ITH Super Happy Fun Time Top 10 List: Steve Alford

  • 08/13/2008 7:30 am in

salford5.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. 5: Steve Alford.

Years at Indiana: 1983-1987

The numbers: 2,438 points (19.5 average); 385 assists (3.1 average); 178 steals (1.4 average); 53.3 field goal percentage; 89.8 free throw percentage

Career highs
: 42 points (February 4, 1987 vs. Michigan State); 8 steals (March 15, 1985 vs. Butler)

Notable achievements: All-American (1986, 1987); First team All-Big Ten (1984, 1986, 1987); Indiana team MVP (1984, 1985, 1986, 1987); Indiana Hall of Fame (1997); Big Ten co-champion (1987); National champion (1987)

The case for Alford: One of the best shooters ever in the state of Indiana, Alford is the second leading scorer in school history. And if the three-point line, adopted in 1986, would have been present during his entire career, his career totals would have grown considerably. Alford’s 23 points, including seven three-pointers, led the Hoosiers to a 74-73 win over Syracuse in the 1987 championship game.

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  • MPmike

    When I was in the 6th grade, Steve Alford came to my summer basketball camp. I believe it was in 1984 after Alford's Freshman year at IU. Alford just made the US Olympic team (as the only Freshman) which was coach under Bob Knight. The 1984 US Olympic team was the greatest outside the original Dream Team. The 1984 team was just as good as the current and past NBA stars. The 1984 team had Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone, John Stockton- too name a few, and to tell you that this team was so deep that Charles Barkley was left off the team. 1984 team slaughtered every opponent they faced in route to winning the Gold Medal at the 1984 Olympics in L.A.

    Going back to Steve Alford and the summer camp, he was truly amazing and a very good role model for a young kid like me and the rest of us. Alford put on an outstanding shooting and dribbling exhibition. He did not miss a shot and he showed us his good handles when he dribbled two basketballs at the same time while doing drills. It was a display of great shooting and good ball handling.

    Alford was one if not the best shooter in Indiana, college and high shool basketball history.
    He was the best ever in using the ball screen and shot. I love his competitive not-going-to-back-down nature. We should call Steve Alford the “Killer Assasin” for whenever he put up a three pointer which seem like automatic everytime. Alford would have been still the all-time leading scorer in IU history if he played the other three years with the three point shot. He shot over 50% on threes his senior year . It was a pleasure to watch him play.

  • BGleas

    I'm actually surprised he's this low on the list. I thought he'd be higher.

  • Sallad

    I just like his giant shoe in New Castle, although it's weird seeing it in New Mexico colors, now. I had just gotten used to the yellow and black.

  • JerryCT

    Not my favorite player but worthy of top 10. He and his teams were unbelievable at closing out close games in the last few minutes.

    Personally I thought Jimmy Rayl or RIck Mount might hav e been better shooters.

    I never understand the ” if only had the 3pt shot” concept. I suspect that defenses would have “gamed” for that and most players would not have scored much more on average unless they also possessed great moves to the basket eg Gordon. As such perhaps the best scorer to play in Indiana was Austin Carr at ND

  • JerryCT

    Not my favorite player but worthy of top 10. He and his teams were unbelievable at closing out close games in the last few minutes.

    Personally I thought Jimmy Rayl or RIck Mount might hav e been better shooters.

    I never understand the ” if only had the 3pt shot” concept. I suspect that defenses would have “gamed” for that and most players would not have scored much more on average unless they also possessed great moves to the basket eg Gordon. As such perhaps the best scorer to play in Indiana was Austin Carr at ND

  • Millport

    Let me apolgize for yesterday. What was intended as a compliment turned bad, I am truly sorry.
    Today I looked up the Hall of fame. Guess who's on there as a player? Branch McCracken. I am not suggesting he's a top ten, just found it interesting.
    Alford was the epitome of IU basketball. The final four choices will be interesting to view.

  • JerryCT

    INice of you to apologize whether you needed to or not.

    DJW who is on this site frequently has reccommended a book about McCracken and his 1953 NCAA champs written by an IU alum. I am sure he will would be happy to give us all the title again when he gets back on ITH

  • JerryCT

    INice of you to apologize whether you needed to or not.

    DJW who is on this site frequently has reccommended a book about McCracken and his 1953 NCAA champs written by an IU alum. I am sure he will would be happy to give us all the title again when he gets back on ITH

  • DJW

    JerryCT:

    I may have to agree with you on your evaluation of Austin Carr or maybe even Larry Bird would qualify “as perhaps the best scorer to play in Indiana “

    However, Alford was outstanding and, without a doubt, deserves the top 10

  • DJW

    JerryCT:

    I may have to agree with you on your evaluation of Austin Carr or maybe even Larry Bird would qualify “as perhaps the best scorer to play in Indiana “

    However, Alford was outstanding and, without a doubt, deserves the top 10

  • DJW

    Mac's Boys: Branch Mccracken And the Legendary 1953 Hurryin' Hoosiers

    Author: Jason Hiner

  • Millport

    The interesting point to me, was that he was inducted as a player, not as a coach. Wooden was inducted twice, as a player and as a coach. The only IU players in the hall are McCracken, Bellamy and Thomas.

