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: 69.6% (Season: 49.9%, #127)
Seton Hall: 45.0% (Season: 48.6%, #153)
This will make more sense as we get further down the page, but here we have a prime example of why shooting is the most important of the Four Factors. Marquette went ballistic in this game, shooting 13-22 from long range and 16-29 on everything closer than that. Matt Carlino was an unstoppable supernova, launching 12 three pointers and draining eight of them. Here's the full list of people who didn't shoot over .500 in the game: Jajuan Johnson, who was 1-3 in six minutes, and noted walk on Matthew Mache, who was 0-1.
Meanwhile, Seton Hall sucked. Bad. Sterling Gibbs was a terrible 1-8, with his only make coming as a three pointer that was essentially immediately wiped out by the banked in triple from Steve Taylor, Jr., to end the first half. The Pirates were an atrocious 5-21 from long range, and while they shot the ball a little bit better in the second half, it didn't matter. Why? Because so did Marquette, who blistered the nets at an eFG% of 71.2% after intermission. YOWZERS.
Turnover Rate (TO%)
Marquette: 17.9% (Season: 18.8%, #153)
Seton Hall: 16.8% (Season: 21.1%, #59)
Marquette was right about where they are on the season at holding on to the ball, and they forced Seton Hall into way fewer turnovers than Marquette opponents normally commit. As mentioned above, proving once again that shooting is the most important Factor. Forcing turnovers is one of MU's few strengths this season, and they weren't on their usual pace here, but they still won the game. It should be pointed out that Seton Hall coughed it up 22% of the time in the first half, so the low game long number for the Pirates might be a result of MU taking their foot off the gas in terms of pressuring them.
Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)
Marquette: 27.6% (Season: 28.7%, #258)
Seton Hall: 22.6% (Season: 36.5%, #338)
HOLY CRAP, DEFENSIVE REBOUNDING.
The offensive number is slightly lower than Marquette's kind of shoddy season long average, but it is what it is at this point. Plus, let's be honest: When so many shots are going in, you're not really trying very very hard to get after a ball while it's in the air, y'know?
Seton Hall managed just seven offensive rebounds in the game, with Desi Rodriguez and Isaiah Whitehead both snagging two to lead the Pirates. They were split almost evenly across both halves, so credit must be paid to the Golden Eagles for keeping the horrid shooting Pirates off the glass. Four of Marquette's starters grabbed either four or five defensive rebounds, with Duane Wilson only accounting for two. I'll cut him some slack because he went crashing chest first into the scorer's table during the game, so if he wants to take it easy amongst the trees after that, we're cool.
Free Throw Rate (FTR)
Marquette: 31.4% (Season: 35.7%, #214)
Seton Hall: 28.0% (Season: 30.8%, #45)
All of that three point shooting is largely the reason for Marquette not getting to the line here. Even with a 13-22 long range outing, Marquette still wasn't all that far off their season average on FTR, even if that average isn't actually very good. We have to give credit to Derrick Wilson, who attempted a game high eight free throws and splashed five of them. Remember: Derrick's a career 45% FT shooter, so I'll take 5-8 from him in a heartbeat.
On the other end of the court, Marquette was even better than usual at keeping their opponent off the charity stripe. Seton Hall attempted just two free throws in the entire first half, so we can forgive the Golden Eagles for losing their focus a little bit in the second half, since they were leading by at least 20 for the entire final 13 minutes of the game.