For those unfamiliar, here’s some background on the four factors to winning: Established by Dean Oliver, the four factors are building blocks for Ken Pomeroy’s efficiency formula. It’s important to mention, as noted by Stat Sheet, that the factors are not weighted equally. The best way to weight the numbers is as follows: shooting (40 percent), taking care of the ball (25 percent), offensive rebounding (20 percent) and getting to the line (15 percent).
Here’s a recap of the four factors in Wednesday’s 88-76 loss at Boston College:
Effective field goal percentage (FGM + 0.5*3PM)/FGA): The Hoosiers entered Wednesday night’s game allowing their first six opponents to shoot an eFG of just 41.5 percent. Boston College put a dent in that figure with an effort of 60 percent (8.4 percent above their season average). IU also shot well (57.3 percent), but when the opposition shoots even better, particularly from 3-point range, it’s normally a recipe for disaster.
Turnover percentage (Turnovers divided by possessions): Excellent showing here for IU (16.7 percent), but an even better performance by Boston College. The Eagles came into the game ranked sixth nationally in this category and posted a ridiculously low 10 percent. One caveat to the low figure for the Hoosiers: BC isn’t particularly good at turning over the opposition, so don’t be surprised if this performance ends up as an exception rather than the rule.
Offensive rebounding percentage (Offensive rebounds divided by (OR + DR): We knew once the schedule got tougher that IU’s standing in this particular category could take a tumble. And that’s exactly what happened against BC. The Hoosiers came in allowing their first six opponents an offensive rebounding percentage of just 26.6 percent. Boston College went for 51.9 percent. Read that again for some extra emphasis. This negated an otherwise stellar performance of 43.9 percent for IU on the offensive glass. Bottom line: It’s tough to win when you’re allowing your opponent an abnormal amount of second chances.
Free throw rate (Free throws attempted divided by field goals attempted): This was IU’s weakest of the four factors coming in from a defensive standpoint and BC dominated (51.9 percent, although IU did foul quite a bit in the closing minutes, inflating this statistic a bit). The Hoosiers entered the game with a free throw rate of 46.6 percent, but managed just 36.4 percent in Chestnut Hill. It’s not exactly a shock that this number would take a dive in the first road game, but the story here is how well Steve Donahue’s club got to the charity stripe (and converted, too).