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IU Men's Basketball

From Bloomingpedia

Indiana University has had a varsity basketball team since 1901. Through 2004, they had won 1,555 games, good for ninth on the list of all-time winningest programs. They have won five NCAA championships: in 1940, 1953, 1976, 1981, and 1987, and also reached the Final Four in 1992 and 2002.

Assembly Hall by Kagan Tuncay.

The team plays home games on the Branch McCracken Court in Assembly Hall on the north end of the Indiana University campus. Assembly Hall is located in the IU Sports Complex. The head coach is Tom Crean.


Indiana University Men's Basketball team was founded in 1898.

The hiring of Everett Dean as head coach in 1925 kicked off the tradition of excellence for Indiana basketball. Dean's teams won three Big Ten titles in thirteen years for the Hoosiers. In 1939, Branch McCracken took over the team and coached for the next 26 years (excepting a three-year stint in the Army during World War II), winning two national titles.

Lou Watson coached Indiana from 1966-1971, with limited success, but did coach big George McGinnis for his one year in college ball. McGinnis averaged 29.9 points per game that year, which still stands as an Indiana record.

In 1972 former Ohio State player and Army coach Bobby Knight was named as the new coach. He instituted a scientific brand of basketball called the "Motion Offense" to the dismay of the alumni, who until that time were used to watching the "Hurryin' Hoosiers". In the 1974-1975 season, however, Knight proved his theories by losing just one game, and after an undefeated season the next year Coach Knight was one of the most popular men in the state. Additional championships followed in 1981 and 1987.

In December of 1999 assistant coach / administrative assistant Ron Felling was fired by Coach Knight. It turned out that Felling had saved a videotape of a practice made three years ago which showed Knight grabbing Neil Reed around the neck. He gave the tape to CNN/Sports Illustrated, and in March, when the 2000 NCAA tournament was big news, the network broke the story. Many of Reed's teammates jumped to the coach's defense, but University president Myles Brand instituted a zero-tolerance policy for him, including acting with "appropriate decorum and civility" and avoiding "inappropriate physical conduct" with anyone. (Herald-Times story)

That fall, Knight was addressed in what he felt was an inappropriate manner by freshman Kent Harvey. He grabbed the boy's arm to give him a short lecture on manners; the story got out; and Coach Knight was fired. The widely unpopular decision caused rioting on campus, but Brand refused to back down and assistant coach Mike Davis was named first as interim coach and later as the permanent head coach.

The next few years were marked by controversy, as Davis felt his way through his first head coaching job. Although bringing in some solid recruits, the Hoosiers acquired a reputation as underachievers, and Davis finally announced his resignation on February 16, 2006. After a short but carefully watched search, the administration announced the hiring of Kelvin Sampson on March 29, 2006. The signing was to the chagrin of many Hoosier fans, who had hoped to bring in former Indiana star and current New Mexico coach Steve Alford, but Coach Sampson had a surprisingly successful first season and an astonishing recruiting class for his second season, and his in-state critics were quietened. But Sampson was not without baggage of his own. His Oklahoma teams had been sanctioned by the NCAA for recruiting violations, and certain of those sanctions followed him to Indiana, and in 2008 an internal IU investigation revealed that Sampson had continued to make illegal phone calls to recruits. New school president Michael McRobbie convened a committee to examine the allegations, and a week later Sampson had followed Davis and Knight out the door.

Former Hoosier player and assistant coach Dan Dakich, who had been named director of basketball operations during the season, took over as interim head coach for the few remaining games, but was markedly unsuccessful. His tenure was remarkable mainly for his dismissal of starting guards Armon Bassett and JaMarcus Ellis from the team.

After the end of the season, Marquette coach Tom Crean was named the next head coach. Crean attempted to set a tone for the program by asking the lone remaining scholarship player, Jordan Crawford, to leave the team, and thus began his first season without a single returning scholarship player. Wins were hard to come by at first, but a Sweet 16 appearance in 2012 marked the beginning of the turnaround.

After losing two top 5 NBA draft picks, the 2013-14 version of the team consists of a majority of freshmen and sophomores. It remains to be seen whether they will be able to build on the two consecutive Sweet 16 appearances of the last two years.


