As a newly elected contestant in the Biggest Fan of the Big East contest, I will be charged with eight challenges. This go round, my mission, should I choose to accept it, is to pick an All-Time Big East Dream team, consisting of current and/or former Big East players. After hours of pouring over the record books and hallowed records of the great scribes, I have my team!
1. Patrick Ewing, Center, Georgetown (1981-1985)
I can't think of a better person to start my list with other than Center, Patrick Ewing. His style of play became the standard for one of the great post traditions in college basketball, and he led his Georgetown Hoyas to three national championship games in his four seasons (winning the crown in 1984). His career numbers are simply mind boggling: 2,184 points (second in school history), 1,316 rebounds (first) and 493 blocks (first, though the stat wasn’t officially kept by the NCAA at the time).
2. David Wingate, Guard, Georgetown (1982-1986)
My starting list is heavy 1980's Georgetown players. They seem to epitomize what Big East Basketball is to me. Guard, David Wingate was not only an elite defensive player, leading his team in steals his sophomore year, but he was also a danger offensively, averaging 11 points per game overall, and a staggering 16 points per game his senior year. He was a key player on the 1984 national championship team, and is sixth in Hoya history with 1,781 points and fifth with 209 steals.
3. Reggie Williams, Forward, Georgetown (1983-1987)
Reggie Williams, a.k.a. "Silk", also had an outstanding collegiate career at Georgetown. In his four seasons, his numbers were amongst career leaders in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals in school history, finishing no lower than seventh in any category. During his freshman year, he scored 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds against the University of Houston in the 1984 national championship game which the Hoyas won 84–75. As a senior, Williams was the leader of a young team which became a national championship contender. During his senior season he led the Big East in scoring, and led the team in rebounding, steals and blocked shots, and was third in assists. As a result of Williams's success that year, Georgetown's coach John Thompson gave the team the name “Reggie and the Miracles”.
4. Allen Iverson, Guard, Georgetown (1994-1996)
Although he only spent two seasons at Georgetown, Allen Iverson was one of the most overpowering players the Hoyas have ever seen. Iverson holds the single-season records for points (25 per game) and steals (124), and in just two seasons he cracked the career Top 20 in points, steals and assists. He won the Big East Rookie of the year award and two Big East Defensive Player of the Year awards, and was named to the All Rookie Tournament First Team. His short time at Georgetown propelled him into a successful NBA career and eight trips to the playoffs!
5. Chris Mullin, Guard/Forward, St. Johns (1981-1985)
Chris Mullin played shooting guard and small forward at St. John's University from 1981-1985, during which he won Big East Men's Basketball Player of the Year three times.
In his freshman year, Mullin averaged 16.6 points per game (also setting the school freshman record for points scored). In his subsequent three years at St. John's, he would be named Big East Player of the Year each year, AND named to the All-America team three times. He also lead the Redmen to the 1985 Final Four. Mullin finished his career as St. John's all-time leading scorer.
6. Alonzo Mourning, Center, Georgetown (1988-1992)
If Alonzo Mourning did not have to follow in the footsteps of Patrick Ewing, he would have had an excellent chance at being the best center in the history ... of almost any school. As it is, Mourning sits in fourth place in program history with 2,001 points, third with 1,032 rebounds and second with 453 blocks. He led the nation in blocked shots his freshman year and was an All American his last year there. He is definitely a Big East All-Star Dream Teamer!
I can't think of a better way to show you his blocking skills than by letting you watch them!
7. Rashad Anderson, Guard/Forward, Connecticut (2002-2006)
Anderson averaged 15 points per game during his career at Connecticut and scored in double figures in 50 games, including 11 games with 20 or more points. He scored a career-high 33 points against Morehead State in December of 2005, sinking seven of seven three-pointers. He had a knack for hitting shots at key moments of games, and is known as one of the best clutch three-point shooters in college basketball history. Anderson also finished his career with 276 three pointers, the most in Connecticut history.
Anderson left Connecticut with 1,432 points, ranking No. 18 all-time, an overall record of 109-28, a Big East tournament win and a national championship to his name.
