Today we look at the greatest Indiana Hoosiers to lace up the sneakers. Specifically we will look at where Trayce Jackson-Davis ranks, Davis will go down as an all-time Hoosier legend, but how high will he rank?
McGinnis only played one season as a Hoosier, but what a season! McGinnis posted the fourth-best rebounding average in school history (14.7 a game) and set an Indiana record with 29.9 points per game. After that McGinnis spectacular year, he went on to play with the ABA Indiana Pacers and later in the NBA. Hoosier fans can only think about what could have been with McGinnis. What might have happened had McGinnis been on the 1973 team that lost in the Final Four to UCLA?
In Buckner’s freshman season, 1972–73, Indiana reached the Final Four, losing to UCLA. Buckner was the greatest leader in the history of Indiana Basketball and led the Hoosiers to the 1976 National Championship, and that Hoosier team is the last team to go undefeated.
Bellamy is sometimes the forgotten Hoosier, but he was a dominant force for the Hoosiers. The 6’11” center is second on IU’s lists with 1,088 boards (three behind the top spot), and he holds the program’s top two single-season averages with 15.2 and 17.8 rebounds a night in his junior and senior seasons. In addition, he averaged as many as 22 points a game in a season and was an all-around force for the Hoosiers.
Schlundt led the Hoosiers to the National Championship in 1953. Schlundt was eligible to play as a freshman because of the Korean War. Schlundt had four seasons to rack up an eye-popping 2,192 career points—a mark nearly doubling Bobby Leonard’s previous record and still places third in school history. Schlundt was a dominant force and leader on one of the greatest Hoosier teams of all time.
Woodson was a terrific defender, as his 142 steals will attest. He stands fifth all-time in steals at Indiana. He was also a very dangerous offensive weapon, becoming the second player in IU history to score 2,000 career points.
Henderson led the Hoosiers in rebounding all four years. Currently, he is the only Indiana University player to rank in the school’s top five in scoring, rebounding, blocked shots, and steals, and he appeared in the Final Four in 1992. In addition, his 23.5 points per game scoring average for the 1995 season is the highest single-season scoring average for any Indiana player during Bob Knight’s 29-year tenure.
Alford was maybe the greatest shooter in Indiana Hoosier history, shooting over 50 percent in 1987 and helping lead the Hoosiers to the 1987 National Championship game. Alford was a product of the Bob Knight system, but with that being said, he did more with that system than just about any player at his position ever could have.
This may seem high to some because of a lack of team success compared to the others rated on this list. But, the others on this list did not come into a situation as bad as what Trayce came into. Davis single-handily brought the Hoosiers back to relevance in his four years and helped the Hoosiers to win a couple of tournament games with a team that would not have gotten near an NCAA Tournament bid without him. Trayce ranks highly on the list of every major stat in Hoosiers history, and he did it with class! Hoosier fans will miss Trayce, but hopefully, when we look at Trayce’s time at Indiana we will point out and say that Trayce is what got the program back to where it used to be. Even if that doesn’t happen, nobody will ever forget his last two seasons playing for the Hoosiers.
May was the last team leader to go undefeated in 1976. May also took home the Naismith Award Player of the Year with averages of 23.5 points and 7.7 rebounds a game that season. For his career, the 6’7” May scored 1,593 points, the 11th-best total in Hoosier history. If May didn’t get hurt in 1975, the Hoosiers might have won back-to-back titles.
Cheaney won the Wooden and Naismith awards as a senior and finished his career with a jaw-dropping school-record total of 2,613 points. Cheaney was a do-everything player who helped lead the Hoosiers to the 1992 Final Four.
Isiah Thomas’ 15.4 career points per game were the icing on the cake for IU’s greatest point guard. Thomas led the Hoosiers to the 1981 National Title while setting single-season school records with 197 assists (5.6 per game) and 74 steals (2.2 a night). Thomas’s greatest asset was a great leader, and after the 1981 team got off to a slow start, Thomas put the team on his back and led the Hoosiers to the National Title. The Thomas that led the Hoosiers dominated the 1981 tournament, with blowouts of Maryland, UAB, St. Joesph’s, LSU, and North Carolina in the National Title game. Thomas went on to be even better in the NBA, as he helped lead the Detroit Pistons to back-to-back NBA Championships in 1989 and 1990.
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