Sunday, February 07, 2010

Willis Hits Career-High 33 as UNLV Bombs BYU

College Hoops Player of the Day for DAY, Month, 2010

Tre'Von Willis, a transfer from Memphis who sat out the 2007-08 season, scored a career-high 33 points as the UNLV Runnin' Rebels smacked down BYU, 88-74, putting the Mountain West conference up for grabs. The Rebels, BYU and New Mexico each hold a share of the lead at 7-2, though UNLV holds a slight edge with a win and a loss to BYU, and a win over New Mexico, who beat San Diego St. on Saturday, 88-86, in OT.

Willis, a junior guard, knocked down 11 of 20 shots, including 4 of 7 from three-point range. He also converted 7 of 9 free throws, adding 5 rebounds and 8 assists. willis leads the Rebels with 18 points per game and also is 85% accurate from the foul line, a valuable commodity come crunch time. The Rebels took control of the game in the early moments, establishing a 56-34 half time lead, and coasted to an impressive win.

Notable: 23 of the Top 25 teams in the nation were in action on Saturday, and in the 22 games which didn't include two Top 25 teams, there were 14 winners and 8 losers. The only game involving two Top 25 teams was in the Big East, where #7 Georgetown shot the lights out, thumping #2 Villanova, 103-90.

These results indicate that no team or rating in the Top 25 is sacrosanct, that on a given day, almost any team can be beaten, either by an unranked conference opponent or a lower-ranked team. How that will shape things coming into March remains to be seen, though Villanova's loss surely puts a #1 tournament seeding in jeopardy. Another team suffering free-fall is Texas, which lost for the 4th time in two weeks, immediately following their #1 national ranking. The Longhorns were nearly run off the court in the first half of an 80-71 loss at Oklahoma.

Continuing to be noticeably absent, the PAC-10 still doesn't have a single team in the Top 25.

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