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: 60.6% (This Season: 52.4%, #63)
St. John's: 60.7% (This Season: 48.3%, #94)
The third time in four games where the defensive eFG% has gone over 60%. Four straight games where the defensive eFG% has gone over 59%. Marquette's 2-2 in these games, but unlike the Georgetown game, Marquette did not manage to outshoot their opponent while giving up that ridiculous eFG%.
Marquette did their shooting work by being efficient with their use of the three pointer. They took just 10 treys in the game, five in each half. They made 2 in the first half and three in the second. Marquette shot 57% in the game on two point shots, and you have to pick between Traci Carter (1-4) and Sandy Cohen (0-0) for who had the worst shooting night on the team. Even Carter's 1-4 isn't actually bad, y'know?
Much like Marquette, St. John's shot 50% on threes... except they were 8-16 instead of 5-10. The Johnnies were 4-7 in the first half and 4-9 in the second half, neither of which was good for Marquette's defensive efforts. If you want to pin Marquette's problems on one thing, you could probably pin it on Christian Jones. Coming in to last night's game, the junior was averaging exactly three makes on a little less than 6.5 attempts per game.
CHRISTIAN JONES WENT 13-21 AGAINST MARQUETTE.
What the hell?!?! He shot more than twice as many shots as anyone else on his team. I don't know if I can really blame Marquette for having a craptangular night on defense when their scouting report was shot completely out the door in the first seven minutes of the game when Jones had already matched his season average for shot attempts.
Turnover Rate (TO%)
Marquette: 17.6% (This Season: 20.3%, #299)
St. John's: 21.8% (This Season: 19.2%, #102)
WOOOOOOO MU ISN'T A SUB-300 TURNOVER RATE TEAM ANY MORE WOOOOOOOOO
This was the fifth time in the last eight games where Marquette has posted a TO% under 20% on offense, and that run included a 20.2% against Butler in the regular season finale. Don't get me wrong 20% isn't particularly good. Even 17.6% is only getting you into the top 150 in the country if that's your season long average. It is YARDS better than the garbage ballhandling that's been victimizing Marquette's efforts over and over and over this season. Four players accounted for all 14 of Marquette's turnovers: Henry Ellenson and Traci Carter both had four turnovers, while Luke Fischer and Jajuan Johnson had three each. That turnover number for Fischer is particularly troublesome, as the junior center was limited to just 18 minutes before fouling out.
Five different Johnnies had multiple turnovers in the game, with Christian Jones topping the chart with four. Both teams were incredibly bad at ball control in the first half, with St. John's throwing up a 29% in the first 20 minutes. That's 11 of their 17 turnovers, and I suppose it shouldn't be much of a surprise that Marquette had a 12 point lead at the half. SJU really cleaned things up in the second half, cutting their turnover rate nearly in half (15%), but MU dropped theirs down to under 15% to help balance out the crazy-o shooting that St. John's was throwing up, too.
Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)
Marquette: 25.0% (This Season: 28.1%, #225)
St. John's: 35.5% (This Season: 30.5%, #217)
Hey, look, Marquette was bad at rebounding again in a game where Luke Fischer barely played due to foul trouble. What an amazing coincidence. To hammer this point home: Fischer finished with one rebound in the game, but at least it was a putback layup on a Jajuan Johnson missed shot that pushed the lead to 10 midway through the first half. Fischer drew the foul on the layup, too.
MU was especially bad at grabbing their misses in the second half, wrapping up under 18%. Since their eFG% was falling nearly 13 percentage points from the first half to the second half, that's really not a great combination of events. Meanwhile, while Marquette was getting worse, St. John's was getting better, even while they were shooting the ball a shade better in the second half. Christian Jones - surprise, surprise - led the Red Storm with a game high four offensive rebounds.
Free Throw Rate (FTR)
Marquette: 82.7% (This Season: 40.5%, #81)
St. John's: 37.7% (This Season: 28.1%, #25)
These numbers are dumb, especially that offensive number, which is amazingly dumb. Marquette's second half FTR was 112%. It was 84% before St. John's started fouling a bit in the final minute. Super dumb. St. John's had a second half FTR of 61.3%. Also mega dumb. I have nothing else to say about this.