The Greatest IU Basketball Player of All-Time Bracket: Knight Post-’85 and Post-Knight Era Sweet Sixteen

  • 04/07/2020 10:41 am in

Welcome back to the “Greatest IU Basketball Player of All-Time” tournament bracket, where Inside the Hall and Assembly Call teamed up to put together a field of 68 former Hoosiers who have left a tremendous impact on the Indiana basketball program.

We have now reached the Sweet Sixteen stage of the bracket for all four regions: The Pre-Knight, Knight Pre-’85, Knight Post-’85 and Post-Knight regions, representing the four periods of IU basketball history.

Yesterday, you voted for the Sweet Sixteen matchups in the Pre-Knight and Knight Pre’85 regions. Today it’s time to vote in the two Sweet Sixteen matchups in each of the Knight Post-’85 and Post-Knight regions.

Voting for the Elite Eight in the Pre-Knight and Knight Pre-’85 regions will take place tomorrow.

Among the factors to consider when voting:

– Impact on winning at IU
– Statistical achievement
– How they represented the program and university
– Qualitative impact on the culture and tradition of IU basketball overall

Remember, go to Inside the Hall’s Twitter account to vote on these matchups (the polls will also be embedded in this post once they go live), and you have 24 hours from when the polls go live to vote. (The updated bracket can be found at the bottom of the article.)

Today’s matchups are below:

Knight Post-’85 Region

No. 1 Calbert Cheaney vs. No. 4 Alan Henderson

Calbert Cheaney (1989-1993)

Cheaney defeated Michael Lewis in the round of 64 and AJ Guyton in the round of 32. Cheaney’s legacy precedes him. He’s still the Big Ten’s all-time leading scorer, and therefore the leading scorer in IU history, with 2,613 career points and was a three-time All-American under Bob Knight. Postseason accolades flooded Cheaney during his IU career, as he won the Wooden and Naismith awards for National player of the year and was the Big Ten player of the year in 1993. The small forward from Evansville, Indiana, was also named to IU’s All-Century first team and was inducted last year into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. A career 56 percent shooter from the field, Cheaney also shot 44 percent from 3-point range and scored 30 or more points an astounding 13 times. Indiana won 105 games during Cheaney’s four years as a Hoosier.

Alan Henderson (1991-1995)

Henderson defeated Dean Garrett in the round of 64 and Greg Graham in the round of 32. Another prolific scorer from the early ’90s, the 6-foot-9 Henderson finished his Hoosier career with 1,979 career points, still seventh all-time on IU’s scoring charts. Henderson’s 23.5 points per game as a senior in the 1994-95 season represents the highest single-season per game scoring total from Bob Knight’s time as head coach. Among IU players since 1971, Henderson has the most single-season points in Big Ten play (416 points during that 1994-95 campaign). All four of Henderson’s Hoosier teams reached the NCAA tournament, and the 1992-93 squad won the Big Ten and was the last IU team to win more than 30 games in a season. Henderson averaged a double-double during his final two seasons at Indiana.

No. 3 Damon Bailey vs. No. 2 Steve Alford

Damon Bailey (1990-1994)

Bailey defeated Matt Nover in the round of 64 and Brian Evans in the round of 32. The fanfare surrounding Bailey’s arrival at Indiana was unprecedented and he lived up to the hype in college as well. After scoring 3,134 points at Bedford North Lawrence High School (still the boys’ high school basketball record in Indiana), he scored 1,741 points with the Hoosiers (eighth all-time on the IU scoring charts). An Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame member, Bailey was named the 1991 Big Ten freshman of the year after averaging 11.4 points per game and as a senior he received third-team All-American honors after averaging 19.6 points per game. Indiana made it to at least the Sweet Sixteen in each of Bailey’s four seasons, and Indiana won two Big Ten titles during the same period.

