ITH Super Happy Fun Time Top 10 List: Kent Benson

  • 08/11/2008 7:30 am in

benson.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. 7: Kent Benson.

Years at Indiana
: 1973-1977

The numbers
: 1,740 points (15.3 average); 1,031 rebounds (9.1 average); 1,346 field goals; 53.6 field goal percentage

Career highs: 38 points (February 9, 1976 vs. Michigan State); 23 rebounds (March 22, 1975 vs. Kentucky)

Notable achievements
: 42 career double-doubles; All-American (1975, 1976, 1977); First team All-Big Ten (1975, 1976, 1977); Big Ten MVP (1977); Indiana team MVP (1977); Academic All-American (1976, 1977); Indiana Hall of Fame (1989); Big Ten champion (1974, 1975, 1976); NCAA Tournament Most outstanding player (1976); National champion (1976)

The case for Benson: The New Castle native was a centerpiece of the last undefeated team in college basketball alongside Scott May and Quinn Buckner in 1976. The three-time All-American’s 25 points led Indiana to a 86-68 route over Michigan in the national championship game in Philadelphia.

Filed to:

  • JerryCT

    I cannot remember having an effective post player since Benson. Maybe I just have a failing memory.

    For those that did not actually see McGinnes his greatest play of his college career was not a scoring one. …………………………………At 6'8″ and 250lbs he took a charge in open court against the smallest player in the B10, Gary Ganakas ( 5'5″ ) of MSU. Funniest IU play of all time as George pretended that 5'5″ could knock him 15 feet backward. Maybe ITH can get the video…………I'd love to see it again

  • JerryCT

    I cannot remember having an effective post player since Benson. Maybe I just have a failing memory.

    For those that did not actually see McGinnes his greatest play of his college career was not a scoring one. …………………………………At 6'8″ and 250lbs he took a charge in open court against the smallest player in the B10, Gary Ganakas ( 5'5″ ) of MSU. Funniest IU play of all time as George pretended that 5'5″ could knock him 15 feet backward. Maybe ITH can get the video…………I'd love to see it again

  • JerryCT

    I cannot remember having an effective post player since Benson. Maybe I just have a failing memory.

    For those that did not actually see McGinnes his greatest play of his college career was not a scoring one. …………………………………At 6'8″ and 250lbs he took a charge in open court against the smallest player in the B10, Gary Ganakas ( 5'5″ ) of MSU. Funniest IU play of all time as George pretended that 5'5″ could knock him 15 feet backward. Maybe ITH can get the video…………I'd love to see it again

  • kate545

    One problem I have with Kent Benson is the rumor that he hazed Larry Bird off the team. Is this widely accepted as true?

  • kate545

    One problem I have with Kent Benson is the rumor that he hazed Larry Bird off the team. Is this widely accepted as true?

  • kate545

    One problem I have with Kent Benson is the rumor that he hazed Larry Bird off the team. Is this widely accepted as true?

  • DJW

    Wow! I have to say Benson's stat's are impressive… More impressive then I remember.

    Maybe because he was surrounded by such an amazing group, much of his value was overshadowed by the likes of Buckner, Green, May and the others players that were part of that amazing 2 yr run and Nat. Championship.

    Should have been 2 Nat. Championships actually. Was it 76-1?

  • DJW

    Wow! I have to say Benson's stat's are impressive… More impressive then I remember.

    Maybe because he was surrounded by such an amazing group, much of his value was overshadowed by the likes of Buckner, Green, May and the others players that were part of that amazing 2 yr run and Nat. Championship.

    Should have been 2 Nat. Championships actually. Was it 76-1?

  • DJW

    Wow! I have to say Benson's stat's are impressive… More impressive then I remember.

    Maybe because he was surrounded by such an amazing group, much of his value was overshadowed by the likes of Buckner, Green, May and the others players that were part of that amazing 2 yr run and Nat. Championship.

    Should have been 2 Nat. Championships actually. Was it 76-1?

  • plane1972

    Yes, it is widely accepted as true, at least in the eyes of Larry Bird. He talks about it in his biography entitled 'Drive'. I also remember Quinn Buckner saying it is his biggest regret (presumably, sports-related regret) not having been in Bloomington that summer to welcome Bird to the team. He was playing either in the Olympics or the Pan Am Games and Bird had come and gone before he made it back to campus.

  • plane1972

    Yes, it is widely accepted as true, at least in the eyes of Larry Bird. He talks about it in his biography entitled 'Drive'. I also remember Quinn Buckner saying it is his biggest regret (presumably, sports-related regret) not having been in Bloomington that summer to welcome Bird to the team. He was playing either in the Olympics or the Pan Am Games and Bird had come and gone before he made it back to campus.

