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: 64.5% (This Season: 52.1%, #82)
Georgetown: 59.7% (This Season: 47.4%, #68)
Marquette picked a great time to assemble their best shooting night of Big East play. Namely, they picked the night they had their third worst shooting defense night of the league schedule and fourth worst shooting defense night of the season.
Marquette did their work inside the arc, which makes that number all the more impressive. MU hit just 25% of their 12 three point attempts in the game, which means that they were essentially hurting themselves with that aspect of the offense when it comes to eFG%. Meanwhile: Luke Fischer, 9-11, including a ridiculous 8-9 in the first half. Jajuan Johnson, 7-9 on twos. Haanif Cheatham, a perfect 5-5. Because Fischer was essentially eliminated from the offense in the second half, you could argue that Traci Carter was the shining star of the eFG% world in this game, going 4-7 with two of MU's three made three pointers. Traci Carter! The guy we were openly begging to stop shooting threes because he was 8-29 in the non-conference schedule!
The main problem for the defense? Isaac Copeland, who was 13-20 in the game, and scored a career high 32. Technically speaking, Copeland was 13-19, if you want to talk about shots that Marquette was actually trying to defend. His final shot was a three-quarter court heave as time expired that MU wanted no part of fouling him on since it was a one point game at the time. It counts as an official shot, though, meaning his 2-6 on threes is only officially "acceptable" instead of a "holy crap, this guy was rolling" 2-5, which is what it actually was during the course of the game. Marquette didn't really have an answer for Marcus Derrickson either, as he posted a personal eFG% of 59% because of his 3-5 outing from long range. Marquette did do a nice job defending D`Vauntes Smith-Rivera for the course of 40 minutes, allowing him to go 7-17 overall and 2-7 from behind the arc. However, DSR went and did a DSR thing with five seconds left, hitting a snazzy pull jump jumper that everyone and their dead grandma saw coming, since it was a shot that gave the Hoyas a one point advantage at that juncture. DSR is gonna DSR on you, man. Can you even defend it? I don't even know if you can blame anyone on MU's defense for allowing that shot. What are you going to do, wrap up an 81% foul shooter?
Related: Happy graduation day to D`Vauntes Smith-Rivera. Go hang out with Scottie Reynolds.
Turnover Rate (TO%)
Marquette: 13.0% (This Season: 20.4%, #304)
Georgetown: 11.1% (This Season: 19.3%, #104)
Hey, who were these dudes in blue and gold on Tuesday night and what did they do with Marquette's usual team? Super low turnovers on offense, crazy low turnovers on defense. Not exactly what we've come to expect from the Golden Eagles this season.
Now, just because Marquette was pretty great at holding onto the ball, it doesn't mean there weren't problems here. Haanif Cheatham had three turnovers in the game and Luke Fischer had two giveaways during the second half as he continued to struggle after his amazing opening frame.
The crazy defense on the opposing team's point guard returned in this game, as MU pressured D`Vauntes Smith-Rivera into committing four of Georgetown's eight turnovers. Jessie Govan was the only other Hoya to turn it over more than once, and he only got to two, both in the first half. Surprisingly, three of DSR's turnovers came in the second half as Georgetown was running wild against the Golden Eagles.
Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)
Marquette: 20.0% (This Season: 28.4%, #221)
Georgetown: 24.2% (This Season: 30.4%, #213)
A bad offensive rebounding night partnered with a good defensive rebounding night. Given how well both teams shot the ball, I suppose I can understand how neither team is going to be working hard to wrap up the few misses they actually had. D`Vauntes Smith-Rivera continued his ridiculously great game against Marquette by grabbing half of GU's offensive rebounds, with all four of those coming in the opening half. Only Luke Fischer (two) and Jajuan Johnson (two) had more than one offensive rebound for Marquette.
I don't have much to say about this because there wasn't all that much offensive rebounding by either team, but it wasn't as sparse as the previous game.
Free Throw Rate (FTR)
Marquette: 40.0% (This Season: 38.9%, #114)
Georgetown: 16.4% (This Season: 26.8%, #13)
Slightly better than what they've done all season on offense, thanks to a late pair of freebies from everyone's favorite Germantown native, and well below the already outstanding season average on defense. I don't think we can ask for much more than that.
It's the best defensive FTR performance by Marquette in Big East play and the best since holding Presbyterian to just 9.3% back in December. Georgetown's free throws came almost entirely from three players: Isaac Copeland (5 attempts), Marcus Derrickson (3), and Jessie Govan (2). Only L.J. Peak contributed anything else and he only had one FT attempt, a missed back end of an and-1 with 12:57 left in the first half.
If you're wondering how Henry Ellenson only managed 10 points in this game before leaving due to his ankle injury, it's because he wasn't getting to the line. I don't mean "two attempts," I mean "not at all." Ellenson finished with zero freebie attempts, while Luke Fischer went 5-6, Haanif Cheatham went 5-5, and Duane Wilson went 5-8.