UNLV’s Jovan Mooring comes off a 2-for-14 shooting performance Saturday against Boise State, which means he’s likely to come back stronger. The last time he failed to score in double figures, Mooring responded by piecing together five double-digit games in a row, including at least 25 points twice. Combined with Jordan Johnson (15.0 points, 6.5 assists) and Kris Clyburn (8.4 points), the Rebels present a much more effective set of guards than San Jose State.
With Brandon Clarke having departed for Gonzaga, Ryan Welage has stepped up to become the Spartans’ best player, averaging 18.2 points and 4.5 rebounds. Teammate Keith Fisher III averages 7.9 points and 6.5 rebounds. UNLV’s interior defense comes off two poor performances in a row, but this is still an inside game of Brandon McCoy (18.7 points, 10.9 rebounds) and Shakur Juiston (15.9, 10.7) that will be difficult for San Jose State to handle.
The Rebels might not have Cheickna Dembele (concussion) and will not have Anthony Smith (ankle), greatly weakening their depth inside. San Jose State is far from deep, either, and this category is close to a push. But the Spartans don’t bring a player off the bench the quality of UNLV point guard Amauri Hardy (5.4 points).
There will be little to no atmosphere inside the 5,000-seat Event Center, and UNLV still needs to show its recent troubles with interior defense are temporary and nothing something that will linger.
Edge: San Jose State
UNLV -13½; total 149½