VUHoops Basketball Hall of Fame Reader Ballot: 1973 & Later Pool

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor Hurricane Sandy stays these writers from the completion (albeit not necessarily swift) of their Basketball Hall of Fame Series. Sorry guys, after almost two weeks without heat and power, I am back on line to finish up our 2012 HOF voting.

Each year, we celebrate the great tradition of Villanova basketball by selecting from past players, coaches, trainers and others a special few for induction into the VUHoops Basketball Hall of Fame. You can visit the Basketball Hall of Fame (under "Sections") to see the nine past inductees. The nominees were selected by a Committee comprised of three VUHoops writers (Brian, Chris and Ed) and three long-time VUHoops readers (Squeaky Sneakers, Bill ’62 and Original Honey Badger).

Three weeks ago, we opened the voting for the nominees from the Pre-1973 pool. Coach Al Severance and Bill Melchionni were elected into the HOF, taking 41% and 33% of the vote (33% is the minimum for admission). With that pool completed, we now proudly present the five nominees from 1973 and later pool for your consideration.

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Keith Herron (1974-1978): 6’6″ small forward … upon graduation was Villanova’s all-time leading scorer with 2,170 points (#3 all-time) over 117 games (18.5 ppg; #9 all-time … named to Basketball Weekly’s All-East team, The Sporting News All-America team, the All-NIT team, and twice to the All-Big Five team … drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers in the second round of the 1978 NBA Draft … played for the Atlanta Hawks in 1978–79, Detroit Pistons in 1980–81, and Cleveland Cavaliers in 1981–82, averaging 9.8 ppg and 2.0 rpg in 21.1 mpg … inducted into the Big Five Hall of Fame in 1984 … #33 jersey retired by Villanova .

Additional Commentary:

  • Bill ’62: Villanova's all-time leading scorer when he graduated in 1978; still ranks as our #3 all-time scorer. A Sporting News All American.
  • Ed’77: "Keith Herron was the best of Rollie Massimino’s players in the 1970s, a pure shooter who could score at will from 20+ feet. Had there been a three-point shot back in the day, Herron easily would have been ‘Nova’s all time leading scorer. After a very rough patch for Villanova basketball following the sudden departure of Jack Kraft to Rhode Island after the 1972-73 season, Herron led Villanova back to post season play, reaching the NIT finals in 1977 and to the NCAA Elite Eight in 1978. That post-season was highlighted by a win over Bobby Knight’s top-seeded Indiana Hoosiers in the Sweet Sixteen round."

John Pinone (1979 to 1983): 6’8" forward / center … scored 2,024 points (#8 all-time) over 126 games (16.1 ppg; #12 all time), 837 rebounds (#9 all-time), 233 assists (#30 all-time) and 117 steals (#22 all-time) …was named a third-team All-American as a senior … earned first-team All-Big East honors three times …was a first-team All-Philadelphia Big 5 selection four times … was the only freshman in Villanova history to lead the team in scoring … played for the US national team in the 1982 FIBA World Championship, winning the silver medal … was the 58th pick in the 1983 NBA draft … played seven games in the NBA for the Atlanta Hawks in 1983-84 … signed with CB Estudiantes in the Spanish Liga ACB in 1984-85, playing there until 1992-93 … team won the Spanish Cup in 1991-92 … inducted into the Big Five Hall of Fame in 1989 … Villanova retired his #45 jersey in 1995 … later became the Cromwell High School boys' basketball team coach, and coached them to a class S state championship in the 2009 season … pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return and in December 2010 was sentenced to six months of home confinement, six months probation and a $10,000 fine.

Additional Commentary:

  • Honey Badger: "One of the most well-known, favorite players to ever suit up for Villanova, Pinone started as a freshman to become one of the program's much-needed stars who cemented Villanova's status as a top-tier member of the Big East during the conference's early years. Respect for Pinone's accomplishments was reinforced by his selection as a 3-time first team All Big East player."
  • Ed Donohue: "The Bear was the toughest player I ever saw wearing a Villanova uniform. Sports Illustrated wrote at the onset of his junior year: "Pinone's opponents think of him as a bull, which best describes his way of "establishing position" around the basket. But even detractors who think Pinone ought to be playing football can't ignore his china-shop touch, which last year produced 15.8 points per game on 55.4% accuracy. And this season they may have to admit that overall Pinone is more bear than bull because Coach Rollie Massimino plans to play him a lot at the high post." Dick Vitale used to describe Pinone as "the kind of player people can relate to, a blue collar guy, lunch pail city, baby!" P.S.: Love the picture, above, of Pinone mauling UNC’s Michael Jordan!

