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Marquette Basketball Four Factors: at Georgia

Remember this game, because it might be MU’s best offensive performance of the year.

Marquette men's basketball
Jajuan Johnson recorded his first career double-double in this game.
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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: 56.0% (This Season: 57.7%, #11)

Georgia: 55.1% (This Season: 47.5%, #95)

Hey, go figure: In a game where Marquette made their first six three pointers and eight of their first 10 long range attempts, they ended up with an eFG% that was below their season average. Then again, it’s a top 15 average, so, hey: these things happen.

What really happened is that Marquette cooled way off in the second half, and after posting a 66% eFG% in the first half, that was bound to happen. They only went 5-for-19 (26%) from long range after intermission, and a lot of that can be aimed directly at Katin Reinhardt. The grad transfer, who came in to the game shooting just 25% on threes for the year, missed all four of his long range attempts in the second half, including an amazingly stupidly bad miss with Marquette up 10 with 63 seconds remaining. It’s not so much that it missed horribly even, it’s the fact that it came with 13 seconds left on the shot clock.

We also have questions to be asked about MU’s defense. This was Marquette’s third worst shooting defense of the season, with #1 and #2 showing up in MU’s two losses in New York City. That also makes it the fourth time in the last six games where the Golden Eagles have allowed their opponent to shoot over 50%, with three of them coming against high major opponents. On the season, MU is just inside the top 100, which is fine, but the overall trend of allowing big numbers against top opponents is a bad omen.

This may be a specific to Georgia issue here, though, as Yante Maten is almost singlehandedly responsible for their amazing eFG%. If you take out his 10-for-13, their eFG% drops to just 49%, and that’s because they still get to keep all seven of their long range makes. Juwan Parker missed all five of his shots, J.J. Frazier made up for his 7-for-15 by going 4-of-6 from the arc, and William Jackson went 2-of-8, with all but one of his shots coming from outside the arc. I know you need secondary scoring to support Frazier and Maten, but hey: maybe cool it and get the big guy the ball?

Turnover Rate (TO%)

Marquette: 14.3% (This Season: 15.9%, #31)

Georgia: 16.6% (This Season: 20.6%, #103)

Seriously, though, who is this Marquette team? Actually, hang on, I take that back. This offensive TO% is so low because the Golden Eagles had just one turnover in the second half. Had MU ended up losing this game, we would be able to look at their nine first half turnovers and say “hey, look, that’s why they lost: they couldn’t put Georgia away with their shooting in the first half because of the turnovers.”

We have to mention Yante Maten here again because he recorded a game high four turnovers. Other than that, the Bulldogs were pretty solid with their ball control, which means the game really tilted towards their style of play in terms of TO%. The Bulldogs don’t give it away much and they don’t take it away much. That’s pretty much what happened here.

Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)

Marquette: 39.5% (This Season: 27.9%, #227)

Georgia: 22.9% (This Season: 25.9%, #55)

Combine that great shooting with the great ball control with this great offensive rebounding, and this might be the best offensive performance of the season by the Golden Eagles. I doubt they’ll be able to post three numbers that beat out all three of the marks they posted against the Bulldogs.

MU really did some damage on the glass in the first half, grabbing 38% of their very rare misses. Things got even better in the second half, when they snatched up 41% of their misses, and considering the fact that they had more misses, that’s actually more impressive that it originally looks. Matt Heldt was a BALLER in the first half, grabbing three misses on both ends of the court while covering for Luke Fischer only playing seven minutes, and Jajuan Johnson topped that with four on both ends after intermission.

GUESS WHO was a pain in Marquette’s ass on the glass in this game? That’s right, Yante Maten! He had four offensive rebounds, with no other Bulldog managing even two, leading to the third best defensive rebounding performance of the season for Marquette. Fun Fact: MU’s two best defensive rebounding games were their two losses, and no, I really can’t explain that.

Free Throw Rate (FTR)

Marquette: 25.4% (This Season: 28.0%, #307)

Georgia: 33.9% (This Season: 36.8%, #201)

I’ve pretty much abandoned all hope for positivity when it comes to MU’s offensive FTR this season. When they’ve got it going on the long range shots like they did in this game, they’re just not going to get a good number of free throws. Hell, this number is actually elevated by MU getting two free throws each from Katin Reinhardt and Markus Howard in the final 50 seconds of the game.

On defense, this was the third straight game under 35% and fourth straight game under 40%. Just keep that bad boy moving in a positive direction, and everything will work out okay.