UNLV courts former prep star

A shooting star in high school, TreVon Willis considered his college options and picked Memphis over UNLV. Now he’s giving his second choice a second look.

Willis was a bench warmer in his freshman year for the Tigers and has decided to transfer. The 6-foot-4-inch shooting guard said the Rebels have a good opportunity to get him.

"UNLV is real strong right now," said Willis, who arrived in Las Vegas on Wednesday for a campus visit. "I’m not ready to make an official announcement."

He said his decision could come next week.

Willis averaged 23.4 points per game as a senior at Washington Union High School in Fresno, and his 2,842 career points were the fifth most in California prep history.

But he barely played for a Memphis team that finished 33-4. He saw action in only 17 games and averaged 2.6 points.

"The main reason I left Memphis was I wanted to come back to the West Coast," said Willis, who must sit out next season and would have three years of eligibility remaining.

Willis said he is feeling pressure to stay home and attend Fresno State. His half-brother, Dwight O’Neil, plays for the Bulldogs.

He said he also will look at Hawaii and San Diego State.

If Willis chooses UNLV, he would get one of two scholarships for the 2008-09 recruiting class. Corey Bailey and Curtis Terry will be the Rebels’ seniors next season.

Last summer, forward Lamar Roberson transferred to UNLV from Houston and figures to be a starter next season as a sophomore.

The Rebels lose five seniors but welcome six newcomers, including redshirt freshman guard Troy Cage. Roberson and Cage practiced with the team while sitting out last season.

The incoming recruiting class comprises 7-foot Beas Hamga of Decatur Christian (Ill.) High, 6-10 Emmanuel Adeife of Polk Community College in Winter Haven, Fla., 6-3 shooting guard Mareceo Rutledge of Yuba College in Marysville, Calif., and 6-4 guard Kendall Wallace from Mountain View High in Mesa, Ariz.

Willis said he knows three UNLV players — junior Wink Adams and sophomores Marcus Lawrence and Matt Shaw — and was impressed by the team’s 30-7 record and run to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16.

"I’m really liking the program and what they’re about right now," he said. "I can adjust really well to the whole system."

As a prep senior, Willis was ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 12 player in California and the No. 37 shooting guard in the nation.

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