Steve Alford (1983-1987)

Alford defeated Andrae Patterson in the round of 64 and Keith Smart in the round of 32. A 6-foot-2 guard, Alford’s 2,438 career points set an Indiana school record at his time of graduation. While he now must settle for second all-time on the IU scoring charts, there’s little Alford didn’t accomplish during his college career. He was part of Indiana’s last NCAA title team in 1987, the same season in which he was named a consensus first-team All-American (for the second time), a first-team All-Big Ten member (for the third time), the Big Ten Player of the Year (for the second time) and the Big Ten MVP. This all came after a prestigious high school career at New Castle in Indiana (Alford was the 1983 Indiana Mr. Basketball) and after he won the gold medal with the United States in the 1984 Olympics. Alford also has the IU record for career steals in Big Ten games (99).

Post-Knight Region

No. 1 Yogi Ferrell vs. No. 4 Jared Jeffries

Yogi Ferrell (2012-2016)

Ferrell defeated Troy Williams in the round of 64 and Christian Watford in the round of 32. A top recruit at point guard for the Hoosiers, Ferrell was a first-team All-Big Ten player in 2015 and 2016. A member of the 2013 Big Ten all-freshman team, then 2016 Big Ten all-defensive team and an All-American selection, Ferrell started and ended his IU career by winning the Big Ten regular season title twice and reaching the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA tournament twice. He started all 137 games of his Indiana career, averaged 14.5 points and 4.6 assists per game for his career and had 114 career steals. Ferrell is sixth all-time in scoring at IU with 1,986 points and is the program’s all-time assists leader with 633. He also has the most made 3-pointers in Big Ten play (159) among all Hoosiers.

Jared Jeffries (2000-2002)

Jeffries defeated Thomas Bryant in the round of 64 and DJ White in the round of 32. A power forward and center for the Hoosiers for two seasons under Mike Davis at the turn of the century, Jeffries was a major part of the IU team which finished as national runner-up in 2002. He came to IU after being named Mr. Basketball in 2000 for the state of Indiana at Bloomington High School North, Jeffries was the 2001 Big Ten freshman of the year and the 2002 Big Ten player of the year. Impressively, Jeffries slotted in as a starter right away and averaged 13.8 points per game and 6.9 rebounds per game as a freshman, before finishing his Hoosier career with more than 1,000 points and 500 rebounds. After an 11-year NBA career, Jeffries now hosts his own fishing show on television.

No. 3 Cody Zeller vs. No. 2 Victor Oladipo

Cody Zeller (2011-2013)

Zeller defeated Bracey Wright in the round of 64 and Tom Coverdale in the round of 32. A native of Washington, Indiana, Zeller continued his high school success (he was Mr. Basketball in Indiana in 2011) into his college career. Zeller was the 2012 Big Ten freshman of the year and a second-team All-Big Ten selection in the same year, before closing his two-year Hoosier career as a first-team All-Big Ten selection and a consensus second-team All-American. Zeller started every game of his IU career, and finished with averages of 16.1 points per game and 7.3 rebounds per game, in addition to 87 career blocks and 86 career steals. He shot 59.2 percent from the floor for his career before going on to be drafted fourth overall in the 2013 NBA draft by the Charlotte Bobcats.

Victor Oladipo (2010-2013)

Oladipo defeated Dane Fife in the round of 64 and Jordan Hulls in the round of 32. A terrific ball handler and tenacious defender while playing at shooting guard, Oladipo rose from a bench player to a superstar with the Hoosiers, closing his college career by being named a first-team All-Big Ten selection, the Big Ten defensive player of the year, first-team All-American and the Sporting News national player of the year. Oladipo scored 1,235 points in his IU career, one that culminated with a Big Ten title and consecutive appearances in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA tournament. Oladipo, third in IU history with 161 steals and a player shot 53.8 percent for his college career, is one of the most popular IU players in recent history and now plays for the Indiana Pacers after being selected second overall by the Orlando Magic in the 2013 NBA draft.

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