Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#241 Fresno State vs.
#240 Vanderbilt
Thursday, November 24, 2022 at 10:00pm EST
Written by Mark Ruelle

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In the consolation game on Thanksgiving night, the Fresno State Bulldogs will take on Vanderbilt. The Bulldogs fell to 1-4 on the season after dropping a 62-57 decision to Washington in the tournament opener on Wednesday night. Vanderbilt fell to 2-3 with a loss to the high-scoring Saint Mary’s Gaels in the nightcap. The opening tap for the consolation game is scheduled for 10:00pm EST.

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Bulldogs tamed

Fresno State got into a brick-laying contest with the Huskies to open the tourney. Fresno State shot just 37.7% from the floor, hitting 23-61 from the field. Meanwhile, the Huskies shot 37.9% as well while hitting just 22-58 shots. The Bulldogs actually out-rebounding the Huskies on the night 44-33 in a game that neither team seemingly wanted to win. Isaih Moore led Fresno State with a double-double, delivering 15 points and 13 rebounds.

Fresno State lived up to their shooting reputation in the opener. The Bulldogs have only hit on 41% of their shots overall coming into the tournament and lowered that number with their performance. The Bulldogs defense did their part and that will be the team’s best chance to escape the tournament with a win over Vanderbilt. On the season, the Bulldogs have a -6 average rebounding differential but did out-rebound Washington by 11 on Wednesday night. They have a chance to pull that off again against a weak-rebounding Vanderbilt team.

Vandy not Dandy

Vanderbilt fell to 2-3 on the season with a loss to St. Mary’s on Wednesday night. The Commodores were done in by the Gaels long-range shooting. In the first half, the Commodores did an outstanding job on the perimeter, holding the Gaels to just 1-of-4 from 3pt range but still found themselves down by eight at the half. Vanderbilt started out strong in the second half but was unable to withstand the relentless assault of Saint Mary’s. Senior guard Jordan Wright led Vanderbilt with 22 points in the loss.

Vanderbilt has struggled on the glass this season, with a -2.9 rebounding differential heading into the tournament. They have also struggled to protect the basketball with a -1.6 turnover differential heading into the Wooden event. They have also struggled on the interior, as shown by the excellent performance by Max Saxen of the Gaels’ in the paint.

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Fresno State and Vanderbilt are similar in their deficiencies this season. Both teams have struggled on the glass and neither team is particularly exceptional at protecting the basketball. Vanderbilt actually did a better job protecting the ball against St. Mary’s while Fresno State coughed up the ball 21 times against Washington. My pick here is Vanderbilt in what should be another low-scoring game. I like the Commodores' ability to be a bit more effective on the perimeter than Fresno State.

Take Vanderbilt.

Prediction: Vanderbilt -4.5

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Much like the Fresno State game against Washington, I expect this game to be a rebounding clinic off a fair number of misses by both teams. Neither team shoots it at a high level and both teams have done well on the defensive end thus far. Fresno State ranks 3121st in Adjusted Tempo according to KenPom, so they want to make this a half-court affair.

Take the under.

Prediction: Under
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Written By Mark Ruelle , "Mark Ruelle"

Mark has been a sports fanatic since childhood. He is also an avid follower of sports analytics and has used it in his own betting analysis for over two decades. Now we have Mark on our team here at Stat Salt. He holds degrees in marketing, broadcasting, and English and uses this vast array of assets to dissect and analyze game matchups. Mark will provide you with a wide variety of statistics to consider and a strong opinion in each matchup that he covers. Please follow him daily for an up-to-the-minute analysis of all the important games.