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Marquette Basketball Four Factors: at Georgetown Hoyas

Full on tailspin here, guys.

NCAA Basketball: Marquette at Georgetown Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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: 44.5% (This Season: 56.9%, #8)
Georgetown: 59.3% (This Season: 52.3%, #257)

Here’s the good news: This was not Marquette’s worst offensive performance of the season. Here’s the bad news: The worst performance of the season was the 44.4% against Michigan in the 2K Classic, so we’re talking about fractions of a percentage point. I’m just going to throw this out there: When you’re in a bit of a downturn and needing a big bounce back game, throwing up your second worst shooting performance of the entire season is very very very bad.

Part of the problem for the Golden Eagles was that they didn’t shoot as many three-pointers as they usually do. MU is averaging about 40% of their shots from behind the arc; here it was only 25%. The other part of the problem was that Marquette missed 11 of their 14 long range attempts. No one really had a bad day - Andrew Rowsey had the worst day with three misses on four attempts - but as a team, it turned into a 21% outing. Katin Reinhardt had the worst shooting day overall at 3-for-11 from the field, but only one of his attempts was from long range.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the court, Georgetown shot 50% on treys and 55% inside of the arc. Jessie Govan ran roughshod over Marquette, finishing with a personal eFG% of 53%, and Rodney Pryor, who had a big game against Marquette in the first meeting, went nuts at the Verizon Center with a 65% eFG%. Pryor went 7-for-13 overall and 3-of-4 behind the arc. If you boiled the defensive game plan down to one single item, it would have to have been “DO NOT LET PRYOR BEAT YOU,” and that happened anyway. That is not a good sign.

Turnover Rate (TO%)

Marquette: 15.8% (This Season: 17.1%, #62)
Georgetown: 13.5% (This Season: 18.6%, #182)

At least Marquette’s offense wasn’t hamstrung by throwing the ball all over the gym. Luke Fischer was the only player with more than one turnover in the game, so that’s good. What’s not so good is Marquette not doing themselves any favors by letting the Hoyas turn it over even less frequently than MU did.

The worst part about this is that they got three turnovers each out of both Marcus Derrickson and Jessie Govan. The rest of the Hoyas combined for three turnovers.

Offensive Rebounding Rate (OR%)

Marquette: 16.2% (This Season: 28.0%, #217)
Georgetown: 26.7% (This Season: 29.0%, #163)

Marquette might have been able to survive an awful shooting night if they were grabbing up offensive rebounds. “Sure, we missed a lot, but we took a ton of shots because of so many offensive rebounds!” See? Didn’t happen, though. MU’s usually kind of bad OR% got even worse here, even with Luke Fischer assembling his sixth multi-offensive rebound performance in Marquette’s last seven games. He actually has more than two offensive rebounds in five of the last seven, but that wasn’t enough to help Marquette here, as only two other players got even one offensive board. Akoy Agau was a one man gang

Marquette did do a good job controlling Georgetown’s effort on the offensive glass. That’s good news, but with Georgetown shooting the ball so well, you can’t help but wonder how much of Marquette’s ability to close them down was just the Hoyas choosing to get back on defense. Even with the quality job Marquette did, Jessie Govan still wrangled in five offensive rebounds all by himself, which was more than half of GU’s total for the game.

Free Throw Rate (FTR)

Marquette: 36.4% (This Season: 31.6%, #275)
Georgetown: 46.3% (This Season: 35.3%, #170)

The ability to celebrate Marquette getting to the line more often than normal this season is hampered by the sobering reality of how much the Golden Eagles sent the Hoyas to the line. Four different GU players shot at least four free throws in the game, including L.J. Peak, who matched Luke Fischer in a game high for attempts with eight.