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Introduction to Four Factors

Whether in the locker room or at the local bar watching a game, the discussion of who will win and why is a mainstay. But diving into the why has been a divisive and hotly contested discussion. "Defense wins championship," "you need superstars," "they have to have the clutch gene," "make your free throws." The list goes on and on. However in the early 2000s, Dean Oliver provided some data-driven illumination on the subject. The resulting Four Factors (EFG%, TOV%, ORR, FTR) have been used not only as part of a sound coaching strategy, but also to accurately predict winners and losers at the NBA, NCAA, and abroad. Each of the factors should be used internally as well as externally. Following a game, a coach can review his or her team's factors as well as the opponents. This provides a snapshot not only at how a team performed but also how they performed relative to their opponent. The image below shows how the Duke Blue Devils performed in various advanced metrics as well as how their collective opponents performed.

Duke Blue Devils - Advanced Team Stats

We have briefly covered the Factors here, but you can read more about each of these topics.


Effective Field Goal % - Turnover Rate - Offensive Rebounding Rate - Free Throw Rate