May 29, 2008
QUEENS, N.Y. -
St. John's University is proud to announce its All-Century Team, comprised of 50 legends from the men's basketball program's first 100 years on the hardwood.
Members of the famed "Wonder Five" highlight the selections from "The Early Years," standing out during the dawn of St. John's extremely successful fledgling program (1907-08 to 1939-40). Matty Begovich, Jack "Rip" Gerson, Mac Kinsbrunner, Max Posnack and Allie Schuckman compiled a 44-2 record under revolutionary young coach James "Buck" Freeman between the 1929-30 and 1930-31 seasons.
With Hall of Fame coaches Joe Lapchick and Lou Carnesecca at the helm during the "Classic Times" of St. John's Basketball (1940-41 to 1972-73), fans from New York City and around the nation witnessed the rise of stars such as Harry Boykoff and Hy Gotkin, whose big-man, little-man combination led the Redmen to the first of many NIT titles. Dick McGuire, Bob Zawoluk, Alan Seiden, Tony Jackson and Lloyd "Sonny" Dove all authored prolific careers during that era, as did St. John's first African-American player, Solly Walker.
Carnesecca guided St. John's into "The Modern Era" (1973-74 to 2006-07) and the program's success continued, with 1970s standouts Frank Alagia and George Johnson eventually giving way to the superstars of the 1980s, including BIG EAST titlewinners and Final Four participants Chris Mullin, Walter Berry, Mark Jackson and Bill Wennington. Jayson Williams and Malik Sealy closed out the late `80s with a NIT title and opened the 1990s for Felipe Lopez, Zendon Hamilton, Ron Artest and a 2000 BIG EAST championship team that included Anthony Glover, Lavor Postell, Marvis "Bootsy" Thornton and Erick Barkley. Marcus Hatten, who scored 1,400 points in only two seasons, made a significant impact in the early 2000s.
One of the storied programs in the history of men's collegiate basketball, St. John's completed 100 seasons as the seventh all-time winningest program in the NCAA Division I record book with 1,659 wins and 831 losses. The school's .666 winning percentage ranks ninth all-time in NCAA history, while St. John's 26 all-time NCAA Tournament appearances ties for 13th. The program's 26 NIT appearances and five titles are also unprecedented. Helms Foundation national champions following the 1910-11 season, St. John's appeared in NCAA Final Fours in 1952 and 1985. The program boasts 11 consensus All-Americans, 59 NBA Draft choices and 43 players that have scored 1,000 career points or more.
St. John's All-Century Team will be honored at the 100 Years of St. John's Basketball Banquet, which will be held on Tuesday, June 10 at the New York Athletic Club in Manhattan. The year-long celebration of St. John's University's basketball centennial will come to a close at the event honoring a century of success on the hardwood. For information or to purchase tickets for the banquet, please contact Jaclyn Lent, Office of Advancement Events, at 718-990-6816 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"The Early Years" - 1907-08 to 1939-40
Matty Begovich, 1929-31
A freshman starter for the Wonder Five in 1929-30 as the man in the pivot, Begovich helped St. John's to a 44-2 record across his two seasons. Begovich's skills allowed head coach Buck Freeman's revolutionary offensive style to come into existence, which emphasized constant ball-movement and the ability to run set plays through the pivot position.
Jack "Dutch" Garfinkel, 1938-41
A creative playmaker credited by some for the creation of the no-look pass, Garfinkel averaged 5.9 points per game under coach Joe Lapchick and led St. John's in assists before assists became an official statistic. His unselfish play and mastery of the bounce pass were instrumental in helping his teams to NIT appearances in 1939 and 1940.
Jack "Rip" Gerson, 1927-31
The Wonder Five's defensive specialist for four seasons, Gerson's play was critical to Buck Freeman's scheme on that end of the floor, where St. John's was able to hold opponents to long scoring droughts by playing tight defense and "keep away" on offense. Gerson was part of Freeman's three-man freshman class that would come to be known as the greatest team in the early years of collegiate basketball.
Mac Kinsbrunner, 1927-31
A four-year Wonder Five member under coach Buck Freeman, Kinsbrunner was the squad's best ballhandler and playmaker. His dribbling ability and skills as a set-up man helped St. John's to a new level of success, as the team attracted such large crowds it outgrew smaller venues and began play in Madison Square Garden.
