Honoring Dave Gavitt

On Saturday, January 6, 2007, prior to the start of a home game against Big East rival Seton Hall, nearly sixty former players gathered at the Dunk to pay homage to Dave Gavitt, former Friar head coach and newly elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.

That the Friars thrashed the Pirates by a 91-69 count was just the icing on the cake for Friar fans who remembered Gavitt's days of prowling the sidelines at Providence. Fans, and former players, were present to honor Gavitt and all that he's meant to PC and college basketball in general.

Without Gavitt, there is no Final Four trip in 1973, no move to the Providence Civic Center, and no Big East Conference. His importance to the game, both locally and on the national scene, cannot be overstated, and his legacy will be eternal. On January 6th, Providence College named the court at the Dunk for Gavitt, and unveiled banners featuring Gavitt's and Joe Mullaney's names.

A group of nearly sixty ex-players and managers, many of whom never played for Gavitt, made the trip to Providence to be present for the festivities. The list of present players, along with their graduation years, is as follows:
Justin Acker ('96)
Mark Adams ('98)
Alan Baker ('74)
Marvin Barnes ('74)
Bill Barrett ('67)
Gary Bello ('75)
James Benedict ('66)
Roger Berard
Richard Bessette ('59)
James Best ('88)
Donnie Brown ('86)
Bruce Campbell ('78)
Jim Carty
Vic Collucci (‘71)
Charles Conway ('70)
Charlie Crawford ('73)
Ned Cullinan ('71)
Ernie DiGregorio ('73)
Tom Drennan
Jacek Duda ('87)
Roger Dwyer ('45)
Bill Eason ('78)
Joe Ferro ('71)
Ryan Ford ('89)
David Frye ('79)
Ed Gately ('82)
Bob Gibson ('60)
Mark Heissenbuttel ('79)
Ed Horan ('49)
Lionel Jenkins ('58)
Ray Johnson ('71)
Noel Kinski ('65)
Dave Kipfer ('87)
Dick Leonard ('62)
Brian Maher
Mark McAndrew ('76)
Mike McGuinn ('71)
Jane Mullaney (Joe's wife)
Eric Murdock ('91)
Jason Murdock ('97)
John Nolan ('80)
Bob Ollquist ('74)
Paul Oristaglio ('78)
Ralph Paparella ('40)
Al Pearson ('68)
Peter Petropoulis ('79)
Kevin Reilly ('80)
Jack Reynolds ('54)
John Ritch ('57)
Alan Roth ('86)
Jim Schessler ('67)
Brian Schnurr ('02)
Carlton Screen ('90)
Michael Shannon ('91)
Kevin Stacom ('74)
James Sughrue
Bill Synnott
Stephen Traugott ('03)
Corey Wright ('99)

Friar Insider was able to secure exclusive short interviews with Eric Murdock, Bruce "Soup" Campbell and Billy Eason, as well as get a recording of Dave Gavitt's backstage comments to the crowd. These interviews are about five minutes each.

Follow this link to the four interviews, or if you prefer a live link, check the post announcing the audio interviews on the message board.

Eric Murdock
The Man of Steal graduated in 1991 as the NCAA's career steals record holder, and he held that distinction until former Friar John Linehan broke the mark in 2002. Murdock was the second Friar to amass 2000 career points and also grabbed over 500 rebounds. A full court all-around combo guard, Eric's career included two NCAA Tournaments, an NIT and a senior year that ranks among the very best ever at PC.

Bruce Campbell
Soup was a 6'9 southpaw combo forward who was as at ease putting the ball on the floor as he was crashing the boards. The finest all-around forward in PC history, and one of the most mobile, Campbell grabbed 949 rebounds, scored over 1800 points from all over the court and passed for a whole bunch of assists. Campbell was one of the top high school players in the nation when he chose Providence, and played in two NCAAs and two NITs in his career at PC, which ended in 1978.

Bill Eason
A 6'5 jumping jack at forward, Eason was as smooth as silk. Bill was a tremendous rebounder for his height, and snared 800 rebounds in his career, to go along with over 1100 points. Although foot problems slowed him, he played through pain and will always be remembered for hitting the winning jumper against North Carolina in the Blizzard game. In the same graduating class as Campbell, Eason gave the Friars a formidable pair of forwards.

For the Campbell, Eason, Gavitt interviews, follow this link:
http://scout.scout.com/a.z?s=425&p=8&c=1&nid=2876310

For the Murdock interview, follow this link:
http://scout.scout.com/a.z?s=425&p=8&c=1&nid=2831937

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