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: 47.4% (Season: 49.6%, #138)
Creighton: 62.7% (Season: 48.7%, #164)
All that happens when I look at this is I get flashbacks of last year's game against the Jays in the Bradley Center when Creighton threw up an eFG% of just short of 76%. I guess the good news is that Marquette essentially matched Creighton when it came to hitting three-pointers in the game. Unfortunately, that means the bad news is that inside of 20 feet, CU obliterated Marquette. Your two biggest issues were Geoffrey Groselle (6-9) and Will Artino (6-10). Combine that with Ricky Kreklow going nova behind the line (6-7, 3/4 of Creighton's made threes), and that just ends up being an ugly night all around, regardless of what the other guys wearing blue and white were doing.
Duane Wilson did a heck of a job for Marquette behind the arc (5-9), but not so much inside of it (3-9). Luke Fischer and Steve Taylor, Jr., contributed as well, combining to go 9-13, but when Derrick Wilson and Jajuan Johnson combine for 2-15, it kind of ends up not mattering. It's worth noting that Marquette's offensive number only looks remotely decent for the game because they posted an eFG% after halftime of 61%.
Jajuan Johnson Watch: He went 1-2 on three pointers, raising his season average to 18.2%. Please stop shooting threes, sir.
Turnover Rate (TO%)
Marquette: 12.0% (Season: 18.9%, #143)
Creighton: 24.8% (Season: 22.2%, #30)
Hey! This went great for Marquette on both ends of the court! High five, everyone! We've got a silver lining!
The key for Marquette's great ball control on offense was going the first 20:31 without a turnover at all. Eight in the second half is actually not great, but when that's it for the whole game, I guess you can accept it. On the defensive side, Austin Chatman and Devin Brooks combined to hand the ball over to the Golden Eagles 11 times in the game. Seven of them came in the second half, so that makes for a nice balance to MU throwing it away eight times after the break.
Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)
Marquette: 25.0% (Season: 29.2%, #238)
Creighton: 42.9% (Season: 36.5%, #337)
The Golden Eagles got exactly 25% of their misses back in both halves. At least it wasn't one half good and one half disastrous to get to 25%. Meanwhile, Marquette largely kept Creighton in check in the first half, when they "only" grabbed 33% of their misses. In the second half, the Bluejays got to eight of their 16 misses. Three of those eight were gathered up by Ricky Kreklow, which raises a fascinating question. I'm willing to believe that on the possessions where Marquette is playing a zone defense, it gets a little hard to grab offensive rebounds because guys are supposed to be covering an area of the court. If that's the case, though, how is the guy who is doing his best Johnny Storm impression behind the arc snagging that many misses in 20 minutes?
Free Throw Rate (FTR)
Marquette: 39.7% (Season: 35.7%, #213)
Creighton: 39.2% (Season: 29.8%, #35)
Good news: Marquette got to the line more often than they have been this season. Bad news: Creighton got to the line waaaaaay more than Marquette usually allows their opponents this season. Even worse news: all 20 free throw attempts by the Bluejays came in the second half. That sucks, badly. I guess we can forgive a little bit of it, as half of them came in the final 52 seconds of the game while Marquette was fouling to extend the game. If you knock those out, the FTR drops below 20% for the game, which is great. Unfortunately, you get that boost at the end when you're losing by five points with 66 seconds left in the game.