A pair of top flight west coast mid-major team take the floor on Thursday in Glendale Arizona as the Grand Canyon Antelopes and San Francisco Dons clash in the Arizona Tip-Off tournament.
Grand Canyon Antelopes (-3.5, 142.5) vs. San Francisco Dons
While San Francisco comes in with a loss, it came on the road against a Boise State team that was a seven-seed in the 2023 NCAA Tournament by a score of 63-58 and enter Friday’s game having already played a tough opponent away from home.
While Grand Canyon enters Friday with a 2-0 record and ranked 22nd in the country in points allowed on a per possession basis, their two games this season were played at home against Northern Arizona and Southeast Missouri State.
Both teams have been strong on the boards this season with neither team allowing more than 18.6% of missed shots to result in an offensive rebound for their opponent with the addition of 6-foot-8 forwards Jonathan Mogbo from Missed State and Mike Sharavjamts from Dayton fortifying this team’s overall rebounding.
When it comes to the offensive part of the game, San Francisco will look to exploit a Grand Canyon defense that has shown vulnerability guarding the outside shot with opponents making 41% of their 3-point attempts against Grand Canyon this season.
The added size in the post has also resulted in the Dons being more efficient inside the arc with the team entering Thursday 18th in the nation in 2-point shooting percentage while Grand Canyon ranks 20th as well.
The biggest issue plaguing San Francisco the past two season has been ball security with the team entering Thursday 340th in turnovers per offensive play this season after ranking 286th in this category a season ago.
With Grand Canyon coming off a 2022-23 season in which they were 343rd in America in turnovers forced per possession, that will allow San Francisco to execute on offense and open the Arizona Tip-Off tournament with a win.
The Play: San Francisco +3.5