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 on a national level on KenPom.com.
Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%)
Marquette: 58.3% (This Season: 57.7%, #12)
SIUE: 41.0% (This Season: 49.6%, #168)
This is going to shock you, but the team with the top 20 average eFG% on the season did a better job shooting the basketball than the team with the bottom 40 average eFG% in this game. Marquette exceeded their already ridiculous shooting mark for the season, and turned around and played some pretty great defense as well. Not only was it better than MU’s defensive average, but they also caused the Cougars to shoot worse than their own offensive average.
Marquette’s shooting mark was constructed in a slightly odd fashion: MU was worse than average on three pointers in this game, but better than average on two pointers. This may have largely been driven by Haanif Cheatham’s 7-for-9 outing inside the arc, and Jajuan Johnson’s 4-of-6 was also pretty useful.
Two things contributed to SIUE’s lousy shooting. First: they went just 1-for-9 from long range, so they got almost no boost from making three pointers. Second: Carlos Anderson and Burak Eslik were a combined 4-of-19. Honestly, everyone else was pretty decent, so there might be a little bit of credit to the Marquette defense for funneling shots into those two guys.
Turnover Rate (TO%)
Marquette: 16.1% (This Season: 16.5%, #45)
SIUE: 29.8% (This Season: 20.7%, #84)
GOOD NEWS: Jajuan Johnson committed just one turnover after coughing it up five times against St. Francis on Monday.
BAD NEWS: Haanif Cheatham turned it over four times, which accounted for a full one-third of MU’s turnovers in the game.
MEDIUM NEWS: Three of Cheatham’s turnovers came in the first half while Marquette was in the process of building an 18 points halftime lead, so they kind of didn’t matter. Oh well.
Marquette’s defense is slowly inching upward in terms of TO%, which is good news. It appears that they’re not going to have a lot of luck getting teams to miss a lot of shots this season, so if they can just stop them from shooting the ball in the first place, that’ll end up being beneficial. Carlos Anderson did not have a very good game for the Cougars, tossing in five turnovers on top of his 4-of-14 shooting, and Christian Ellis had four more.
Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)
Marquette: 26.7% (This Season: 26.7%, #260)
SIUE: 30.0% (This Season: 25.5%, #43)
Marquette did what they do on the offensive glass. Hooray for Luke Fischer and Matt Heldt, both of whom had three offensive rebounds in the game. The rest of the team combined for two. Would I like to see better offensive rebounding? Of course. Is this going to happen at this point of the season? Nooooooope.
The defensive rebounding was a little bit on the weak side, but after a shoddy first half (SIUE grabbed 33% of their misses), Marquette tightened things up in the second half (28%). This was particularly important, since SIUE’s shooting got much worse after halftime.
Free Throw Rate (FTR)
Marquette: 36.7% (This Season: 31.5%, #253)
SIUE: 46.0% (This Season: 36.6%, #203)
There were A LOT of free throws shot in this game (45 total), and A LOT of them (29) were shot in the second half. I’m glad to see the Golden Eagles getting to the line a bit more, but I’m not entirely sure why they were foul happy on defense in a game where they had a 30 point lead for the final seven minutes and a 20 point lead for the final 12 minutes.
Is this a short Four Factors report? Only if you really need an in-depth analysis of a game that Marquette won by 33 points against a sub-300 KenPom team, and I don’t think anyone wants to spend that much time thinking about it.