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: 57.8% (This Season: 51.4%, #104)
DePaul: 47.0% (This Season: 46.4%, #43)
Can I point out that Marquette has been shooting the ball really well in league play? It's the eighth time in 13 games that MU has had an eFG% over 50% against a Big East opponent. Your big winner of the day was Haanif Cheatham, who shot 5-7 over all and 4-6 from long range. Four of his attempts came in the first half, with his only miss of the first 20 minutes coming on the last attempt. Hey: if you're 3-4 in the first half on triples, go nuts in the second half, m'man. Cheatham is shooting 43% on threes this year, which has him ranked exactly #100 in the country. Let it fly, dude!
I can't fault Marquette's defense at all here, as that's pretty much what they've done all season, and they're a top 50 shooting defense. The first half was a little rocky as the Blue Demons went 4-8 on three pointers, but that got balanced out in two ways: 1) DePaul was only 9-21 in the first half (although that meant with the threes, they had an eFG% of 52%) and 2) in the second half when DePaul was 1-7 on long range shots and 12-29 overall.
Turnover Rate (TO%)
Marquette: 21.4% (This Season: 20.6%, #313)
DePaul: 25.2% (This Season: 19.4, #104)
*grits teeth* Well, at least the turnovers were balanced out by an outstanding defensive effort. To follow up on a point that we touched out a few games back, Marquette had 14 turnovers in this game, with eight of them coming on DePaul steals. Y'know what? That's not too bad, I think, especially when only two of the other six turnovers were offensive fouls. Upon further review, this is actually Marquette's lowest offensive TO% in their last nine games, so I'm going to go slam my hand in a car door now.
The defense did their damage on DePaul in the first half, since the Blue Demons turned it over on 37% of their possessions in the first 20 minutes. It's kind of amazing that Marquette was only up 11 at the break, if you think about it. Poor Eli Cain was the focus of the issue, coughing it up five times in the game. This was the best defensive TO% performance by Marquette since the Big East opener against Seton Hall, and it reverses a general downturn that Marquette had been experiencing since then.
Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)
Marquette: 32.3% (This Season: 29.4%, #188)
DePaul: 35.5% (This Season: 31.1%, #230)
Trending up on one side and down on the other. Ehhhh. I can't even get excited about Marquette having a better than normal offensive rebounding day because the MU leader in OReb was "DePaul knocked the loose ball out of bounds" with three. Luke Fischer had two, Jajuan Johnson had two, and the other five were scattered singles.
Rashaun Stimage single handedly made Marquette's defensive rebounding look like a joke, snagging six of his nine rebounds in the game off of DePaul's misses. That's more than half of the offensive rebounds that the Blue Demons yanked in during the game, and that's not a good look. Everyone else was pretty much held at bay (including a goose egg from Tommy Hamilton, hey, remember when he was supposed to be kind of good?), but that Stimage thing stings, because he's a top 125 offensive rebounder in the country. When a dude comes out of nowhere and grabs a bunch, you can kind of shrug and say "well, sometime things happen," but Stimage had to be on the scouting report as "MUST BE BOXED OUT."
Free Throw Rate (FTR)
Marquette: 43.1% (This Season: 39.1%, #118)
DePaul: 36.0% (This Season: 26.8%, #14)
This is Marquette's eighth Big East game where their defensive FTR was worse than the worst defensive FTR game that they had in the non-conference portion of the schedule. I continue to be confused as to how referees operate.