Around the Rim: Nevada at Fresno St. Preview

Around the Rim: Nevada at Fresno St. Preview

Just over a week from their last game, the Nevada Wolf Pack take to the road to face the Fresno State Bulldogs who come off back to back depleting losses to conference powers San Diego State and New Mexico.


Senior Guard Tyler Johnson
There are players that come into a program every so often who improve each and every year and their stats reflect such improvement.  Johnson is exactly that player.  His scoring and rebounding have both drastically improved during his four years with the program and his assist numbers have slightly improved. Starting his freshman year with averages of 4.4 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game, Johnson, in his final year is now averaging 15.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game. All three of those averages rank him in the top two of each category for his team. He is the team's do everything guy and has been on fire in the last five conference games, averaging 21.6 points a game. Because of those numbers, senior Jerry Evans Jr. will likely start on Johnson.

Junior Forward Alex Davis
A starter for 13 of the teams 18 games, Davis will be key for the Bulldogs on defense and on the glass. Davis will be in the middle of the Bulldog's zone defense and will need to contain the drives of the Wolf Pack guards and force Nevada to become a jump shooting team. Furthermore, if Davis, along with the other Bulldog bigs, is not effective on the defensive glass, expect A.J. West to have a field day on the offense boards. Fresno State is one of the nations worst rebounding teams, and if Nevada can expose that weakness, the Bulldogs will struggle. Davis, only 4.2 rebounds per game this year, will need to approach double digits for the home team to have a chance to win.

Senior Guard Jerry Evans Jr.
"Jerry! Jerry! Jerry," is often shouted at home games by the band when the senior makes a big shot. For the senior, he has not heard this as much, as he is on a cold streak as of late, only shooting 16% from three in the last six games. Evans is not a bad shooter and whenever he does take an open shot, Nevada fans should be confident that the shot is going in. Despite the cold streak the senior is still shooting 33% from deep and a good performance from Evans on Wednesday is critical. Fresno State likes to play a zone defense, which often gives teams the ability to hit the long ball. For the Wolf Pack four of five starters can make a three pointer, and if Evans is hitting his shots, it really opens up the floor for other teammates such as Cole Huff or Michael Perez. For Nevada to win on the road, Evans will likely need to score 12+ points and shoot 40% or higher from beyond the arc.

Prediction
Nevada 67 Fresno State 56

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