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 reached the final day of competition in the bracket.
The past three weeks have let up to this point, and there’s only one vote left to determine who the greatest IU basketball player of all-time is. It will either be No. 1-seeded Calbert Cheaney, who is representing the Knight Post-’85 Region, or No. 3-seeded Isiah Thomas, who is representing the Knight Pre-’85 Region.
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 the matchup (the poll will also be embedded in this post once it goes live), and you have a little over 24 hours from when the poll goes live to vote. (The updated bracket can be found at the bottom of the article.)
No. 3 Isiah Thomas vs. No. 1 Calbert Cheaney
Isiah Thomas (1979-1981)
Thomas defeated Uwe Blab in the round of 64, Ray Tolbert in the round of 32, Kent Benson in the Sweet 16, Scott May in the Elite 8 and Walt Bellamy in the Final Four. The catalyst for Indiana’s 1981 national title and eventual No. 2 overall pick in the NBA draft and 12-time NBA All-Star, Thomas made the most of his two seasons in Bloomington. As a freshman Thomas led Indiana in scoring (423 points), assists (159) and steals (62) while becoming the first freshman to be named to the AP All-Big Ten team. He was a captain of the 1980-81 team as a sophomore, improving his final statistical averages to 15.4 points per game, 5.7 assists per game and 3.5 rebounds per game as the Hoosiers went 26-9 and defeated North Carolina for the college championship. Thomas went on to win two NBA titles with the Detroit Pistons and spent time as the coach of the Indiana Pacers.
Calbert Cheaney (1989-1993)
Cheaney defeated Michael Lewis in the round of 64, AJ Guyton in the round of 32, Alan Henderson in the Sweet 16, Steve Alford in the Elite 8 and Victor Oladipo in the Final Four. 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.
The Greatest IU Basketball Player of All-Time Bracket
— Inside the Hall (@insidethehall) April 13, 2020
Filed to: All-Time Greatest Hoosier