  • plane1972

    Yes, it is widely accepted as true, at least in the eyes of Larry Bird. He talks about it in his biography entitled 'Drive'. I also remember Quinn Buckner saying it is his biggest regret (presumably, sports-related regret) not having been in Bloomington that summer to welcome Bird to the team. He was playing either in the Olympics or the Pan Am Games and Bird had come and gone before he made it back to campus.

  • Millport

    The game I'll always remeber is the Alabama game in the NCAA's. I believe the Alabama center's name was Douglas. Benson totally dominated him and the game.
    As for the Bird situtation. It was always my understanding that Bird left over Thanksgiving break. If that's the case Buckner would have been back on campus.
    Benson tried to intimidate Jabbar, that lead to a broken jaw or orbit. Benson was never the same.

  • Millport

    The game I'll always remeber is the Alabama game in the NCAA's. I believe the Alabama center's name was Douglas. Benson totally dominated him and the game.
    As for the Bird situtation. It was always my understanding that Bird left over Thanksgiving break. If that's the case Buckner would have been back on campus.
    Benson tried to intimidate Jabbar, that lead to a broken jaw or orbit. Benson was never the same.

  • Millport

    The game I'll always remeber is the Alabama game in the NCAA's. I believe the Alabama center's name was Douglas. Benson totally dominated him and the game.
    As for the Bird situtation. It was always my understanding that Bird left over Thanksgiving break. If that's the case Buckner would have been back on campus.
    Benson tried to intimidate Jabbar, that lead to a broken jaw or orbit. Benson was never the same.

  • DJW

    If the rumor is true (Benson Hazing) then that alone should disqulify Benson from consideration for any accolades at IU. What a disservice that would have been.

    I'm not sure I believe the rumor. I read “Drive” and dont remember the incident in the book. A shame if it is true, though.

  • DJW

    If the rumor is true (Benson Hazing) then that alone should disqulify Benson from consideration for any accolades at IU. What a disservice that would have been.

    I'm not sure I believe the rumor. I read “Drive” and dont remember the incident in the book. A shame if it is true, though.

  • DJW

    If the rumor is true (Benson Hazing) then that alone should disqulify Benson from consideration for any accolades at IU. What a disservice that would have been.

    I'm not sure I believe the rumor. I read “Drive” and dont remember the incident in the book. A shame if it is true, though.

  • JHoosiers77

    Benson played most of his junior year with his wrist in a soft cast/sleeve. He had surgery when the season ended which makes his accomplishments even greater – he had nobody around him in 76/77 except underclassmen. Bird was at IU for about a month in 1974 – Buckner was on the USA Mens World Championship team that summer in Puerto Rico – he and May played on the Olympic team in 1976. Or at least that's my memory of those years.

  • JHoosiers77

    Benson played most of his junior year with his wrist in a soft cast/sleeve. He had surgery when the season ended which makes his accomplishments even greater – he had nobody around him in 76/77 except underclassmen. Bird was at IU for about a month in 1974 – Buckner was on the USA Mens World Championship team that summer in Puerto Rico – he and May played on the Olympic team in 1976. Or at least that's my memory of those years.

  • JHoosiers77

    Benson played most of his junior year with his wrist in a soft cast/sleeve. He had surgery when the season ended which makes his accomplishments even greater – he had nobody around him in 76/77 except underclassmen. Bird was at IU for about a month in 1974 – Buckner was on the USA Mens World Championship team that summer in Puerto Rico – he and May played on the Olympic team in 1976. Or at least that's my memory of those years.

  • Hey, just got back late last nite from TN. Question: We were directly east of Bloomington on 55 and there was this motel by the road called “Knight's Inn.” That got me totally pumped(: Anyway, anybody know anything about this place?

  • Hey, just got back late last nite from TN. Question: We were directly east of Bloomington on 55 and there was this motel by the road called “Knight's Inn.” That got me totally pumped(: Anyway, anybody know anything about this place?

  • Hey, just got back late last nite from TN. Question: We were directly east of Bloomington on 55 and there was this motel by the road called “Knight's Inn.” That got me totally pumped(: Anyway, anybody know anything about this place?

  • Sallad

    It's a chain.

  • Sallad

    It's a chain.

  • Sallad

    It's a chain.

  • Shoot, oh well, name is cool! heh heh

  • Shoot, oh well, name is cool! heh heh

  • Shoot, oh well, name is cool! heh heh

  • CutterInChicago

    I think a case can be made for Ray Tolbert and Dean Garrett in terms of effective post players at IU. Not in the same league as Kent (IMO) but still effective.

    Other effective post players (not from center position) would be a much longer list (i.e. Daryl Thomas, DJ White, Kirk Haston (though possibly a “Center”)

  • CutterInChicago

    I think a case can be made for Ray Tolbert and Dean Garrett in terms of effective post players at IU. Not in the same league as Kent (IMO) but still effective.

