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Marquette Basketball Four Factors: at Seton Hall

Only seven scholarship players, facing a Pirates team in search of some momentum after a bit of stumbling as of late, and yet, MU still came away from New Jersey with the win. How did this happen?

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

If you're not familiar with the Four Factors as featured on, 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

Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%)

Marquette: 47.9% (Season: 50.2%, #119)
Seton Hall: 36.4% (Season: 48.4%, #153)

Somehow, I don't know how, but somehow, Marquette wins the eFG% battle while shooting 1-10 behind the arc, and slightly more importantly, by missing their last nine attempts.  Duane Wilson canned a triple at the 17:35 mark of the first half, and that was it for the rest of the game.  The attempts were evenly split at five apiece in each half, so we don't even have the benefit of being able to say "well, they gave up on it after the half," or something similar.

The key cogs for Marquette on offense were Jajuan Johnson (5-7 inside the arc) and Steve Taylor, Jr., who posted a stellar 7-for-9 outing.  Taylor's real damage was in the second half when he went 4-4, while Johnson remembered he shouldn't be shooting three pointers at the half (0-3 before the break), and went 2-4 afterwards.

Seton Hall, on the other hand, was a freight train of crap all game long.  Sterling Gibbs finished 4-12 on the day.  Brandon Mobley, Angel Delgado, and Khadeen Carrington combined to go 6-21.  The capper, though is Isaiah Whitehead, who went 1-11 in 21 minutes off the bench.  His only make showed up as a three-pointer midway through the first half that cut Marquette's lead at the time from nine points to six.

Turnover Rate (TO%)

Marquette: 21.7% (Season: 19.0%, #151)
Seton Hall: 21.4% (Season: 22.2%, #32)

I'm a little concerned about MU going a little higher than their season average as they haven't been great as of late at taking care of the ball.  Derrick Wilson (4), Juan Anderson (3), and Jajuan Johnson (3) accounted for 10 of Marquette's 14 turnovers, so thumbs up to everyone else.  Defensively, the Golden Eagles were exactly what they have been all season long, so we'll just point out that Duane Wilson made up for his two turnovers by adding an assist and three steals and move on.

Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)

Marquette: 23.3% (Season: 29.6%, #226)
Seton Hall: 37.0% (Season: 36.2%, #334)


Marquette had seven offensive rebounds in the game.  Angel Delgado had eight by himself for Seton Hall.  Marquette sucks at rebounding, period, full stop, do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

Free Throw Rate (FTR)

Marquette: 46.8% (Season: 36.0%, #213)
Seton Hall: 33.9% (Season: 29.1%, #27)

Hey, this is a nice turn around.  Marquette's been struggling to get to the line in recent games, but here they were shooting nearly half as many free throws as field goals.  I don't want to point to specific reasons, generally speaking, but yeah, I'm going to go ahead and guess that this has something to do with noted jump shooter Matt Carlino not playing in this game.  Conversely, Jajuan Johnson, aka He-Who-Should-Not-Shoot-Threes, got to the line seven times, his highest total since the season opener.  It was also a season high in minutes for Johnson at 35.  I'm going to go ahead and say that this is causation, not correlation here.