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.
***DISCLAIMER: Grambling has the second worst offensive efficiency in the country and the sixth worst defensive efficiency in the country. I am putting this here because otherwise I'm just going to keep saying it over and over.***
Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%)
Marquette: 69.8% (This Season: 52.9%, #78)
Grambling State: 30.7% (This Season: 45.7%, #74)
We may as well start in the most obvious spot. Leading into Wednesday night's game, I wrote an article outlining that Duane Wilson needs to stop shooting three pointers because 1) he's really bad at them this season and, more importantly, 2) he's really good when he takes the ball to the rim this season. Well, apparently Wilson reads this site, because he jammed a hot poker of revenge in my eye by going 3-4 from long range in this game. This is notable for two reasons. First, Wilson was shooting more like he did last season when he was pretty darn good. Second, he didn't take nine attempts from long range, which he has done on three occasions this season.
Everybody wearing a baby blue jersey that attempted a three pointer made at least one in the game, with the exception of Cam Marotta, and he can feel free to launch threes whenever he plays as far as I'm concerned. Henry Ellenson was the "worst" three point shooter on the team against Grambling, making "only" 40% of his attempts. Generally speaking, I don't think we want to see Marquette to have three point attempts make up 36% of their offense on any given night. However, if they're going to get wide open looks by making three nifty passes to shake the defense all over the place like they did in this game, well, then I guess I can't really argue.
I didn't even mention Jajuan Johnson going 4-4 from long range and 8-9 overall, so I'm putting this sentence in just to do that. "Jajuan playing like top 50 recruit Jajuan" is turning into my favorite part about this season.
Turnover Rate (TO%)
Marquette: 19.9% (This Season: 21.3%, #301)
Grambling State: 25.3% (This Season: 18.8%, #156)
19.9% is still too high. It would barely make it into the top 250 in the country if that was the season long average. It's definitely too high against a team like Grambling, and I don't mean that in the "Grambling's not good" way. I mean this was an above average outing for Grambling's defense, which has a season long TO% of 18.9%. To put it another way: THE GRAMBLING DEFENSE LOOKED GOOD AGAINST MARQUETTE. Luke Fischer was the biggest problem for the Golden Eagles, coughing it up four times, and Duane Wilson had three turnovers of his own.
Forcing a turnover on more than a quarter of your opponent's possessions is very good and I doubt we'll see that happen again for the rest of the season.
Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)
Marquette: 24.0% (This Season: 27.7%, #243)
Grambling State: 19.0% (This Season: 29.5%, #152)
This..... this is not good. We can attribute a little bit of this to Marquette shooting so well (why try hard to rebound when so many shots are going in?) and we can attribute a little bit of it to Marquette never leading for less than 14 points after Grambling broke the 14-0 MU run to open the game (why bother rebounding when you're up 20, or 30, or 40?), but that's really only a little bit of it. Marquette was already a bad offensive rebounding team, and they were worse than usual here. The particularly weird part about MU being lousy on this end this season? Luke Fischer's just barely outside the top 100 in individual OR%. MU's big offensive rebounder on the night? Michael Mache, who only played in the final four minutes of the game and still managed to reel in two second chances for MU. True story!
Good job on the defensive glass, though, especially allowing Grambling just one offensive rebound after halftime.
Free Throw Rate (FTR)
Marquette: 31.0% (This Season: 40.7%, #119)
Grambling State: 26.3% (This Season: 22.3%, #8)
This was Marquette third worst defensive FTR of the season, falling in line behind both of the games in Brooklyn. You'd expect those two to be the worst so far this season because it's also the two best opponents that Marquette's played this year. This game as the worst after those two, though? The hell you fouling those dudes so much for? ESPECIALLY in the second half, when Grambling had a FTR of 42%!?! YOU'RE UP 30 FOR THE FINAL 11 MINUTES. JUST LET IT GO.
Marquette was particularly jumpshooty in this game, so I guess that we can excuse a bit of a dip in FTR on the offensive end. Given that Wojo wants the team to focus more on getting the ball to Henry Ellenson and Luke Fischer inside, you'd like to see that number going up on a regular basis. It's even more disappointing to have this kind of effort against a Grambling team that normally lets their opponent's FTR get up to nearly 50% on a regular basis.