I love talking trash as much as the next guy. A well-placed jab at your opponent is always fun, and can even affect him mentally. Unfortunately, sometimes it affects them positively and they really go off on you.
Such was the case last night when BYU traveled to Las Vegas to play UNLV.
Both of these teams have been at the top of the Mountain West Conference for quite some time now. Both teams have had their wins and losses against each other over the years, but BYU has always seemed to struggle more when the game takes place at the Thomas and Mack.
Blame the crowd, the refs, whoever you want, but for whatever reason BYU just has not played well there in the Dave Rose era. Maybe that is what got Tre'Von Willis talking leading up to Wednesday night's game.
In UNLV's Willis and BYU's Jimmer Fredette you have two of the best players in the conference, and also two of its fiercest competitors.
Both were on the preseason All-MWC team, and Fredette was selected as the player of the year. This led to Willis talking a little earlier this week to the Las Vegas Sun.
He started with, "They've got a preseason All-American and supposedly the best player in the conference on the other team, so that's gonna be nothing but fun."
Based on the past it was not unreasonable for him to feel this way. He then followed with:
"I take wonderful pride in my defense with whoever I'm guarding, not just him."
Again not something too surprising and well within the realm of good quality trash talk, but then came the kicker:
"I try to make him earn everything he gets. Like I said, he's got all of those accolades, but he's gotta come in and prove it."
And prove it he did.
BYU was down by 10 early but Jimmer put up 13 points to give BYU the lead at the half, and it only got better from there.
Jimmer finished the night with 39 points, the third-highest total of his career. He also threw in six rebounds, five assists and a steal for good measure in leading his team to a 15-1 record and their well deserved No. 14 ranking.
In short, Tre'Von, he came into your house and proved it.
Or in the words of Gary Coleman, "what you talkin 'bout Willis?"