In the past I've complained when fans over-emphasized missed free throws in losses rather than focusing on which of the Four Factors decided the game. However, I've added a "FT%+-" line to give a true indication of the impact free throws have on a game in addition to the Four Factors. Here is the box from the win over USC.
Every year D1 basketball players hit 69% of their free throws, so "FT%+-" indicates how many points a team added or took away at the line by their shooting. Tonight MU took 21 free throws, so a typical team would have hit 14 of those on a given night, but MU hit 18 and thus scored 4 more points (+4 in far right) than they would have based just on the Four Factors. So without getting into the more complicated math (1-on-1s, possible offensive rebounds off missed free throws) we can say MU would have just won 68-64 on an average night at the line.
As for the Four Factors:
eFG%. MU shot better than average (52.9% eFG) and defended better than average (46.4% allowed). The key was Game MVP Jamil Wilson's 7 of 9 with three treys (94% eFG%).
TO%. MU did a better than average job of protecting the ball (17.5% of trips were turnovers), but USC was even better (15.6%).
OR%. MU was just below average in Offensive Rebounds. Davante Gardner entered the game getting 32.1% of all MU misses - the best total in the country by 5% over the 2nd best player in America - but that was the team average as USC's 7-footers were able to hold Gardner to 1 offensive rebound. However, the good news is that Marquette did an even better job of keeping USC off the boards by allowing only 27.3% to USC, after entering the game only 205th in defensive rebounding. Last year Jae Crowder's 21% put him in the top 5% of all players, but this year the two new guards have been key to keep the number respectable despite noone in the top 500. The best defensive rebounder is Jake Thomas (19%), followed by Juan Anderson and Trent Lockett (16%), then Jamil Wilson, Steve Taylor and Chris Otule (15%) and Gardner (14%).
FT%. MU was also above average in getting to the line with a 41.2% FT%, meaning they were able to shoot that percentage of Free Throws vs. Field Goals while holding USC to only 26.8% by not fouling.
Overall last night J. Wilson was clearly the star, worth almost a +6 to MU (5.927 according to Dean Olivier's NetAvg, which unlike Value Add does not adjust for level of opponent but is a quicker single game tool).
|vs. USC||FG (3pt)||FGA||FT||FTA||OR||DR||Pts||A||TO||BLK||S||Net Avg|
|Jamil Wilson, F||7 (3)||9||2||2||2||4||19||0||0||1||2||5.927|
|Davante Gardner, F||3||5||6||6||1||5||12||2||2||1||0||3.586|
|Juan Anderson, F||1 (1)||1||1||2||2||0||4||0||1||1||1||1.518|
|Chris Otule, C||5||7||-||-||1||1||10||0||1||1||0||1.384|
|Trent Lockett, G||2||5||4||4||2||4||8||0||1||0||1||0.820|
|Junior Cadougan, G||3||7||5||6||1||4||11||6||5||0||0||0.369|
|Vander Blue, G||3||11||-||-||0||0||6||2||1||0||2||0.000|
|Derrick Wilson, G||1||3||-||1||0||3||2||0||0||0||0||0.000|
|Jake Thomas, G||-||3||-||-||0||3||0||2||0||1||2||0.000|
|Steve Taylor Jr., G||-||-||-||-||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.000|
That ties J. Wilson with Gardner's two Game MVPs and one 2nd place MVP for 13 points on my 5-3-1 scoring system. This was the third time this season that Anderson has been the third best player on the court for MU, as he hit a trey and grabbed two offensive rebounds to nudge out Chris Otule, who I'd subjectively say was actually the third best player tonight - but kudos to both. Here is the tally for the year based purely on Net Avg:
Despite RPI hit from loss to Butler, MU leaves Maui in decent shape