Players with 2000 or more points

1000 Rebounds

Season by Season


Isiah Thomas's sophomore year started slowly, but came to an amazing conclusion as the Hoosiers, ranked just 15th entering tournament play, ended up winning the school's fourth national championship. Thomas, who had scored 39 points in a regular season game against Michigan, was a consensus All-American. It was even uncertain if Indiana would win the Big Ten championship until the final few games, as Iowa went 13-3 to start the season versus Indiana's 12-4 and Illinois' 11-5. But Iowa lost its final two games while Indiana won both games, one over the Illini, to take the title. The Hoosiers drew Maryland, UAB, and St. Joseph in the first three tournament games, winning in dominating fashion by 32, 15, and 32 points, respectively, and were no less dominant in the semifinal game. Indiana beat LSU 67-49 behind 20 points from Landon Turner and 14 from Thomas. This set up the final game against North Carolina, and Indiana never took a lead in the first half until Randy Wittman's shot at the buzzer gave the Hoosiers a 27-26 advantage. In the second half, Thomas took over, taking the lead up to as many as 11 and never letting the Tarheels get within six after that point. He ended with 23 for the game as the Hoosiers won, 63-50. It would be Isiah's final season as a Hoosier, as he jumped to the NBA the next year.



One of the best classes ever at Indiana University began their junior season with a #2 preseason ranking, but lost to UCLA and Kentucky in early season games. Still hovering around the top ten, the Hoosiers were expected to contend for the Big Ten title with the Michigan Fab Five freshmen. The first meeting between the teams resulted in an 89-74 victory for Indiana, and the Hoosiers would not lose again until February. Horrendous shooting in the last four league games dropped the Hoosiers from 12-2 to 14-4, earning them a #2 seed in the tournament and leading Coach Knight to cancel the basketball awards banquet for the first time in more than 40 years. Nevertheless, victories over Eastern Illinois and Shaquille O'Neal-led LSU brought Indiana to the Sweet 16.

Before those games started, the Indiana players bought the coach a bullwhip as a gag gift, which caused a good deal of controversy when African-American star Calbert Cheaney posed for a picture pretending to be whipped by Knight. Despite that, the Hoosiers exacted their revenge on UCLA to set up a Final Four confrontation with Duke. Unfortunately, the late-season shooting woes resurfaced and the Hoosiers seemed to be completely out of the game in the second half, before freshman Todd Leary hit three three-pointers in the final minute. It was too late, but the final score was a respectable 81-78.


The 2002 team, although coached by Mike Davis, had all Knight recruits on the roster. Led by current NBA player Jared Jeffries, the team was seeded 5th in the tournament and beat Utah and UNC-Wilmington to set up a Sweet Sixteen matchup with Duke, a game in which they were considered to be heavy underdogs. The favorites were shocked, however, when Indiana pulled out a one-point victory. The Hoosiers then disposed of Cinderella team Kent State to make the Final Four. After a close victory against Kelvin Sampson-coached Oklahoma, the Hoosiers battled hard against Maryland in the final game and had a lead late in the second half before succumbing. The Indiana administration rewarded Coach Davis with a six-year contract.


Hoosier fans were looking forward to finding out what big man George Leach would be able to do in his final year, but were disappointed when a December knee injury sidelined him for several weeks. Losses to Top 20 teams Kentucky, Missouri, and Wake Forest also dampened Hoosier spirits, and the Hoosiers entered Big Ten play with a 6-5 mark. Five straight early conference wins were followed by four straight losses, and Indiana limped to a eighth-place conference finish. After beating Ohio State in the Big Ten tournament, the Hoosiers faced top-seeded Illinois, and were tied 54-54 with five minutes remaining before falling. With a 14-15 record, Indiana was not invited to postseason play, and failed to make the NCAA tournament for the first time since the 1984-85 season.


A woeful early season saw the Hoosiers lose four straight games to Connecticut, Notre Dame, Kentucky, and Charlotte. The ship seemed to right itself when the Big Ten season started and the Hoosiers jumped out to a 4-1 record, and later beat 9th ranked Michigan State en route to a 10-6 record in conference play. This only afforded them the fifth seed in the Big Ten tournament however, and after losing to Minnesota the Hoosiers had ended with a 15-13 overall record and a berth in the NIT. They lost at home in the first round, 67-60 to Vanderbilt, in front of the smallest home crowd in years.

In spite of the poor finish, star guard Bracey Wright was named to the all-Big Ten first team and D.J. White was named freshman of the year in the Big Ten. On April 13, Wright announced his intention to enter the NBA draft, and went to the Minnesota Timberwolves as the overall 47th pick. James Hardy also left the team to concentrate on football.