Harold Pressley (1982-1986) … 6’7" forward … scored 1,572 points (#19 all-time) over 135 games (11.6 ppg), 1,016 rebounds (#5 all-time), 213 steals (#2 all-time), 152 blocks (#6 all-time) and 300 assists (#21 all-time) … became the first player in Big East history to record a triple-double, with 19 points, 15 rebounds, and 10 blocked shots against Providence … was a member of their 1985 National Championship team, scoring 11 points in the Championship Game, and named to the 1985 NCAA Southeast Regional All-Tournament Team, 1986 All Big East First Team, 1986 Associated Press honorable mention All American, 1986 Big East All-Tournament Team, and the 1986 Big East Defensive Player of the Year … selected by the Sacramento Kings in the 1st round (17th overall pick) of the 1986 NBA Draft … played four years for the Kings averaging 9.0 ppg … inducted into the Big Five Hall of Fame in 1992 … went on to co-host the Sierra Central Sports Roundtable TV sports show that aired in the Sacramento area … later became Director of Player Development for the Sacramento Kings

Additional Commentary:

  • Squeaky Sneakers: "One of Villanova’s handful of players registering 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. A vital member of Villanova’s only national championship team. Perhaps Villanova’s most versatile player, ranking close to the top in every critical category: games played, points scored, rebounds, steals, blocked shots and assists."
  • Honey Badger: "One of the most dominant defensive forwards in Villanova history who compiled the 2nd most steals, 5th most rebounds, and 6 most blocks in Wildcats’ history during his 4 year career from 1982-1986. Also played an integral role in Villanova's 1985 National Championship upset of Georgetown while netting 11 points. He was the first Big East player to ever notch a triple double also played several years in NBA."

Doug West (1985-89): a 6-7 small forward … scored 2,037 points (#5 all-time) over 138 games (14.8 ppg; #20 all time), 630 rebounds (#26 all-time), 257 assists (#25 all-time), and 127 steals (#19 all time) and 51 blocks (#18 all-time) … was an athletic, well-rounded player who could score as well as defend … in 1988 helped lead the Wildcats to the Elite Eight and was named to the all-Southeast Regional team … was later named to the Big Five Hall of Fame … selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the second round of the 1989 NBA Draft … traded to the Vancouver Grizzlies in 1997 …over a twelve-year NBA career tallied 6,477 points, 1,670 rebounds, and 1,292 assists … inducted into the Big Five Hall of Fame in 1996 … was named an assistant coach for the Villanova Wildcats, replacing Ed Pinckney in 2007 … now Assistant Coach in NBA Development League.

Allan Ray (2002-2006): … 6’2" shooting guard … scored 2,025 points (#7 all-time) over 130 games (15.6 ppg; #17 all time), 244 assists (#29 all-time), and 138 steals (#17 all time) … was a streaky, but great, three-point shooter, who was excellent at creating his own shot … with Randy Foye made up one of the best guard duos in the country … a junior, he all-Big East and led a Wildcats team to the Sweet Sixteen, losing to eventual national champion North Carolina by one point on a controversial call … as a senior … was named to the Big East first team and was a Consensus Second Team All American … who will ever forget his gruesome injury in the 2006 Big East Tournament when he was poked in the eye during the semifinal game against Pittsburgh and his eyeball seemingly was dislodged from his eye socket led Villanova to the Elite Eight of the 2006 NCAA Tournament, playing in an nontraditional four-guard offense … surprisingly was not selected in the 2006 NBA Draft, but signed as a free agent with the Boston Celtics … came off Boston’s bench to score 17 or more points five times before asking to be waived by the Celtics in pursuit of a better contract in Italy … signed with the Euroleague club Lottomatica Virtus Roma in 2007… signed with Carife later that season. After sitting out the 2009–10 season to recover from knee surgery, Ray signed with Sutor Montegranaro in 2010.

Additional Commentary:

  • Bill ’62: A great shooting guard with the ability to dish the assists when the opportunities were there. An excellent defensive player who earned Consensus Second Team All American honors for his all around playing ability in his senior year. Was a key player in his junior and senior years when Villanova went deep into the NCAA tournament?
  • Brian Ewart: Randy Foye became the star of the 2005-06 Wildcats, but Allan Ray was the consistent one in that class and one of the best scorers of the Jay Wright era. Ray was always a dangerous shooter, who would keep defenders honest and was good enough off the dribble that defenders couldn't treat him like a one-dimensional player. As the best scorer on one of the best Wildcat teams since 1985, Ray deserves to be honored.

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