Bill McKeever, 1937-40
A great passer and defender for St. John's and head coach Joe Lapchick, McKeever helped his team to a 48-13 record and two NIT appearances in three years on the varsity squad. A complete athlete, he scored 51 field goals and averaged 7.1 points per game during the 1937-40 season.
Max Posnack, 1927-31
Recognized as the most outstanding player of his time, Posnack was a four-year Wonder Five member and the team's leader as a two-year captain. A passing specialist, Posnack led his team to a four-year win-loss total of 85-8, cementing the St. John's squad's legacy among the best the world had ever seen up to that time.
Allie Schuckman, 1928-31
The fifth component of Buck Freeman's Wonder Five, Schuckman was known as "the shooter" from the moment he hit the hardwood. His ability to connect from distance enabled St. John's to spread the floor in Freeman's offense, enabling the constant ball-movement that changed the game forever.
"Classic Times" - 1940-41 to 1972-73
Gus Alfieri, 1956-59
Combining with Alan Seiden to form one of the most successful backcourts in St. John's history, Alfieri was the Redmen's top ballhandler and playmaker for three seasons under Joe Lapchick. He averaged 12.3 points per game as a senior, helping St. John's to the 1959 NIT title.
Harry Boykoff, 1942-43, 1945-47
St. John's first true big man at 6-9, Boykoff guided the Redmen to the first NIT title in school history in 1943. After serving in the military during World War II, he returned and became the first St. John's player to score more than 1,000 career points. He owns the second and third greatest scoring games in school history, with 54 points vs. St. Francis on March 11, 1947, and 45 points vs. St. Joseph's on Feb. 8, 1943, both coming at Madison Square Garden.
Mel Davis, 1970-72
One of the all-time great scorers (1,130 points, 34th) and rebounders (845, seventh) in school history, Davis made his mark in only two seasons, averaging 20.9 points per game and 15.6 rebounds for his career. He grabbed 26 rebounds in a game against Seton Hall in 1971, which still stands as a Carnesecca Arena record.
Joe DePre, 1967-70
The final captain during Lou Carnesecca's first stint at St. John's, DePre ranks 25th all-time with 1,272 career points, and averaged 16.5 points per game during his senior season. His squad made the NIT title game in 1970 after a NCAA regional appearance in 1969 and a first round berth in 1968.
Lloyd "Sonny" Dove, 1964-67
One of only two players in St. John's history with more than 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds, Dove starred in the late 1960s, first under Joe Lapchick and then Lou Carnesecca. Dove currently ranks 10th all-time in St. John's history with 1,576 career points and is second all-time with 1,036 boards.
LeRoy Ellis, 1959-62
One of the greatest rebounders in school history, the wiry Ellis still ranks fifth all-time with 927 boards, and holds the single-season mark (16.5 in 1961-62) and single-game record (30 vs. NYU, 1961) as well. Playing for Joe Lapchick and most of his career alongside Tony Jackson, Ellis is also listed 24th on St. John's all-time scoring chart with 1,289 career points.
Hy Gotkin, 1942-45
A diminutive guard, Gotkin was the only St. John's player to be a part of both the 1943 and 1944 NIT championship teams. A playmaker and scorer alongside Harry Boykoff, Gotkin averaged a solid 8.4 points per game across his three-year career.
Jerry Houston, 1962-65
Joe Lapchick's last captain, Houston teamed with the McIntyre brothers and Lloyd "Sonny" Dove to send their Hall of Fame coach off as a champion in the 1965 NIT Tournament. Two of Houston's five points in the title game vs. Villanova came on the free throw line with seven seconds to play, helping St. John's hang on for a 55-51 victory. The New York Daily News headline summed up the sentiment the next morning with the headline, "What A Way To Go."
Tony Jackson, 1958-61
Arguably the most talented player in school history, Jackson, a two-time consensus All-American, is listed ninth among St. John's all-time scoring leaders with 1,603 points. He is also third on the all-time rebounding list with 991 career boards. Jackson was named the MVP of both the ECAC Holiday Festival and the Postseason NIT during his first season on the varsity team, 1958-59. His 21.1 points per game scoring average is second all-time in school history.
