ITH Super Happy Fun Time Top 10 List: George McGinnis

  • 08/08/2008 8:00 am in

mcginnis.jpgThe ballots have been counted and it’s time for Inside the Hall’s countdown of the greatest Indiana players of all-time. Today: No. 8: George McGinnis.

Years at Indiana
: 1970-1971

The numbers: 791 points (29.9 average); 352 rebounds (14.7 average)

Career highs: 45 points (February 1, 1971 vs. Northern Illinois); 23 rebounds (January 9, 1971 at Northwestern and January 16, 1971 at Michigan)

Notable achievements: Twelve 30-10 performances (tied for school record); 22 double-doubles; All-American (1971); First team All-Big Ten (1971); Indiana team MVP (1971)

The case for McGinnis: Although he only played one year in Bloomington, the numbers McGinnis posted in that season are remarkable. He is one of only five players in history to lead the Big Ten in scoring and rebounding in a season. His 45 points against Northern Illinois are the fourth highest in a game in school history.

(Photo Credit: Herald Times)

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  • BobbyDigital

    I’m too young to have seen this guy… sounds like a manchild. I couldn’t post those numbers in a 5th grade rec league.


    I will always wonder what the result of the 1973 NCAA Semifinal game with UCLA would have been if MAC played in that game.

  • DJW

    I am firmly convinced that if McGinnis would have played his entire career at IU he would have been the greatest of all time.

    All of his I.U. achievements were accomplished in his first year of playing college basketball.

    Unfortunately, he turned pro in his next season.

  • DJW

    It would have been intersting if George would have stayed and completed his entire career at IU playing with his HS teammate Steve Downing.

    What an amazing team that could have been.

    What other players were on that team when McGinnis was played…do you remember?

  • nchoosier

    another reason why this topic is so tough. hard to rank a guy that only played one year. isiah too. what if EJ played 4 years? we could go on and on!

  • Anonymous

    615 field goals in a season would be pretty remarkable. maybe a typo BigA?

    Either way, pretty impressive stats. Only a junior in Bloomington now, so he was well before my time, but this entire countdown has been great for a young’un like myself to learn more about some Hoosier legends. Nice idea/work gentlemen.

    Been reading for a year now, going to try to start posting and giving back to ths great site. Among the first I check everytime I get on the internet. Thanks.

  • Yeah, it was a typo. That was actually attempts. I’ve made the correction.

    Thanks for reading and we look forward reading your comments moving forward.

  • from a pure talent standpoint, almost anyone will tell you that he’s the greatest to ever wear an Indiana uniform.

  • indiananorthshore

    If he would have played 3 years at IU, he would have been the best ever. Also first team high school all american in football (reciever) as well as basketball. Co-MVP in ABA with Dr J. Turned the Sixers around from a nine win season before he arrived to a playoff team the year he arrived. A physical specimen like Karl Malone

  • Anonymous

    Joby Wright, Bubbles Harris, and John Ritter started along with McGinnis and Downing. McGinnis was indeed a man among boys. I was a freshman during George’s one and only year wearing the Cream and Crimson. He was ineligible to play his freshmen year because he didn’t qualify academically. I was told that during his freshmen year the varsity was only the third best team at IU behind George’s intramural team and the freshmen team. IU did not play in Assembly Hall until the year after George left. At that time we called Assembly Hall “The House that George Built”. Of course, he never played there for IU, but I did see George and the Pacers lose to the Nets in an ABA playoff game there.

  • kate545

    I remember first seeing George during the 1969 IHSAA championship when he was playing for Indianapolis Washington. It was obvious then that this guy was the stuff. Even as an early teen(but already a hoosier fan), I felt disappointed when he went pro.

    slojoe – I seem to have a vague memory that the NCAA forbid freshmen from playing, regardless of academic qualifications. (Benson, I think, was the first to benefit from the rule change)

  • Anonymous

    I apologize he came to the sixer’s two seasons after they won only 9 games. However his first season in the NBA he averaged 23 points

  • Anonymous

    kate545, you are correct that freshmen could not play for the varsity. But they could play for the freshmen team that did play some games v. other schools. Big George did not qualify academically to play for the freshment team. I think back then they were called “nonpredictors”. Actually Buckner’s class was the first to benefit from the rule change. However, May and Wilkerson were “nonpredictors” and could not play their freshmen years. Ironically, although Coach Knight was not a big supporter of the freshmen eligible rule, he and IU probably benefited most from the rule that year as IU went to the final four led by an all freshment backcourt — Quinn Buckner and Jim Crews.

  • kate545

    Thanks for such a informative reply.

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