Oskeim Sports - Nicholls State vs Utah Valley

OSKEIM'S SOCAL CHALLENGE GAME OF THE YEAR

Handicapper
Oskeim Sports
League
NCAAB
Competition
Nicholls State vs Utah Valley
Time
11/24/2021 05:30 PM
Bet Type
Point Spread
Pick
Nicholls State +2.5 (-110) (DraftKings)
Outcome
Loss
Analysis
Nicholls head coach Austin Claunch was named Southland Coach of the Year after leading the Colonels to an 18-7 record last season, including a 14-2 mark in conference play.  Claunch, the youngest head coach in Division I basketball at 31-years-old, had success despite returning only 34% of the team's scoring from the prior year's 21-win squad (2019-20).  Nicholls welcomes back just three starters but if there is a coach who knows how to manage a roster and develop chemistry within the locker room, it's Claunch.  The task of developing chemistry amongst the players started over the summer in Puerto Rico, where Claunch took his team to play several exhibition games.  Super senior guard Ty Gordon was named Southland Newcomer Player of the Year last season after transferring from Troy.  Gordon currently leads the Colonels in scoring (18.5 ppg, 56.0% FG%) and assists (2.5 apg) and is joined in the backcourt by super senior transfer DeVante Carter.  Carter was instrumental in helping Norfolk State reach the NCAA tournament last season and is third on the team in scoring (8.7 ppg).   Junior transfer Lattrell Jones (Portland) has made an immediate impact; he's second in scoring with 10.8 points per game on 50.0% shooting from the field.  Nicholls' deep and talented backcourt is further anchored by second-year freshman Pierce Spencer, who averaged double-digits in minutes last season and is one of the best rebounders on the team (5.7 rpg).  The Colonels also possess an excellent frontcourt led by super senior Ryghe Lyons, who started all 25 games last season and finished second in the conference in blocked shots.   Claunch improved Nicholls' frontcourt by bringing in transfers Emmanuel Little, a super senior and prolific, and Manny Littles (North Alabama), a junior who led the Atlantic Sun Conference in rebounding the last two seasons.  Nicholls has played excellent defense this season, allowing just 63.0 points per game on 39.1% shooting from the field (79th nationally) and 29.7% from beyond the arc (95th).  The Colonels are also ranked 12th in the country in steals (11.8 per game) and 20th in turnover margin (6.8).   Finally, my math model only favors Utah Valley by 0.29 points in this game, a virtual toss-up.  Grab the points with Nicholls State and invest with confidence. 

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