UNLV vs. San Jose State Game Preview

UNLV vs. San Jose State Game Preview

Mountain West Basketball

UNLV vs. San Jose State Game Preview

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UNLV hosts SJSU



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Second matchup between the two teams this week.

Two meetings in one week between conference foes aren’t overly common, but San Jose State meets UNLV again. The first meeting didn’t fare in the way of the Spartans, losing by 35 points at home. Let’s get into Round two, where a struggling Spartans squad faces a UNLV team fresh off losing to Air Force.

Can SJSU bounce back?

The issue hasn’t come offensively, rather coming on the defensive side of the floor, allowing their last four opponents to score 75+ points. Unless you’re elite on offense, you won’t win many games giving up that many points. On Wednesday, the Spartans looked to find momentum in their narrow loss in Laramie, keeping the Cowboys within arms reach mid-way through the second frame. The Cowboys didn’t have All-Conference star Graham Ike and sharpshooter Xavier DuSell — but they played tough for 30 minutes. 

Freshman guard M.J. Amey was the lone Spartan to score double-digit points in the loss to UNLV earlier in the week — scoring a career-high 23 points. If San Jose State competes, get more offensive production from several players, including Omari Moore and Trey Anderson. The 6-foot-6 lead guard only scored four points in 33 minutes the other day, despite averaging over 13 points.

Can UNLV bounce back?

Once again, the scoring production from Bryce Hamilton and Donovan Williams kept the Runnin Rebels competitive but couldn’t secure the road victory over Air Force. The two combined for 51 of the teams 62 points; finding other outlets of scoring production is vital UNLV. To sneak past San Jose State, they could probably be fine using the two, but they’ll need scoring from other players for future games.

Key players:

Royce Hamm Jr – UNLV: The Spartans allow 52 percent of the opposing teams’ shots inside the arc to score. While not a go-to scorer, Hamm could thrive against the questionable frontcourt defense of San Jose State. Finding Hamm with good post-positioning could go a long way to winning the second game over SJSU in five days. 

Alvaro Cardenas Torre – San Jose State: For teams to pull off upset victories, having one guy doubling his season-scoring output usually helps the cause. Freshman guard Alvaro Cardenas Torre fits the billing to post big numbers if San Jose State stays close. An elite perimeter threat is Cardenas Torre, shooting 39.1 percent from deep on 46 attempts this season. 

Prediction:

UNLV 84

San Jose State 62

I can’t see the Spartans staying particularly close based on the result from Monday. UNLV has two reliable scoring options.


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