The Nevada Wolfpack enter Friday’s home tilt against the Fresno State Bulldogs just one game out of first place in the Mountain West standings with a statement win on their minds.
Fresno State Bulldogs and Nevada Wolf Pack (-9, 131)
Much of Nevada’s success this season has come from smart and fundamental basketball, ranking fifth in the nation in free throw shooting percentage (79.7%), 28th in turnovers per possession overall and 14th when playing at home.
Not only do the Wolfpack shoot at a high percentage at the free throw line but they also get there often, ranking third in free throws made on a per-possession basis.
A large reason for the offensive success is Jarod Lucas entering the program and instantly becoming an elite scorer. While at Oregon State last season, he led the team in scoring with 13.1 points per game but there wasn’t enough support around him to facilitate an efficient offense.
Lucas has that support this season with three teammates averaging at least 2.5 assists per game while he leads the way with 17.8 points per game and a 39.9% 3-point shooting percentage. Adding Lucas has also helped on the defensive side as Nevada has improved from 257th in points allowed on a per-possession basis to 95th.
This improved defense will look to limit Fresno State beyond the arc, an area in which the squad has struggled, drilling just 30.6% of its 3-point shots, good for 327th among Division I teams.
Fresno State also struggles on the glass, ranking 299th in the nation in rebound rate and tend to send teams to the free throw line often, ranking 235th in fouls committed on a per-possession basis. Nevada’s execution of the little things will lead to a large margin of victory over Fresno State.
The Play: Nevada -9
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