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.
Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%)
Marquette: 38.3% (This Season: 52.0%, #79)
Seton Hall: 47.6% (This Season: 44.8%, #32)
DEAAAAAAAATH. This was Marquette's worst shooting night of the entire season, and the first time that their eFG% dipped below 40%. The most obvious problem for the Golden Eagles was hitting just one three pointer for the entire game. I don't think that was really the biggest problem, though. Marquette's eFG% in the first half was 49%, and they took just six three pointers, missing all of them. The real problem came in the second half, when MU went 1-5 from three, but just 7-26 inside the arc. You can survive a cold shooting night from long range, especially with guys like Luke Fischer and Henry Ellenson on your roster. You CAN'T survive a cold shooting night on the inside, and a ridiculously awful half like the second half here will just straight up piss in your corn flakes.
The defense was okay. It's a little higher than the season average, but Marquette's one of the better defensive eFG% teams in the country, so you can accept a slight slide back in that regard. SHU's shooting was helped by going 5-10 from three point land, but they spread those five makes around really well, with Isaiah Whitehead leading the Pirates with two. Overall, Whitehead (4-13) and Angel Delgado (3-10) were the guys that Marquette did the best defensive job on, but that effort was balanced by guys like Khadeen Carrington (6-12) and Ismael Sanogo (5-8) having a good outing.
Turnover Rate (TO%)
Marquette: 22.4% (This Season: 19.8%, #249)
Seton Hall: 25.2% (This Season: 20.1%, #89)
DEAAAAAAAAAAAAAATH. Marquette was already atrocious at keeping track of the ball, and going that far over 20% TO% was just a nightmare for the Golden Eagles. They committed nine turnovers in each half, but the second half was played at a slightly slower rate than the first, so that ended up pushing the TO% even higher. The good news, if you want to call it "good," is that no one was particularly at fault. The flip side of that coin is that everyone except for Wally Ellenson and Sacar Anim committed at least two turnovers, and four guys had three of them. The biggest problem of all of them would have to be Traci Carter, who managed to pack his two turnovers into just six minutes before Wojo benched him. Not to wax my own car here, but this is why I kept tweeting "Traci Carter plays well" as a goal for MU's last couple of buy games.
At least the defense was outstanding, right? Imagine how badly this game could have gone if Marquette had played more to the 20% average on the season. Actually, we kind of have an idea on how that would have gone, as MU forced Seton Hall into turnovers on 29% of their possessions in the first half, but that dropped back to 22% after the break, and we all know how that second half went for Marquette. Khadeen Carrington and Isaiah Whitehead suffered the most at the hands of Marquette's defense, committing five and four turnovers respectively.
Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)
Marquette: 25.0% (This Season: 31.3%, #143)
Seton Hall: 42.1% (This Season: 31.3%, #213)
DEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATH. This wasn't Marquette's worst night on the offensive glass this season, but they did win the other games where they were worse than 25%. Luke Fischer did his usual great job in this department, hauling in a team best four offensive rebounds. The slightly depressing part about this is that MU had lots of chances to improve their OR% number in this game, given that they missed 40 shots in the game. The rebounds were there for the Golden Eagles, they just didn't manage to reel them in at a significant rate in either half.
The defensive glass was a nightmare for Marquette in both halves. Somehow the Golden Eagles kept their head above water in the first half when Seton Hall was yanking down 44% of their own misses. Things got better after intermission, when Seton Hall only got to 35% of their misses. We have to take solace in improvement in that regard, because the 35% is still bad for MU this season, and Marquette's a bad defensive rebounding team in the first place. It was the combination of Desi Rodriguez, Angel Delgado, and Ismael Sanogo that did MU in on the SHU glass, with those dudes rounding up 11 of Seton Hall's 16 offensive rebounds in the game.
Free Throw Rate (FTR)
Marquette: 31.3% (This Season: 38.2%, #132)
Seton Hall: 45.2% (This Season: 21.4%, #2)
DEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATH. I don't even know what to make of this game as far as FTR goes. Marquette's been amongst the national leaders in defensive FTR for a while now, powered by averaging just slightly more than 17 fouls per game. The Golden Eagles were whistled for 24 fouls in this game, which would seem to imply that this game was refereed much more tightly than any other contest that MU has played this season.
But if that's the case, how the hell is MU's offensive FTR lower than their season long average? Shouldn't that number have gone way up if the game was whistled tightly? James Breeding was involved, so perhaps it's best if I don't burn brain cells trying to figure it out.