October 22, 2018 Currently: 75° | Complete forecast

Willis reminds me of another great UNLV guard

I thought Saturday's win against BYU was one of the better games I have seen a UNLV team play. It compared to some of the quality games my teams had over the years at the Thomas & Mack Center.

But I can't remember any of my teams shooting the ball as well as they did. They shot the 3s, they shot the 2s, they shot the lights out.

BYU always has trouble with UNLV's quickness and can't beat the Rebels at home. Six straight wins against BYU is pretty impressive.

UNLV has to be big favorites to win the Mountain West Conference tournament because they are playing at home. The Rebels are tough to beat in that building, especially with the fans showing this much support. Plus, UNLV shoots the ball better at home.

Tre'Von Willis is playing as well as any two-guard UNLV has had. He is probably the best player in the conference.

He compares with the players we had at the position, guys like Freddie Banks and Anderson Hunt. I'm telling you, he plays just as good as them.

I gave Banks the nickname 'Fearless Freddie' because he always hit the big shot. His shooting percentage wasn't as high as some of the other two-guards I had, but he was such a clutch shooter. You always felt good when he was taking a big shot.

But neither Banks or Hunt made it to the NBA. Shooting guards in the league are 6-foot-4 or 6-foot-5 and both of those guys were three or four inches too short.

Sam Smith, who was part of the 1977 Final Four team, was the best outside shooter I coached. We didn't have the 3-point line then, but all of his shots would have been well beyond the arc.

He was called 'Sudden' Sam Smith because he would come off the bench as our sixth man and make an immediate impact. That nickname just fit him perfect because he would come in and start making shots.

He was so good that when he missed a shot there was a buzz in the audience with comments of 'Oh my God, he missed.'

That's how I felt on Saturday when UNLV finally missed in the first half against BYU.

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