Forget Michael Carter-Williams. The best player at the Wells Fargo Center this year might be Villanova junior guard Darrun Hilliard.
A week after setting a career-high with 26 points in a 73-56 rout of Marquette at the Sixers’ home arena, Hilliard was all over the Wells Fargo court again, filling out the box score with team highs in points (19), assists (five) and steals (three) as the Wildcats hammered Georgetown 77-59 on Saturday.
Through four games at the Wells Fargo Center this season, Hilliard is averaging 18.2 points on a ridiculous 63 percent shooting and an equally ridiculous 57 percent shooting from 3-point range.
He also hit a career high in the building last season when the Wildcats rode his 25-point, seven-rebound, six-assist, zero-turnover game to a 75-71 upset of then-No. 3 Syracuse.
That win over ’Cuse prompted the second court-storming of the week at the Wells Fargo Center – something that's almost hard to imagine at this point because the Wildcats are now the big favorites pretty much every game.
Ranked sixth in the country, Villanova heads into this week’s Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden with a legitimate chance at earning a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
The strong play of Hilliard has been one reason for the ’Cats big turnaround. Just as important, it led to this quality exchange between Fox Sports 1 announcers Gus Johnson and Bob Wenzel during Saturday’s game.
WENZEL: Darrun Hilliard, Gus, is turning into my favorite player. Drive with the right! His off hand! Full court! Steals! Layup shooting! Seventeen points for this young man! And he’s from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania!
GUS JOHNSON: That’s right! Bethlehem Steel!
BOB WENZEL: I’m telling you – he’s steely-eyed right there, man.
Let’s just say Hilliard’s transitions were better than Wenzel’s.