Andrew "Fuzzy" Levane, 1940-43
Averaging 8.3 points per game during his senior season, Levane was a key contributor and playmaker on St. John's 1943 NIT championship team. He was the Haggerty Award winner as New York City's finest, and went on to play and coach during a professional basketball career that spanned 65 years.
Kevin Loughery, 1960-62
A star for Joe Lapchick in the early 1960s, he teamed with Tony Jackson and LeRoy Ellis to help St. John's combine for a 41-10 record across his two seasons. He averaged 13.1 points per game during those years, before going on to great success as a NBA coach and broadcaster.
Al McGuire, 1948-51
One of the most enduring and recognizable figures in the sport of basketball, McGuire averaged 8.1 points per game for his career and was known as a defensive stopper. He went on to guide Marquette to the NCAA title as a coach in 1977, and continued later with a successful career in broadcasting. He was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992.
Dick McGuire, 1943-44, 1946-49
A standout during the 1940s and a member of the 1944 NIT Championship team, McGuire will always be remembered for his playmaking abilities, court sense and ball-handling skills. McGuire was a two-time Haggerty Award winner, before and after serving in the military, signifying his presence as New York City's most outstanding collegiate player. McGuire was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.
Bob McIntyre, 1963-66
The younger of the McIntyre brothers, his three-year playing career included three NIT appearances, the most famous of which sent Joe Lapchick off in fine fashion in 1965. During the four-game postseason run, McIntyre averaged 15.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per contest. He stands 20th on the St. John's scoring list (1,349 points) and ranks 22nd on the all-time rebounding chart (665 boards).
Ken McIntyre, 1962-65
A consistent scorer and free throw shooter for the Redmen, the older of the McIntyre brothers was the 1965 NIT Tournament Most Valuable player, scoring a team-high 18 points in Joe Lapchick's final game and averaging 25.2 points per game in the postseason. His 87.8 percent free throw shooting effort as a senior in 1964-65 is third all-time in school history, as is his 81.9 career free throw percentage.
Jack McMahon, 1949-52
A standout defender and the first guard in St. John's history to score more than 1,000 career points, McMahon keyed Frank McGuire's Redmen to their 1952 NCAA title game appearance as a senior. His floor leadership and trademark two-handed set shot earned him All-America honors and an accomplished pro career.
Billy Paultz, 1968-70
Known as "The Whopper," 6-10 big man Paultz averaged a career double-double of 12.0 points per game and 10.1 rebounds in his two seasons. His last-second shot downed No. 2 Davidson in overtime in 1969, and his 389 rebounds during the 1969-70 season still rank as the seventh-best single-season effort in school history.
Bill Schaeffer, 1970-73
One of the best outside shooters in St. John's history, Schaeffer's career 56.0 field goal percentage still ranks fourth all-time, while his 1,484 career points and 622 rebounds lists him 12th and 27th in school history, respectively. His 24.7 points per game average during his senior season in 1973 is a record that still stands today.
Alan Seiden, 1956-59
A consensus All-American in 1959, Seiden was a team captain and key member of the squad that brought home the NIT Championship. Oftentimes mentioned with his backcourt-mate Gus Alfieri, Seiden provided a solid scoring punch and averaged more than 20 points per game in two different seasons. He totaled 1,374 points for his career, which ranks him tied for 18th all-time.
Mel Utley, 1972-75
A St. John's standout in the 1970s for Frank Mulzoff and Lou Carnesecca, Utley led the Redmen in assists his first season and in scoring the rest of his career. He finished his career with 1,243 points to rank 27th in the school record books, and is listed seventh all-time with 345 assists. Utley's teams made one NCAA appearance and two trips to the NIT, finishing fourth in 1975.
Solly Walker, 1951-54
The first African-American player to wear a St. John's uniform, Walker's freshman season ended with a trip to the NCAA title game under coach Frank McGuire. He led his squad in scoring (14.0 points per game) and rebounding (12.2 boards per game) as a senior in 1953-54, one year after helping the Redmen to an appearance in the 1953 NIT championship contest.
