This month we're having an NCAA style tournament to determine Nova Nation's favorite Villanova Basketball player of all time. Be sure to check back each day as voting continues!
Well if you tracked the progress of yesterday's voting all the way to midnight, it was back and forth all day between 1 Seeds Ed Pinckney and Kerry Kittles. On a day where we saw the most votes cast out of the entire tournament (1049 total), Kittles won with 50.6%, getting just 11 more votes than EZ-Ed. He'll move on to tomorrow's Championship Match-up with Ryan Arcidiacono (63%). But today we pit arguably the two greatest big men in Villanova's history against each other as Pinckney takes on Howard Porter.
Third Place Match-Up: 1) Ed Pinckney vs. 2) Howard Porter
I've done a couple of these write-ups now, but I still haven't come close to expressing how great these guys were on the court. But instead of prattling off more career stats and achievements, I'm going to do a shout out. In yesterday's comments, Bill '62 pointed out how fun it's been to really appreciate all the greats we've had at Villanova, and I couldn't agree more. So instead of listing their achievements, here's the path each of these guys took in getting to the 3rd Place game of this tournament:
Pinckney's Path: Mark Plansky, Dwayne McClain, Harold Pressley, John Pinone, Kerry Kittles
Can you imagine having those five as a starting lineup!?!? EZ-Ed had to go through five Hall of Famers, two National Champions, and two guys with their jersey's retired (btw, Pinckney himself is in all of those categories). That just shows how great those teams in the 80's and 90's were, and Ed was a big reason why.
Porter's Path: Hank Siemionkowski, Hubie White, Bill Melchionni, Paul Arizin, Ryan Arcidiacono
Ok, who wouldn't love to see these five vs. Pinckney's five with EZ-Ed and Porter as the coaches. Again, just so many talented Villanovans, all of which are fan favorites. It really shows how great Porter was and how beloved he still is by Nova Nation. But somebody's gotta win, so it's onto the voting.
Ed Pinckney: A member of the '85 NCAA Championship and the Villanova Hall of Fame, Pinckney is 3rd in blocks, 4th in rebounding, 7th in steals, 10th in scoring, and 36th in assists all-time.
Only 3 players in this competition rank in all 5 all-time statistical categories, but Pinckney is the only one to be ranked Top 10 in 4 of the 5. Throw in the school's first National Championship and it's easy to see why he's a favorite to win it all. Not only did he win the title in '85, he was also an All-American and the Big 5 Most Outstanding Player. He's now one of the 13 Villanova players to have their jersey retired and hung in the Pavilion. After college, he had a successful NBA and broadcasting career.
Howard Porter: A member of the '71 NCAA Runner-Up team and the Villanova Hall of Fame, Porter is 1st in rebounds and 6th in scoring all-time.
Porter is easily in the conversation for greatest Villanova player of all time. He was the only player in school history to score over 2,000 points in just three seasons. During that time he was a three time All-American, three time All-Big 5, and the '69 Big 5 Most Outstanding Player. Despite losing the '71 NCAA Championship game to UCLA, he was still named the tournaments Most Outstanding Player. Later it would come out that Porter had signed with an agent during his senior season, forcing Villanova to vacate its NCAA appearance and his award. Porter would still have his jersey retired at Nova and go on to have a 7 year NBA career.