Ron Harper Jr. wins Haggerty Award
Here’s the postscript to an epic college basketball season for New Jersey:
Rutgers senior Ron Harper Jr. has won the Haggerty Award, given annually to the best men’s college basketball player in the New York metropolitan area. The Don Bosco Prep grad is just the third Rutgers player to win the honor since its inception in 1936.
Seton Hall junior Lauren Park-Lane won the women’s equivalent, the All-Met Player of the Year, becoming just the third Pirate to do so.
Shaheen Holloway is the Peter A. Carlesimo All-Met Coach of the Year after leading Saint Peter’s to the MAAC Tournament title and the NCAA Tournament’s Elite Eight.
RELATED: Jerry Carino’s All-Met ballot
Harper makes history
The other two Rutgers players to win the Haggerty were forward Phil Sellers in 1975 and 1976 and guard Quincy Douby in 2006. Harper became the third thanks to his consistency and ability to rise to big moments.
At 6-foot-6 forward, Harper averaged 15.8 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. He played good defense and his efficiency was high; he hit 39.8 percent of 3-pointers and 79.5 percent of free throws.
He drained Rutgers’ two biggest shots of the season — the half-court buzzer-beater that sank top-ranked Purdue in December and a game-winning 3-pointer at Indiana March 2 that helped lock up an NCAA Tournament bid.
It didn’t hurt that he was well regarded as a leader and a teammate.
“In over 30 years of coaching I have never had a player on and off the court like Ron Harper Jr.,” Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell said last month, after Harper declared for the NBA Draft. “Ron has been the perfect ambassador for the Rutgers men’s basketball team these last four years.”
Although Harper has a fifth year of collegiate eligibility, it’s unlikely that he will return to Rutgers. He should be invited to the NBA Draft combine in mid-May and projects as either a second-round draft pick or a free-agent signing to a two-way contract.
Whatever happens, his high place in Rutgers’ pantheon is secured.
‘Tremendous’ Park-Lane recognized
How good was Lauren Park-Lane for Seton Hall’s women’s team? The point guard from Wilmington (Del.) averaged 18 points and 7.5 assists, the latter figure ranking second in the nation, and logged a national-best 1,420 minutes (a jaw-dropping 38.4 per game).
“Lauren is such a tremendous representation of our program,” Hall coach Tony Bozzella said. “She cares 100% about winning and making the team as good as possible both on and off the court. She has so much pride in the university and our program. She’s been a fan favorite and is tremendously popular among her teammates.”
Seton Hall finished with a record of 24-13 and made the WNIT final. Park-Lane averaged 22.2 points, 6.5 assists and 1.8 steals throughout the tournament. The only other Seton Hall women to win Metropolitan Player of the Year have been guard Ka-Deidre Simmons in 2015 and forward Dana Wynne in 1997.
“It says a lot about what Lauren was able to achieve this year, considering only Dana and Didi received this prestigious honor before her,” Bozzella said. “I’m immensely proud of her…I can’t wait to see what her senior season will bring.”
Runaway win for Holloway
Holloway was a no-brainer as Coach of the Year. One of the unique aspects of the All-Met awards is they take the postseason into consideration, and of course that weighs heavily.
Holloway guided Saint Peter’s to second place in the MAAC at 14-6 and an overall mark of 22-12 as the Peacocks made the Big Dance for the first time since 2011 became the first No. 15 seed to advance to an Elite Eight. They beat Kentucky, Murray State and Purdue on their scintillating run with a team of lightly recruited players.
Now the head coach at his alma mater Seton Hall, Holloway will undoubtedly be miffed that Saint Peter’s best player, serial shot-blocking forward KC Ndefo, somehow did not receive first-team All-Met recognition.
2022 All-Met awards
Haggerty Award: Ron Harper Jr., Rutgers.
Coach of the Year: Shaheen Holloway, Saint Peter’s.
Rookie of the Year: Jao Ituka, Marist.
First team All-Met: Ron Harper Jr. (Rutgers); Julian Champagnie (St. John’s); Jared Rhoden (Seton Hall); Aaron Estrada (Hofstra); Alex Morales (Wagner); Tyson Jolly (Iona).