John Warren, 1966-69
A key contributor on both ends of the floor, Warren averaged 15.5 points per game and 7.1 rebounds across three seasons, while also contributing as his team's best defensive stopper. The Redmen made the NCAA Tournament three times during his career, including regional semifinal appearances in 1967 and 1969. During the 1968-69 season, he was integral in St. John's pair of victories over a No. 2 North Carolina squad, and then the next week's new No. 2 team, Davidson.
Bob Zawoluk, 1949-52
The first St. John's player to average more than 20 points per game during a single-season, Zawoluk was the "go to" scorer on Frank McGuire's 1952 NCAA finalist squad. More than 50 years later, his 1,826 career points still rank fourth in school history, and his 65 points in a single game against St. Peter's on March 3, 1950, has never been challenged.
"The Modern Era" - 1973-74 to 2006-07
Frank Alagia, 1972-76
Alagia was the floor leader for Frank Mulzoff and Lou Carnesecca, finishing his career with 478 assists, which ranked third all-time at the program's century mark. Alagia was one of two St. John's players to win the Francis Pomeroy Naismith Award as the National Player of the Year for those 6-0 and under. In his four-year career, Alagia led St. John's to an 83-30 record.
Ron Artest, 1997-99
In just two years wearing the St. John's "red and white," Artest compiled an impressive list of accolades. He was named to the BIG EAST All-Rookie team following his freshman year and was a first team All-BIG EAST selection in his sophomore season. Following the 1998 NCAA Tournament, he declared for the NBA Draft, leaving St. John's 93 points shy of becoming a 1,000 point scorer.
Erik Barkley, 1998-00
An all-around solid player, Barkley was a member of the 2000 BIG EAST Championship squad. Barkley holds the single-season record for points scored in a season by a freshman with 500 in 1998-99, and is sixth all-time on the career steals list with 167.
Walter Berry, 1984-86
Berry, nicknamed "The Truth," played just two seasons at St. John's but his impact was incredible. Berry was the 1986 BIG EAST Player of the Year and John R. Wooden Award winner, citing him as the National Player of the Year. He totaled 1,424 career points in just two seasons, and was a key member of St. John's 1985 NCAA Final Four team and 1986 BIG EAST Tournament championship squad.
Reggie Carter, 1977-80
Carter played an important role in leading St. John's to the NCAA Elite Eight in 1979. He averaged 15.0 points per game and amassed 1,061 points in three seasons with St. John's, currently ranking 38th all-time. On Dec. 16, 1978, he set what was then the Alumni Hall scoring record with 39 points in a win over Brigham Young (Malik Sealy currently holds the Carnesecca Arena record with 43).
Anthony Glover, 1999-03
Glover captained the Red Storm for three straight seasons and was part of St. John's 2000 BIG EAST Championship run as a freshman. With 1,434 career points, he is listed No. 13 on the all-time career scorers list, averaging 11.2 points over his four seasons. He ranks eighth in free throw attempts for his career and 10th in free throws made.
Zendon Hamilton, 1994-98
St. John's career record holder in free throw attempts with 912, Hamilton was part of head coach Brian Mahoney's highly touted recruiting class of '94 along with Felipe Lopez and Tarik Turner. He is ranked in the top five in several statistical categories, listed as the fifth all-time leading scorer with 1,810 points behind only Chris Mullin, Malik Sealy, Lopez and Bob Zawoluk. He is also fourth all-time in rebounding with 946 boards.
Greg "Boo" Harvey, 1987-88, 1989-90
Known as the master of the buzzer beater, Harvey won three games during the 1989-90 season on St. John's final possession. His 16.5 points per game that year helped St. John's to an impressive 24-10 record and a second round appearance in the NCAA Tournament. In two seasons under head coach Lou Carnesecca, Harvey averaged 14.4 points.
Marcus Hatten, 2001-03
The last St. John's player to earn the Haggerty Award, Hatten was a two-time first team All-BIG EAST selection. Already with a 29 point performance that lifted St. John's to a stunning come-from-behind upset of Duke, 72-71, at Madison Square Garden on March 2, 2003, he set a career-high with 44 points in a 75-59 win over Rutgers on March 6 of that year, marking the fourth-highest single game performance in St. John's history. Hatten finished his BIG EAST career averaging 23.0 points in 2003, bettering the league's all-time scoring record of 22.6, set by former Georgetown guard Allen Iverson.