8. Khalid El-Amin, Guard, Connecticut (1998-2000)
El-Amin is one of the most successful point guards in Connecticut history. He averaged 15.3 points, 4.4 assists, 1.7 steals and 2.9 rebounds per game for his career. He was a compact, tough guard, who could ignite at any moment. He scored 24 points in a half, two times. He was a fantastic shooter and hit 195 total three pointers. He was also clutch under pressure, hitting game winners when need be and more importantly, knocking down two free throws at the end of the 1999 national championship game against Duke to give Connecticut the 77-74 win.
El-Amin ranks eighth all-time at Connecticut for total assists with 479, sixth all-time in total steals with 186 and 10th all-time in total points with 1,650. He is Connecticut's fourth all-time leading scorer with 1,922 points, and a career average of 19 per game.
9. Kemba Walker, Guard, Connecticut (2008-2011)
Kemba Walker was Connecticut's savior. He rescued the Huskies, after going 18-16 in 2010, and took them on a continuous tear, through the Big East tournament, and all the way to the 2011 National Championship.
Walker had one of the best individual seasons in NCAA history, averaging 23.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.9 steals per game. He was named a Consensus first team All-American and was also the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player.
He set the Connecticut record for most points in a single season with 965. He finishes his Connecticut collegiate career ranking seventh in scoring with 1,783 points, seventh in steals with 185 and 10th in assists with 460. He has career averages of 15.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.7 steals per game.
10. Carmelo Anthony, Forward, Syracuse(2002-2003)
Carmelo Anthony displayed the finest single freshman season in Syracuse basketball history, taking his Orangemen to their first NCAA tournament National Championship in 2003. 'Melo' as he is called, played with a constant smile and a low key personality that made him not only a fan favorite, but a teammate favorite, too. The consummate player, he could handle anything that the game threw at him, and handle it well. He was the ultimate team player, improving all those around him.
Anthony was solid that entire season, but in the Final Four, he took his game to a new level. Against Texas, Anthony led all scorers with a career high 33 points, giving the Orangemen a 95-84 victory. In the NCAA Finals, Anthony played a strong first half, both scoring and rebounding. When Kansas decided to focus on him in the second half, he redirected his contributions from scoring points to pulling down more rebounds and providing several key assists. Syracuse would go on to win the National Championship and Anthony would be the tournament's MVP. During his only year at Syracuse, Melo was tops for the Orangemen in scoring and rebounding, was on the Big East first team, Big East Rookie of the Year, and was a first team All-American.
11. John Morton, Guard, Seton Hall (1985-1989)
John Morton was a four-year starter for the Seton Hall Pirates from 1985-1989. Morton scored an outstanding 1,621 points in 131 career games. He averaged 12.8 points in 1987-88 while helping lead Seton Hall to its first NCAA Tournament berth. He led the team in scoring, averaging 17.3 points per game, in 1988-89 and was also named Third Team All-Big East during the Pirates' memorable run to the 1989 national championship game. In the overtime loss to Michigan (and the "Fab Five") in the title game, Morton put up a game-high 35 points, hitting eleven field goals, and four three-pointers. He currently is tied for the career games played record at Seton Hall with 131, ranks fourth in assists (452) and steals (207), seventh in career three-point field goal percentage (.391) and 11th with the 1,621 career points.
12. Chris Thomas, Guard, Notre Dame (2001-2005)
I had every intention of selecting Derrick Coleman from Syracuse for my last spot, but I had to go ahead and fit in my token Notre Dame player!
Chris Thomas was one of four captains of the 2003-04 Notre Dame squad, and currently holds the number eight spot on the Notre Dame career scoring list with 1,783 points. He owns the Irish career record for assists with 638, and his collegiate career scoring average of 18.0 points per game ranks 11th on Notre Dame's all-time list. He is also in second place over all in three-point field goals made (250) and three-point field goals attempted (682), third in steals (184), and 11th in three-point field goal percentage. In 2002, he was named the Big East Conference Rookie of the Year and All-Rookie Team selection, and was selected twice for the Big East All-Conference team. He was also the 2002 National Freshman of the Year, and recorded the only triple-double in Notre Dame history against New Hampshire on 11-16-01 (24 points, 11 assists, 11 steals).
Well, that's all folks. That's my All-Time Big East Dream Team. I'm sure there are some folks on here that you may or may not agree with, and I'd love to hear your two cents worth! Drop me a comment and let's debate!
Cheers! (and GO IRISH!)
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