they should at the moment, so as long as they can get TO% to go under 20% on a regular basis, then I think things will turn out okay. Nine of MU's 15 turnovers in the game came in the second half, and all of them came after MU scored the first eight points of the half to go up 18 with 18+ minutes left to play.
The defense was strong, too, splitting their 15 takeaways as close to half and half as possible. Whoever ended up tasked with the job of marking Raeford Worsham did the best job, as he finished with seven of JSU's turnovers.
Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)
Marquette: 26.7% (This Season: 28.1%, #225)
Jackson State: 37.0% (This Season: 31.2%, #208)
Well, this is bad, especially on JSU's end of the court. We can add a little bit of context to Marquette's number on offense, as they grabbed just one offensive rebound in the second half. You can understand a little bit of a lack of emphasis on going after misses because Marquette spent most of the half up at least 15 points, and on top of that, they only missed 11 shots anyway. Your shots are falling more often than not, you're up 15, why put a lot of effort into getting the misses when you can just focus on getting back on defense to protect your lead?
The defensive number, though, hooooo boy. This is supposed to be an emphasis for Wojo this season after Marquette finished last season with one of the 10 worst defensive rebounding rates in the country. The defensive OR% has gotten worse in each of the last three games, culminating here in Marquette's worst outing of the season in that category.
You can't really point to anyone for not contributing, as Matt Heldt and Jajuan Johnson were the only guys to not grab at least one defensive rebound, and they only played a combined nine minutes.
Free Throw Rate (FTR)
Marquette: 25.4% (This Season: 42.3%, #108)
Jackson State: 10.1% (This Season: 21.8%, #8)
Given how well Marquette did on the interior in this game, I'm surprised by how little they got to the line in this game, attempting just 15 free throws against 59 field goal attempts. I guess we have to chalk it up to Jackson State not having anyone as a major contributor bigger than 6'8", and therefore just started letting a few things go here and there because they were losing individual matchups anyway. To that point, Henry Ellenson and Luke Fischer attempted just three free throws in the game.
Meanwhile, on defense, Wojo's coaching them boys up like crazy to avoid fouling. 10%?? That's great! Marquette's one of the 10 best teams in the country at keeping their opponents off the charity stripe, and they cut their season average IN HALF here? SUPER! High fives all around, there's juice boxes and orange slices over by Mrs. Thompson's van.