The Fresno State Bulldogs return home to the friendly confines of the
The Bulldogs coming in:
The Bulldogs come in on a four game win streak and they are playing much better basketball on the defensive end of the floor of late and seem to have come together as a unit. In the last outing in
The ‘Dogs played inspired Basketball on the defensive end which helped the lead for the games first 36 minutes and allowed them to hold off the late-charging Aggies. The Bulldogs had four players in double figures led by forward Dominic McGuire and guard Eddie Miller with 15. Kevin Bell distributed well and finished with 10 assists.
Guard Tyson Parker is out for the season with a broken arm, he suffered the injury in the victory over Louisiana Tech. His loss further depletes and already thin roster for the Bulldogs. Walk-on senior guard Ajay Riding will get an opportunity to shine in his final games of his career.
If Riding can play 10 minutes a game to spell both Eddie Miller and Kevin Bell, it will be a big boost because at this point
Look for Riding to seize the moment and perform admirably, he has been a great teammate and tireless worker without much playing time at
The Broncos enter Thursdays contest after a 95-81 home loss to WAC-leading
The issue for the Broncos was not the ability to score the basketball at a high rate or be efficient, the problem was they could not stop the Wolfpack. Not many teams have been able to slow the Pack down this year to the Broncos defense.
The Bronco average 76 points per game, shoot 47% from the field and 35% from three point range. They do have issues with ball security, they average 15.5 turnovers per game. Although they average 76 points per game, the Broncos are apt to give up points in bunches and will give up extended runs.
What to expect:
Look for the Bulldogs to be inspired as they return home to the SMC after a stellar road trip. If they cannot get motivated Thursday on Senior night I do not know what they can get up for. They have an outside chance of winning their final two WAC games and ending up in 2nd place.
If they continue to play and perform on the defensive end as they have recently, they should be successful and put themselves in a position to win. They also have the revenge factor with the Broncos due to the loss in
The Broncos will come in upset minded and play loose, they have the weapons to score the ball and keep up with the Bulldogs, but will they be able to be consistent or overcome the defense they face?
The Bulldogs are on a roll but the last thing they need to let the 4 game winning streak due is give them a false sense of confidence. They need to continue to fight and scratch for every rebound and loose ball. Every victory from here on out will be due to effort and being able to overcome major adversity and grin it out.
Hopefully coach Steve Cleveland can insert senior guard Ajay Riding into the game and get him 10-12 minutes. They are going to need a contribution from him to succeed down the stretch in my opinion. Riding needs to spell Kevin Bell and Eddie Miller and provide solid defense and good decision making.
The keys to this game aren’t changing and are simple:
-Keep the Broncos off the offensive glass
-Continue to give the effort defensively and on the glass
-Control pace on the offensive end and show patience
-Attack the rim and finish
-Shoot at a higher percentage cause 35% from the field isn’t cutting it.
That being said, the Bulldogs win Thursday by 7 and keep the Broncos at arms length the entire way.