Mark Jackson, 1983-87
St. John's all-time leader in assists with 738, "Action" Jackson was the floor general for the great mid-1980s teams under Lou Carnesecca. Jackson's honors ran the gamut of his collegiate career, going from the BIG EAST All-Rookie team as a freshman in 1984 to an honorable mention All-American and the conference's Defensive Player of the Year as a senior in 1987.
George Johnson, 1974-78
The massive and powerful Johnson is the greatest rebounder in St. John's history with 1,240 career boards. He also ranks sixth all-time with 1,763 career points, making him one of only two players in school history to score more than 1,000 points and pull down more than 1,000 rebounds. He averaged a career double-double, posting 15.1 points per game to go along with a 10.6 per game rebounding average.
Felipe Lopez, 1994-98
A highly touted and nationally recognized high school recruit, Lopez finished his St. John's career as the third all-time leading scorer with 1,927 points. The former McDonald's All American is remembered as one of the classiest players, on-and-off the court, to wear a St. John's uniform. Lopez's ranks second in career 3-point field goals made with 148, fifth in total field goals with 670 and seventh in free throws made (439).
Chris Mullin, 1981-85
The school's all-time scoring leader with 2,440 career points, Mullin is deservedly the most honored player to ever take the court at St. John's. The accolades for the Brooklyn-born Mullin, including the 1985 John R. Wooden Award naming him the national player of the year, and his BIG EAST Player of the Year citation in 1985, place him among the elite in college basketball history. Mullin led St. John's to four NCAA Tournament appearances, including the 1985 Final Four and a No. 1 national ranking.
Lavor Postell, 1996-00
Postell, the captain of the 2000 NCAA Tournament second round squad, ranks 16th on St. John's career scoring list with 1,427 points. An outstanding free throw shooter, he is listed eighth all-time with a .789 career percentage and also ranks eighth all-time with 92 career three-pointers. Postell led the Red Storm to the 2000 BIG EAST Tournament title in his final season, upsetting Connecticut at Madison Square Garden.
David Russell, 1979-83
Russell garnered many accolades in his four-year career with St. John's, beginning as the BIG EAST's first ever Rookie of the Year. In his sophomore and junior campaigns he was named an honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press and took All-BIG EAST second team honors as a senior. Russell ranks seventh all-time in school history with 1,753 points and eighth with 832 rebounds.
Malik Sealy, 1988-92
Only the second player in school history to net more than 2,000 career points, Sealy totaled 2,402 and ranks second all-time. A 1992 consensus All-American, Sealy-led teams captured the 1989 NIT Championship and made three NCAA Tournament appearances under Lou Carnesecca. Sealy's name can be found many places in the St. John's record book, including at the top of the career field goals (900) and career steals (238) charts.
Marvis "Bootsy" Thornton, 1998-00
A 1,000-point scorer in just two seasons for the Red Storm, Thornton was a part of the 1999-2000 squad that won the BIG EAST Championship, and his 22 points against Connecticut in the championship game earned him tournament MVP honors. In 1999, Thornton burst into the national spotlight when he scored 40 points against second-ranked Duke at Madison Square Garden.
Bill Wennington, 1981-85
A prolific shot blocker throughout his four years, Wennington was an integral part of the Redmen's run to the Final Four in 1985. He is ranked second all-time in St. John's history with a .579 shooting percentage, and went on to win three NBA Championships with the Chicago Bulls as part of a successful 13-season professional career.
Glen Williams, 1973-77
A four-year starter for St. John's, Williams ranks eighth on the all-time scoring list with 1,727 career points. His most prolific season came during his senior year in 1976-77, when he captained the squad to a 22-9 record, while scoring a then-record 665 points during the campaign. Williams currently ranks fourth in school history in field goals made with 712.
Jayson Williams, 1987-90
One of the premier big men in the NBA for 10 seasons, Williams' career at St. John's was a memorable one. He was a standout for three seasons under Lou Carnesecca and during his time in Queens he led the Redmen to two NCAA Tournament appearances and the 1989 NIT championship, where he was selected as the MVP. Williams' .549 career shooting percentage ranks seventh all-time in St. John's history.