During the recent Pittsburg-Villanova basketball game, several Wildcat footers paraded through the Villanova fieldhouse stands, carrying a banner that read: "Keich Herron, No. 23, is our Tony Dornett."
Being compared with the Panthers' Heisman Trophy winner is, indeed, a compliment, but Herron can stand on his own record. The 6-foot-7 forward, a Washington native and Mackin High School graduate, has been on a scoring tear and, as a result, Villanova is enjoying its finest season in four years.
The No. 1 member of Philadelphia's Big Five, the Wildcats (15-5) lead the Western division of the Eastern Collegiste Basketball League with a 6-0 park.
Herron is the team's leading scorer (19.9 points per game) and rebounder (5.4 per game). But the junior sharp-shooter is only half the reason Villanova is surging toward the respectability and prestige it once enjoyed.
Keith's older brother, 6-8 Larry, is the team's second-leading (4.1 per game). LIke Keith, Larry was a first team all-Metropolitan at Mackin.
A third brother, Reggie, 6-5, a graduate of Ballou, is a reserve on the Villanova varsity.
In this most recent exploit Saturday, the trio scored 50 points - 32 for Keith, 14 for Larry and four for Reggie - as Villanova destroyed George Washington 90-77 in Philladelphia.
Only twice before, a recent study showed, have three brothers palyed together on a major-college varsity team. Gus, Art and Gene Oilrich performed together at Drake in 1947-48, and Arion, Terry and Hal Bockhorn were teammates at Dayton in 1957-58.
"It's nice playing together. It's just like home," said Larry, a senior business major.
"I wish there were a more brothers. All three are great kids," aid fourth-year coach Rollie Massimino, who recruited them. "Larry and I came together. Both he and Keith have improved and matured each year and as they matured so did the team."
"Larry has put in endless hours of hard work while Keith has unlimited ability. Both will make fine pro prospects," Massimino said.
"I was strictly offensive-minded the first couple of years here," said Keith, who averaged 17.9 and 16.9 his first two years. "But I've learned to be more patient and develop the other phases of my game. I made all ECBL while playing guard and that helped build my confidence. This year, I've really concentrated on my defenses because I want to be the bent player in the East next season."
Larry has sacrificed his scoring to also improve other facets of his game in order to impress pro scouts.
"I know I can score," said the senior. "I would like a good shot at pro ball and I need to improve my defense to get it. Besides, we're winning now and we have such a good team I don't have to score as much."
Larry, with 1,357 career points, ranks 11th on the Villanova all-time list. Keith with 1,319, has moved up to 12th place.
Reggie has played little and has only 10 points this season. The eager freshman's finest collegiate moment thus far came when he joined his older brothers on the court midway through the Pittsburg game. The younger Herron promptly hit a jump shot for his first two points.
"Yeah, we set him up for the basket," said Keith. "He hit it and the fans went wild."