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: 53.6% (Season: 50.0%, #121)
Providence: 46.9% (Season: 49.2%, #178)
This was The Duane Wilson Show, pure and simple. The redshirt freshman went 7-12 from the field, with all seven makes coming on 10 three point attempts. Two of his misses came in the final 80 seconds when Marquette was likely rushing and pressing a little bit, so you can't even really hold that against him. Luke Fischer (3-6), Steve Taylor, Jr. (3-6), and Derrick Wilson (3-5) all had a major contribution to keeping things rolling along in the shooting department, while Matt Carlino... didn't. He was 8-18 overall, which is okay, really. Ultimately, his personal eFG% was 53.7, which is great. But he got there by going 3-11 behind the arc which is not good, especially when Wilson was a white hot greasefire of pure entertainment.
Over on the defensive end, that's a pretty great outing by Marquette, all things considered. Yes, LaDontae Henton was 11-18. Yes, Kris Dunn was 6-12. No one else was particularly notable, although Pascal Chukwu was 3-3. Helping things out was PC going just 2-11 behind the three point line with Dunn and Tyler Harris accounting for the two makes. It's not a great outing from a national perspective, but it's better than it's been overall this season, so I'll take it.
Turnover Rate (TO%)
Marquette: 21.2% (Season: 18.8%, #144)
Providence: 18.6% (Season: 21.4%, #39)
Whoopsie. Marquette's efforts at ballhandling were equally awkward in both halves, but part of the second half comeback was generated by forcing nine of Providence's 13 turnovers in the game. Ultimately, it ended with a sub-par defensive effort, but Marquette was right where they've been all season, and a little bit better, with a 23% TO% after halftime. LaDontae Henton and Matt Carlino matched off evenly with each other by committing five turnovers each. All five of Carlino's turnovers came in the second half, so if you really want to blame someone for Marquette not playing even better than they did in the second half, feel free to hang that one on him. Just remember that MU was pretty good overall in that 20 minutes when you do.
Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)
Marquette: 18.8% (Season: 28.4%, #271)
Providence: 50.0% (Season: 37.3%, #345)
And just like that, Marquette is suddenly the 7th worst defensive rebounding team in the country, and things ain't trending well in the offensive rebounding department. LaDontae Henton had eight offensive rebounds, Marquette - as a team - had six. I'm not talking about this any more.
Free Throw Rate (FTR)
Marquette: 21.4% (Season: 35.5%, #218)
Providence: 39.1% (Season: 31.8%, #63)
Because this is a metric that compares a team's free throw attempts against that same team's field goal attempts, we're failing to accurately see how badly Marquette shot themselves in the foot here. Marquette went 6-12 from the free throw line while Providence went 17-25. Buzz Williams likes to talk about making more free throws than your opponent attempts, and that's exactly what PC did in this game.
Weird note: Duane Wilson went 1-4 from the free throw line in this game. Would it have been a better idea for him to just back up behind the three point line and just chuck free throws from out there, given how completely dialed in he was from that distance? Then again, two of the missed FTs came after he missed those two three-pointers in the final 80 seconds, so maybe not.