Colorado Buffaloes to Stampede Visiting San Diego

Rainman M.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 3:26 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017 3:26 PM UTC

Pac-12 school Colorado (7-2) hosts San Diego (7-2) of the West Coast Conference on Tuesday at 8 ET. The Buffaloes are favored by 6.5 to extend their home record to 5-0.

Free NCAAB Pick: Colorado -6.5Best Line Offered: Heritage

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San Diego Toreros at Colorado Buffaloes

The Toreros return 6 of their 7 leading scorers. Utah transfer Isaiah Wright gives San Diego a true point guard. The former Ute reserve is the team's most versatile playmaker. He ranks 17th in assist rate, although he is vulnerable to allowing turnovers, averaging 3.7 per game. He is second on the team with a 38.9% three-point percentage.

Thanks to Wright, Olin Carter can play his natural shooting guard position. Carter mainly trusts his three-point shot: he has attempted almost twice as many threes as his teammates. But he has yet to find his stroke, averaging only 32.9%. Cameron Neubauer is San Diego's other respectable three-point shooter. He leads the team with 39.5% from three.

Power forward Isaiah Pineiro is San Diego's top shot-taker and is involved in the Toreros' highest percentage of possessions. Pineiro ranks 56th with 7.1 free throws drawn per 40 minutes and leads the team with 77.8 free-throw percentage. Center Yauhen Massalski, at 6-foot-10, 227 pounds, is San Diego's largest player and most important rim protector. He leads the team with 1.3 blocks per game.

Colorado has a new look with 4 starters having departed from last year, including superstar Derrick White, along with 2 role players. Five-star point guard McKinley Wright is the centerpiece of Colorado's future. The freshman is an effective shooter with a 57.1 effective field goal percentage (that is like field goal percentage but doubly emphasizes three-pointers). He ranks 155th in assist rate with his ball-handling and playmaking abilities. He leads the team with 32.6 minutes and 15.7 points per game.

Dominique Collier, since transitioning to shooting guard, has yet to even approach his former level of productivity. He is competing with Deleon Brown for the position. Forward Namon Wright ranks 209th with 5.7 free throws drawn per 40 minutes and shoots 79.5% from the free-throw line. Power forward George King, like Wright, gives Colorado scoring ability inside. King is also an avid rebounder, ranking in the top 150 in offensive and defensive rebounding percentage. King and Wright need to accentuate their rim ability to help out those competing to replace injured center Tory Miller-Stewart.

The Verdict

San Diego is a guard-heavy, jump-shooting team with relatively minimal rim presence. They rank 24th-highest in three-pointers attempted per field goals attempted, but 307th in offensive rebounding percentage. The Toreros will get their chances to shoot against Colorado, which defends the perimeter poorly, ranking 234th in three-pointers allowed per field goals allowed. But the Toreros don't have anybody averaging 40% or better from three and their top shot-taker, Carter, is still struggling.

The key for Colorado on our NCAA basketball picks will be to exploit San Diego at the rim. San Diego ranks 335th in opposing free throws allowed. So expect the likes of Wright and King to make a lot of free throws. San Diego allows the 83rd highest point distribution from inside the arc. Wright will play a big role in driving to the basket.

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