Breakdown: Fresno State at UNLV

Former Bulldog Kevin Olekaibe

Fresno State and UNLV meet for the second time this season. Bulldog Playbook breaks down how they match up in round two...

Fresno State (8-12, 1-6) vs. UNLV (12-7, 3-3)

Point Guard
#3 Cezar Guerrero (6-1, 190, So.) 13.9 ppg, 4.2 apg
#33 Deville Smith (6-0, 175, Jr.) 7.6 ppg, 2.8 apg

Cezar Guerrero had 16 points and 8 assists the last time these two teams played. He dominated his matchup against both of the Rebels' point guards, Deville Smith and Kendall Smith

Advantage: Fresno State

Shooting Guard
#1 Tyler Johnson (6-4, 186, Sr.) 15.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg
#3 Kevin Olekaibe (6-2, 180, Sr.) 9.9 ppg

The last time these two teams played was the last game before Tyler Johnson went on his recent tear. UNLV held him to just 5 points and he has since scored at least 16 points in his six games since. What did UNLV do to stop him? Johnson's health may have played a role coming of a leg injury but the Rebels' length undoubtedly disrupted his offense. UNLV's lengthy frontcourt had the athleticism to disrupt his midrange shot and close off drives to the rim.

Advantage: Fresno State

Small Forward
#23 Marvelle Harris (6-4, 212, So.) 15.5 ppg, 5.2 rpg
#13 Bryce Dejean-Jones (6-5, 210, Jr.) 14.7 ppg, 3.1 apg

Marvelle Harris has had an opposite effect in terms of his performance since playing UNLV. He has been far from matching his 25 point game versus the Rebels since that date. Bryce DeJean-Jones' shot hasn't been falling in has past few games but he always finds a way to get points on the board. He scored 24 on the Bulldogs in the last meeting

Advantage: UNLV

Power Forward
#22 Paul Watson (6-7 187 Fr) 10 ppg, 4.7 rpg
#1 Roscoe Smith (6-8, 215, Jr.) 12.1 ppg, 12.5 rpg

Roscoe Smith's rebounding numbers dropped slightly since the first meeting but he is still the nation's rebounding leader. Smith proved to be a difficult matchup for the Bulldogs, logging a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds.

Advantage: UNLV

Center
#4 Karachi Edo (6-6, 225, Fr.) 5.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg
#2 Khem Birch (6-9, 220, Jr.) 10.9 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 3.5 bpg

Roscoe Smith is the nation's top rebounder but Khem Birch was the one that gave the Bulldogs the most problems. Birch had 14 points, 17 rebounds and 4 blocks. No one in the Bulldogs' frontcourt could match up on either side of the ball

Advantage: UNLV

Benches

UNLV could send out eight or nine guys in Saturday's game but this team revolves primarily around four scorers in their starting lineup. Allen Huddleston will bring scoring off the bench for Fresno State and forward Alex Davis showed flashes in a 12 point performance on Wednesday.

Advantage: Fresno State

Coaches: Rodney Terry vs. Dave Rice

UNLV head coach Dave Rice got his first win over Rodney Terry earlier this month. Rice's team will need a very strong finish to the season to be considered for another postseason appearance.

Advantage: UNLV

Intangibles

Fresno State comes into Saturday's game with four consecutive losses. UNLV has gotten off to a 3-3 start in conference play. The Rebels should be feeling pretty good with this game at home after defeating the Bulldogs by double digits in Fresno.

Advantage: UNLV

Prediction

Tyler Johnson has a much better showing than he did against UNLV earlier this year, but it doesn't drastically change the results. UNLV wins this one by a few possessions.

UNLV 78, Fresno State 70


Discuss on the BulldogPlaybook.com message boards
Click HERE to subscribe to BulldogPlaybook.com. Subscribers gain access to insider-only content and information provided by the Bulldog Playbook staff and Scout.com's national writers.

Click here to like the BulldogPlaybook.com Facebook page

BarkBoard.com Recommended Stories


Up Next


Tweets