Wednesday, June 30, 2010

UNLV's Tre'Von Willis arrested

UNLV was supposed to be loaded next season.

Of the 11 players that were in the Rebel's rotation last season, nine were coming back, including their top eight scorers. Even with BYU and San Diego State returning talented rosters, most expected Lon Kruger's team to compete for an MWC title.

Now, that prospect is looking quite a bit more challenging.

It started in late April when Matt Shaw, the fourth leading scorer on UNLV, was kicked off the team for testing positive for marijuana. A 6'8" jump shooter, Shaw's ability to spread the floor will be missed, but UNLV would have been able to withstand the loss.

A loss they can't withstand is Tre'Von Willis, a 22 year old rising senior and former Memphis transfer.

Tre'Von Willis was arrested on Tuesday morning.
(photo credit: Las Vegas Sun)

Willis was a first team MWC performer after averaging 17.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg, and 3.6 apg last season, but it is tough to imagine that he will be allowed to play next season. Willis was arrested Tuesday morning at his Henderson, NV, apartment after allegedly choking his 28 year old girlfriend. He was charged with felony counts of domestic battery by strangulation and grand larceny, as well as one misdemeanor count of coercion.

"We don't know what happened yet," UNLV coach Lon Kruger said. "We're always looking for our guys to represent each other and their families and our athletic department well. That's a priority for us that will never change."

He's right. We don't know what happened here, and is the Duke lacrosse case taught us anything, it is that we cannot jump to conclusions without due process. Willis deserves to have his side of the story heard as well.

But if the allegations against Willis are true, its tough to imagine him being allowed to return to the UNLV basketball team. It is conceivable that he could face some jailtime as well.

Without Willis, UNLV will be losing their best player and will head into next season without a true go-to scorer. While there is still talent on that roster, its tough to see the Rebels living up to a top 25 billing and competing for a MWV title.

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