Harkless surpasses Big East record

Moe Harkless etched his name into the Big East history books with a blockbuster opening display in St. John’s 91-67 wipeout of Providence in Carnesecca Arena, the New York Post reported Wednesday.

Harkless had 32 points in his freshman Big East Conference debut Tuesday night to pass a record shared by Allen Iverson and Troy Murphy.

The sensation from Queens hit 14 of 17 shots from the field, including two of three from behind the arc, and grabbed 14 rebounds for his fourth double-double to eclipse Iverson and Murphy, each of whom had 30 points in their freshman Big East debuts.

UConn’s Caron Butler and Khalid El-Amin and Villanova’s Tim Thomas each had 29 in their freshman debuts. Boston College’s Troy Bell and Seton Hall’s Jeremy Hazell had 28.

"He’s definitely a face of the Big East," according to Providence coach Ed Cooley, who has spent his career in the Northeast. "He’s a player who will go down as one of the better players to come out of here."

Consider the freshmen who have donned the red and white — Ron Artest, Chris Mullin, Walter Berry, Mark Jackson. None of them had a better league debut than Harkless.

The 6-foot-8 forward, who is so efficient and graceful on the court his effort has been questioned, was unaware of the record until told by reporters. His eyebrows arched in astonishment. It took two rounds of questions before he could fully express his thoughts.

"I never felt like this before," he said. "To have a record in the Big East for a freshman, knowing all the players that came through here, it’s a great honor."