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“Fresh Five” Star Earns BIG EAST Rookie of the Year Honors

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Recognized as the driving force behind a St. John’s men’s basketball team that fielded five freshmen as starters, forward/guard Moe Harkless was named 2011-12 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year on March 6.

The 6-8 swingman is the second St. John's player to earn this distinction. David Russell took home the honor in the 1979-80 season.

En route to winning the award, Harkless averaged 15.2 points per game, ranking him second in the conference and ninth in the nation among rookies. His 8.6 boards per game were strong enough to give him a share of the top spot for rebounds among first-year players in the BIG EAST. During his historic season, he amassed a total of 472 points.

"The BIG EAST Rookie of the Year award is a great honor for Moe and our program," said Head Coach Steve Lavin. "Because Moe is a product of New York City, it was fitting that he received the award at legendary Madison Square Garden with his family and teammates in attendance. We are proud of what Moe and our young group accomplished this season."

In St. John's win over Providence on Dec. 27, Harkless set a new scoring record for a BIG EAST debut with 32 points, surpassing the marks set by Georgetown's Allen Iverson and Notre Dame's Troy Murphy.

Harkless was happy to share the spotlight. "I would like to credit my teammates and coaches for this award,” he said. “As a team with so many new players and five freshmen starting, we held together and did a good job this year."

This is the latest in a series of accolades for the Red Storm’s much-heralded “Fresh Five.” Harkless and guard D’Angelo Harrison were both named to the BIG EAST All-Rookie team, the first time a pair of St. John’s freshmen has earned the distinction since Zendon Hamilton and Felipe Lopez in 1995.