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: 63.0% (This Season: 51.5%, #90)
Butler: 45.5% (This Season: 45.4%, #26)
WOAAAAAAAH, NELLIE, THAT'S SOME SHOOTIN'. Marquette is usually a team that doesn't shoot a bunch of three pointers, but they went nuts in this game, tallying 17 of their 46 attempts from long range. They cashed in on 10 of those attempts for a game long shooting rate of 59%, and when you're hitting about 60% of your threes, you are gonna be hard as hell to beat. It's even better when a bunch of those makes are coming from a dude like Traci Carter who was a 29% shooter coming into the game. You know Butler's scouting report said "hey, don't really worry about that dude," and then he turns around and bangs home five of his seven long balls.
Marquette's defense was its usually outstanding self, although it took a second half clamp down (41.2%) to get there. The crazy thing is that it's not like MU was really all that great if you look at the line by line for the whole game. Kelan Martin was over 50%, Tyler Wideman and Kellen Dunham were both right at 50%, and Roosevelt Jones shooting 46% is just fine. Andrew Chrabascz, though.... hooboy. That dude shot 2-12, including 0-3 from long range. Why does Chris Holtmann allow Chrabascz to continue to shoot threes? Dude's shooting 27% now on 45 attempts.
Speaking of attempts, I suppose we have to point out that Roosevelt Jones went 1-1 on threes in this game, because he hit that halftime buzzer beater. That was Jones' FOURTH three point attempt of his collegiate career, and his FIRST made three pointer. I am not making a word of that up.
Turnover Rate (TO%)
Marquette: 23.4% (This Season: 20.6%, #302)
Butler: 12.0% (This Season: 19.8%, #80)
Congratulations, everyone, Marquette is now one of the 50 worst turnover teams in the country. Super.
15 turnovers in this game, four each from Jajuan Johnson and Haanif Cheatham. I don't even know if I'm actually annoyed at Johnson for that since he had six assists to go with his 11 points. Cheatham's line is a little more scarce (six points, three rebounds, three assists), and I feel like that's not good enough to mask four turnovers. I'd rant and rave about this some more, but it'd be wasted space here because MU's just not going to be getting any better on this any time soon.
You'd like to think that they could balance out coughing it up so much with yanking it away from the opponent a bit more often, but that didn't happen here. Just eight turnovers for the Bulldogs, and no one had more than two. Things were pretty sparse in the second half, when Butler turned it over just three times, aka on 9% of their possessions. That's no good. If you can't keep track of the ball yourself, you have to make up for it somehow, and 9% turnover rate in the second half isn't getting it done.
Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)
Marquette: 30.4% (This Season: 29.1%, #201)
Butler: 35.0% (This Season: 31.4%, #246)
Well, to turn it back around to the turnover discussion, I guess the 40% OR% in the second half for the Golden Eagles does help to even things out on those turnovers. Second chance points are fun. That 13% first half OR%, though? Oh, that's terrible. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, Marquette shot the ball really well, so maybe we shouldn't worry about offensive rebounds in this game. Well, when you suck really bad at turnovers, you gotta change your fate elsewhere. Sitting sub-200 on both ends of the OR% rankings is not helping Marquette's case.
Let's put it another way: Marquette only had seven offensive rebounds in this game. Henry Ellenson had four of them all by himself. Luke Fischer (who was scoreless in this game by the way) had one, Jajuan Johnson had one, and the last one was tallied by the ever popular Team Deadball Rebounds. That's it. That's not how you're gonna win basketball games, ESPECIALLY when Tyler Wideman's grabbing five for the opposition all by himself.
Free Throw Rate (FTR)
Marquette: 45.7% (This Season: 39.6%, #112)
Butler: 17.9% (This Season: 25.0%, #7)
This is great and I'm not about to shout very loudly about how FTR when Marquette is so great at keeping teams off the line this season.
I will point out that it's very good that MU is so good at keeping teams off the line this year because...... Marquette "allows" the second worst free throw shooting percentage in the country. I say "allows" because it's not like there's a whole lot Marquette can do to really stop dudes from hitting free throws.... other than keeping them away from the line in the first place. See how that all works out?