The 10 Greatest IU Players of the Last 30 years

I see that Chuck Klosterman has published his list of the top 50 college players of all time. For what it's worth: Scott May is #35 and Steve Alford is #18. These lists are just fodder for people to yell at each other over the internet. But what the heck.

I have been actively following IU for about 30 years now. So I'll cut it off there. I know what I know about Quinn Buckner, Scott May and Kent Benson from what my dad has told me. I am just going to stick to what I know. And, I should be working instead of posting this (and it probably blows a hole in Thunderpup's afternoon, too), so I am just going to keep this to 10. Using the the theme of this afternoon -- speculative stuff without facts or statistics (h/t, AJ) -- and to get the juices flowing for the start tonight, here goes:

10. Jay Edwards. A disaster off the court, but he was just sick on it. Had legitimate range of 25 feet.

9. Damon Bailey. His legacy is so clouded by the expectations placed on him, fairly or not. We all expected him to be the #1 player of all time. He was still pretty good, though.

8. Brian Evans. Deserves recognition for being the only guy under Knight to lead the conference in scoring. He was also tough, and had a flat top that you could set your watch by.

7. DJ White. I have always appreciated the work and effort that DJ put into his game. He was a somewhat-heralded prospect who came here skinny but determined. He worked through injuries and coaching turmoil to make himself a very, very good college player.

6. Eric Gordon. Only one year, but man, what a year it was. In just about every game he played while at IU, he was the best player on the court. Without any real argument.

5. Jared Jeffries. My vision of what I hope Trey Lyles becomes. Good defender, if my memory serves correctly, too.

4. Alan Henderson. Henderson was a complete package: great defense; blocked shots; played with his back to the basket; had range facing the basket to about 18 feet.

3. Isaiah Thomas. If you get a chance, check out the results from the 1981 tourney. IU went in somewhat lightly regarded (having lost 9 games, but won the conference). They absolutely destroyed everyone they faced. And the reason was Thomas.

2. Steve Alford. Thinking back on that 87 team, I marvel at Coach Knight. Alford was a truly great player. Everyone else was "meh" at best. That's on the coach.

1. Calbert Cheaney. He was great for his entire career, and absolutely unstoppable (and National POY) his senior season.


OK, flame away.

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