    Other effective post players (not from center position) would be a much longer list (i.e. Daryl Thomas, DJ White, Kirk Haston (though possibly a “Center”)

  • CutterInChicago

    I think a case can be made for Ray Tolbert and Dean Garrett in terms of effective post players at IU. Not in the same league as Kent (IMO) but still effective.

    Other effective post players (not from center position) would be a much longer list (i.e. Daryl Thomas, DJ White, Kirk Haston (though possibly a “Center”)

  • MikeinNC

    My source tells me he was a legendary horses butt as a player…especially regarding Larry Bird…but I suppose only he and Larry know for sure

  • MikeinNC

    My source tells me he was a legendary horses butt as a player…especially regarding Larry Bird…but I suppose only he and Larry know for sure

  • MikeinNC

    My source tells me he was a legendary horses butt as a player…especially regarding Larry Bird…but I suppose only he and Larry know for sure

  • john ellis

    Brings back great memories of IU teams in the 70s. I thought Kent Benson was a very good IU defensive player and had some offensive skills – hook shots – not up to the best of the best 60s 70s centers (Jabbar, Chamberlan) but still a strong post player – could have been like Bob Lanier.

    The injury to Scot May denied IU 2 straight undefeated NCAA champtionships – would have ranked them up with the greatest UCLA teams of all time.

    I agree that the incident with Kareem in Benson's rookie year in the NBA ruined everyting – Benson was never a top talent in the NBA after that.

    I blamed Kareem when it happened, but looking back now I think Benson was playing dirty trying to to make his mark. His punishment was that he was traded to the Detroit Pistons – the worst, dirtiest NBA contending team ever.

    I never heard this before about Benson being the reason Larry Bird didn't stay at IU. If so, yes, that is a great asterix on Kent Benson's college career.

    Still, all and all, I think Kent Benson was part of my favorite IU college basketball teams ever.

  • john ellis

    Brings back great memories of IU teams in the 70s. I thought Kent Benson was a very good IU defensive player and had some offensive skills – hook shots – not up to the best of the best 60s 70s centers (Jabbar, Chamberlan) but still a strong post player – could have been like Bob Lanier.

    The injury to Scot May denied IU 2 straight undefeated NCAA champtionships – would have ranked them up with the greatest UCLA teams of all time.

    I agree that the incident with Kareem in Benson's rookie year in the NBA ruined everyting – Benson was never a top talent in the NBA after that.

    I blamed Kareem when it happened, but looking back now I think Benson was playing dirty trying to to make his mark. His punishment was that he was traded to the Detroit Pistons – the worst, dirtiest NBA contending team ever.

    I never heard this before about Benson being the reason Larry Bird didn't stay at IU. If so, yes, that is a great asterix on Kent Benson's college career.

    Still, all and all, I think Kent Benson was part of my favorite IU college basketball teams ever.

  • john ellis

    Brings back great memories of IU teams in the 70s. I thought Kent Benson was a very good IU defensive player and had some offensive skills – hook shots – not up to the best of the best 60s 70s centers (Jabbar, Chamberlan) but still a strong post player – could have been like Bob Lanier.

    The injury to Scot May denied IU 2 straight undefeated NCAA champtionships – would have ranked them up with the greatest UCLA teams of all time.

    I agree that the incident with Kareem in Benson's rookie year in the NBA ruined everyting – Benson was never a top talent in the NBA after that.

    I blamed Kareem when it happened, but looking back now I think Benson was playing dirty trying to to make his mark. His punishment was that he was traded to the Detroit Pistons – the worst, dirtiest NBA contending team ever.

    I never heard this before about Benson being the reason Larry Bird didn't stay at IU. If so, yes, that is a great asterix on Kent Benson's college career.

    Still, all and all, I think Kent Benson was part of my favorite IU college basketball teams ever.

  • Jason

    His nephew is my teacher. BOO YAHH!!!!! What now try and beat that.

  • Jason

    His nephew is my teacher. BOO YAHH!!!!! What now try and beat that.

  • Jason

    His nephew is my teacher. BOO YAHH!!!!! What now try and beat that.

  • Jason

    U just wish you were as cool as he was. O yeah i said, watcha gona do bout it!

  • Jason

    U just wish you were as cool as he was. O yeah i said, watcha gona do bout it!

  • Jason

    U just wish you were as cool as he was. O yeah i said, watcha gona do bout it!

  • Jason

    His nephew is my teacher. BOO YAHH!!!!! What now try and beat that.

  • Jason

    U just wish you were as cool as he was. O yeah i said, watcha gona do bout it!