  • Millport

    The interesting point to me, was that he was inducted as a player, not as a coach. Wooden was inducted twice, as a player and as a coach. The only IU players in the hall are McCracken, Bellamy and Thomas.

  • JerryCT

    To be more specific I meant that Austin Carr would probably have benefited from the 3pt line more than any other player including Bird because he was equally good around the basket and going to the basket as he was deadly from outside . Unlike Alford, Rayl, Mount etc he could not be defended for the 3pt shot alone.

    Bird also would have benefitted but his game was more inside than Carr.

  • JerryCT

    To be more specific I meant that Austin Carr would probably have benefited from the 3pt line more than any other player including Bird because he was equally good around the basket and going to the basket as he was deadly from outside . Unlike Alford, Rayl, Mount etc he could not be defended for the 3pt shot alone.

    Bird also would have benefitted but his game was more inside than Carr.

  • JerryCT

    FYI

    McCracken and Wooden were neighbors in Martinsville and played together as boys. Now that you mention it perhaps McCracken deserves a mention in the top 10 .

    Can we have have 11 in the top 10………?……..after all, we are not the engineering school in Indiana where they are forced to accept the number 10 as is. We are the creative math people.

  • JerryCT

    FYI

    McCracken and Wooden were neighbors in Martinsville and played together as boys. Now that you mention it perhaps McCracken deserves a mention in the top 10 .

    Can we have have 11 in the top 10………?……..after all, we are not the engineering school in Indiana where they are forced to accept the number 10 as is. We are the creative math people.

  • Millport

    They called him “Big Bear”. At 6'4″ he probably was considered a big bear. I saw him every once in a while around campus and he was a good sized man.
    I would think that it really bothered him what happened under the Lou Watson/Jerry Oliver tenure. Sounds like a familiar theme, doesn't it? How many coaches has UCLA gone through? NC went through two before landing Williams. Duke will be interesting. IU is not the first, nor will it be the last to suffer

  • plane1972

    Sorry to break it to you, but neither Karl Malone nor John Stockton was on the '84 team. They were both cut just like Barkley. I think you're mixing the '84 and Dream Team into one giant roster. '84 was a great team, though.

  • wolfer

    If memory serves me right I think the 3Pt shot was in effect when I saw Alford play against Iowa in Bloomington in '86-87. Iowa had three 7'0″ players in their front court. They played a zone and had the three 7'0″s out on top and the wings to force Alford to shoot over them. I recall SA simply moved farther away and with a killer's attitude nailed numerous three pointers from beyond the 3pt line. I don't mean by a little I mean by 6-8 feet from the line. Absolutely a great shooting exhibition. Plus, it drove Iowa coach Lute Olsen crazy. A great IU win and memory.

  • gregmquinn

    I am really surprised Alford is ranked #5. I thought he had a chance to be #1. While May, Cheaney, Isaiah and Bellamy were better athletes, Steve Alford truly embodied Indiana basketball from high school through college, until today. Although I'm excited about Coach Crean, there is a part of me that will always want Alford to come back as our head coach. Maybe someday…

  • MPmike

    Thanks for the info. I can recall that Stockton and Malone tried out but did not make the final cut. I wonder who else was on that '84 Olympic team? This could be a good trivia question to name the 12 players on that team.

  • plane1972

    Steve Alford
    Michael Jordan
    Wayman Tisdale
    Leon Wood
    Alvin Robertson
    Jon Koncak (sp?)
    Joe Kleine
    Chris Mullin
    Patrick Ewing
    Vern Fleming
    Sam Perkins
    1 or 2 more I can't recall
     
    Good team, but can't be mentioned in the same breath as the Dream Team, though, imho.

  • SB_Hoosier

    I agree that Steve Alford epitomizes IU b-ball. He wasn't overly quick, couldn't jump out of the gym, and wasn't that fast. But he was a tireless worker, always gave his all, did the little things it took to win, played defense, understood the game, and was as technically sound as they came. To me, that is Indiana basketball.

  • MikeinNC

    I agree with you on everything except the playing defense part…I think that is the only thing keeping him from being worthy of #1 in my opinion

  • MikeinNC

    I agree with you on everything except the playing defense part…I think that is the only thing keeping him from being worthy of #1 in my opinion

  • MikeinNC

    I agree with you on everything except the playing defense part…I think that is the only thing keeping him from being worthy of #1 in my opinion

  • MPmike

    I agree that it's not the Dream Team, but it was probably the best team as far as Collegiate players. They dominated the 1984 Olympics.

  • MPmike

    I agree that it's not the Dream Team, but it was probably the best team as far as Collegiate players. They dominated the 1984 Olympics.

  • MPmike

    I agree that it's not the Dream Team, but it was probably the best team as far as Collegiate players. They dominated the 1984 Olympics.