Nevada vs. Fresno State: Game Preview, How To Watch, Predictions
Bulldogs travel to Reno to face Wolf Pack
Early jostling for seeding
Fresno State looks to extend its winning streak to four as they travel to Nevada to play a Wolf Pack team desperate for a bounce-back win at home.
WHO: Nevada Wolf Pack (8-7, 2-2 in the MW) vs. Wyoming Cowboys (13-4, 3-1 in the MW)
WHEN: Friday, January 21, 8:00 PM PT
WHERE: Lawlor Events Center: Reno, NV
Stream: FuboTV – Get a free trial
Line: KenPom, Bulldogs 1-point favorites
Fresno State travels to Lawlor Events Center Friday night as they face a struggling Nevada Wolf Pack team. Nevada lost to Wyoming Monday night in a game where their star players struggled to produce, forcing the Wolf Pack to fall to 2-2 in conference play. The Bulldogs, on the other hand, are running hot at the moment. Fresno State has won three games in a row, most recently beating a very good Utah State in Fresno.
Nevada struggled greatly Monday night against Wyoming. Grant Sherfield continues to produce, scoring 20 against Wyoming. However, the 6’2 point guard got zero help with his partner in crime, Desmond Cambridge Jr., scoring six points on 3-9 shooting and 0-4 from beyond the arc. The Wolf Pack will continue to struggle in Mountain West play if they can’t find a sustainable offensive game plan. It’s no secret that Nevada is led by their guard play and will struggle to win if the Wolf Pack are unable to find productivity in Sherfield and Cambridge Jr. Wyoming’s defense in the second half of Monday’s game showcased that perfectly. Until Nevada finds a third option that they can lean on offensively, the Wolf Pack will struggle against any good teams in the Mountain West.
Fresno State continues to roll. Coming into the season I was higher on the Bulldogs than most, purely due to the face of the productivity they returned from last season.
Orlando Robinson has simply been unstoppable this season, showing why the 7’0 Junior should be among the players in the conversation for Mountain West Player of the Year. Robinson is averaging 19 points, eight rebounds, shooting 50% from the field. Robinson is undoubtedly the Bulldog’s number one option, being the only Fresno State player averaging double-digit points. Fresno State owes a lot of their three-game win streak to 6’5 Junior Anthony Holland. Holland is averaging more than 16 points in the past three games, including leading the way against Utah State with 13 points.
Truly, it is Fresno State’s defense that has been the biggest surprise this season. The Bulldogs rank second nationally with 56 points per game allowed and block shots extremely well. Fresno State ranks number one in the country in block percentage, being led by Robinson who has 28 blocks this season.
Keys for Nevada
The Wolf Pack needs to go back to the drawing board on offense. Dating back to last year, Nevada has put too much pressure on their guards and seems unable to produce anything on offense when one of their stars has an off game. The only way Nevada can find success with their offense this season is to completely lock down teams on defense.
The Wolf Pack needs to tighten up on defense and have two seven-footers on the court at all times, in an effort to limit Robinson’s productivity. Will Baker needs to continue producing on offense in order to help lighten the load that is on the bakes on Sherfield and Cambridge Jr.
Keys for Fresno State
Fresno State needs to do the exact thing Wyoming did on Monday night. The Bulldogs need to do whatever they can to limit Nevada’s guards. Fresno State needs to play their game on defense, locking up shooters and protecting the paint. In addition to the strict defense, Holland needs to continue his high level of play. If Holland can give the Bulldogs a double-digit scoring night, then Fresno State will be tough to beat.
Until Nevada shows they can produce at an efficient rate on offense, the Wolf Pack will continue to be looked at as a mid-tier Mountain West squad. Fresno State’s defense will be too much to handle, forcing the Wolf Pack to struggle on offense. The Bulldogs come into Reno and beat the Wolf Pack, 72-67.