Monday, January 16, 2012

MaaLiK Wayns Day

In Cincinnati on Saturday, Villanova junior Maalik Wayns had one of the most dominant all-around performances of any player all season long. He scored a game-high 39 points on 12-22 from the field, 6-13 from beyond the arc and 9-10 from the foul line, while also hauling in 13 rebounds and dishing out 6 assists. He was in a zone and working his ass off, only to watch his struggling Wildcats drop to 8-10 on the season with a heartbreaking 82-78 loss.

You really have to feel for Wayns, the 6'2 Roman Catholic grad who is busting his ass night in and night out only to get little to no help from his teammates. It's certainly true that Maalik has struggled with his shooting this year, but part of that is because he's forced to take so many shots because none of his teammates can get buckets. It's led to a disastrous season for Villanova, and some porous shooting percentages for Wayns.

That doesn't and shouldn't take away from his effort, however. Wayns is leading Nova with points (17.8 ppg), assists (4.7), steals (1.0), minutes (33.7) and free-throw percentage (89.0), and is third in rebounding (4.2). He's doing damn near all he can with a young Villanova squad that lacks any other scoring punch, and he deserves some recognition for that, especially after his insane performance on Saturday.

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