Second team All-Met: KC Ndefo (Saint Peter’s); Geo Baker (Rutgers); Posh Alexander (St. John’s); Nelly Junior Joseph (Iona); Ty Flowers (LIU); Jose Perez (Manhattan).
Third team All-Met: Daryl Banks (Saint Peter’s); Caleb McConnell (Rutgers); George Popes (Monmouth); Eral Penn (LIU); Chuba Ohams (Fordham).
All-time Haggerty Award winners
2022 Ron Harper Jr., Rutgers
2021 Sandro Mamukelashvili, Seton Hall
2020 Myles Powell, Seton Hall
2019 Myles Powell, Seton Hall
2018 Shamorie Ponds, St. John
2017 Angel Delgado, Seton Hall
2016 Isaiah Whitehead, Seton Hall
2015 Sir’Dominic Pointer, St. John’s
2014 D’Angelo Harrison, St. John’s
2013 Lamont Jones, Iona
2012 Scott Machado, Iona
2011 Charles Jenkins, Hofstra
2010 Charles Jenkins, Hofstra
2009 Charles Jenkins, Hofstra
2008 Jason Thompson, Rider
2007 Jared Jordan, Marist
2006 Quincy Douby, Rutgers
2005 Keydren Clark, St. Peter’s
2004 Andre Barrett, Seton Hall AND Luis Flores, Manhattan
2003 Luis Flores, Manhattan
2002 Marcus Hatten, St. John’s
2001 Norm Richardson, Hofstra
2000 Speedy Claxton, Hofstra
1999 Ron Artest, St. John’s
1998 Felipe Lopez, St. John’s
1997Charles Jones, LIU
1996 Adrian Griffin, Seton Hall
1995 Joe Griffin, LIU
1994 Izett Buchanan, Marist AND Arturas Karnishovas, Seton Hall
1993 Terry Dehere, Seton Hall
1992 Malik Sealy, St. John’s
1991 Malik Sealy, St. John’s
1990 Greg “Boo” Harvey, St. John’s
1989 John Morton, Seton Hall
1988 Mark Bryant, Seton Hall
1987 Kevin Houston, Army AND Mark Jackson, St. John’s
1986 Walter Berry, St. John’s
1985 Chris Mullin, St. John’s
1984 Steve Burtt, Iona AND Chris Mullin, St. John’s
1983 Chris Mullin, St. John’s
1982 Dan Callandrillo, Seton Hall
1981 Gary Springer, Iona
1980 Jeff Ruland, Iona AND Tom Sullivan, Fordham
1979 Nick Galis, Seton Hall
1978 George Johnson, St. John’s
1977 Rich Laurel, Hofstra
1976 Phil Sellers, Rutgers
1975 Phil Sellers, Rutgers
1974 Bill Campion, Manhattan
1973 Bill Schaefer, St. John’s
1972 Rich Garner, Manhattan
1971 Charlie Yelverton, Fordham
1970 Jim McMillian, Columbia
1969 Jim McMillian, Columbia
1968 Jim McMillian, Columbia
1967 Lloyd “Sonny” Dove, St. John’s
1966 Albie Grant, LIU
1965 Warren Isaac, Iona
1964 Nick Werkman, Seton Hall
1963 Barry Kramer, NYU
1962 LeRoy Ellis, St. John’s
1961 Tony Jackson, St. John’s
1960 Tom “Satch” Sanders, NYU
1959 Al Seiden, St. John’s
1958 Jim Cunningham, Fordham
1957 Chet Forte, Columbia
1956 Bill Thieben, Hofstra
1955 Ed Conlin, Fordham
1954 Ed Conlin, Fordham
1953 Walter Dukes, Seton Hall
1952 Ron MacGilvray, St. John’s
1951 John Azary, Columbia
1950 Sherman White, L.I.U.
1949 Dick McGuire, St. John’s
1948 Dolph Schayes, NYU
1947 Sid Tanenbaum, NYU
1946 Sid Tanenbaum, NYU
1944 Dick McGuire, St. John’s
1943 Andrew “Fuzzy” Levane, St. John’s
1942 Jim White, St. John’s
1941 Jack “Dutch” Garfinkel, St. John’s
1940 Ben Auerbach, NYU
1939 Irving Torgoff, LIU
1938 Bernie Fliegel, CCNY
1937 Ben Kramer, LIU
1936 Jules Bender, L.I.U.