The season started with high hopes as two new transfers from the staggering Auburn program became eligible to play, but an early season foot injury to star D.J. White put a damper on things. The early season Duke game ended in an eight-point loss as the Hoosiers managed just two of ten three-pointers, while Killingsworth, who was anticipated to be a major post presence, made it to the free throw line nine times and hit just three. The Hoosiers came back to beat Charlotte, but in a low point for the season lost to Indiana State. The Hoosiers bounced back and climbed as high as #8 in the polls, and D.J. White came back in January. But White almost immediately re-injured his foot, and the Hoosiers lost six of seven games in January and February. Calls for Coach Davis to be fired were becoming loud, and the coach actually called in sick for one game.

On February 16, 2006, Davis announced his resignation, and the team, galvanized, won its final four regular season games and were rewarded with the #6 seed in the NCAA tournament. After an exciting, come-from-behind victory against San Diego State, the Hoosiers came up against Gonzaga. Although holding all-American Adam Morrison to just 14 points, Indiana was not able to stop enough of the other Zags to win, and bowed out of the tournament 90-80. The next week Kelvin Sampson was anointed the next coach of the Hoosiers.


The Kelvin Sampson era began with fairly low expectations, as the new coach was unable to recruit any of his own players in the few months after his hiring, and also lost star player Robert Vaden, who elected to follow Mike Davis to Alabama-Birmingham. However, Sampson was able to bring in junior college transfers Mike White and Lance Stemler, and had the team in fairly good shape at the beginning of the season. However, controversy continued to dog his footsteps when high school phenom Eric Gordon made it known that he was thinking of reversing his commitment to Illinois and coming to play for the Hoosiers. Gordon made this decision official in October to the delight of Indiana fans and the fury of the Illini, and the three games played between the two teams were extremely emotional, the Hoosiers only managing to win one.

Tough early season games were the norm: the Hoosiers played eventual Sweet Sixteen teams Butler and Southern Illinois, splitting the games, but the first marquee game was in the ACC-Big Ten challenge, as Duke came to town. Hoosier inconsistency at the free-throw line led the team to buckle under as a desperate thee-pointer by Errek Suhr went awry at the buzzer, and the Hoosiers lost 54-51. Benefitting from a favorable scheduling draw, Indiana went 10-6 in conference, good for a third-place finish and setting up NCAA tournament games against Gonzaga and UCLA. After beating the Zags, the Hoosiers came up against the #2 seed UCLA and were tied 49-49 with one minute left before succumbing.


Excitement was high as D.J. White and Eric Gordon were to play together for what turned out to be the only season, but word of new infractions came even before the season opened, and assistant Rob Senderoff was forced to resign. The team overcame injuries and a Jordan Crawford suspension to beat Georgia Tech early, and the Hoosiers rose to #11 with a 6-0 December record, and to #7 after posting six straight Big Ten victories. A loss to Connecticut was followed by an ugly game at Illinois, leaving a bad taste in fans' mouths even as the Hoosiers defeated a good Ohio State team to rise to 9-1 in the Big Ten. At that point the NCAA released new accusations against Sampson, A.J. Ratliff left the team for personal reasons, and Wisconsin beat the Hoosiers on a last-second 3. On February 22nd, Sampson agreed to resign, and Dan Dakich took over coaching duties. Although beating Ohio State for a second time, Dakich proved unable to motivate his players, and an end-of-season collapse resulted in a blowout loss to Michigan State and a close loss to Penn State, followed by a loss to 6th seeded Minnesota in the Big Ten tournament, and a loss to 9th-seeded Arkansas in the first round of the NCAA's. Tom Crean was named coach the following month.


The team Tom Crean put together in the course of a few months was not anticipated to be very good, and that expectation was correct. A trip to the Maui Invitational resulted in losses to #8 Notre Dame and St. Josephs, and an 81-79 victory over Division II Chaminade. December losses to Wake Forest, Gonzaga and Kentucky were unsurprising as the Hoosiers began Big Ten play with a 5-7 mark. Close games against Iowa and Michigan were followed by a blowout at home to the Illini, and the Hoosiers managed just a single Big Ten win, at home against Iowa. They ended with 6 wins and 25 losses.


Early season injuries to key players Matt Roth and Maurice Creek put an early damper on expectations, but the team played clearly better than the previous year through January. In February, a couple of tough losses early and the wearing down of freshmen legs led to the team almost tying a school record for consecutive losses before beating Northwestern in the last regular season game. The Hoosiers quickly bowed out of the Big Ten tournament and ended with 10 wins and 21 losses. Oddly, Coach Crean fired his assistant Roshown McLeod before the tournament even started.


Big man Guy-Marc Michel was expected to come in and play center, but the NCAA ruled him ineligible, saying that his experience on a French A-League professional team disqualified him. The Hoosiers still managed to win their first five games for the first time since the 2002-2003 season and jumped out to a 9-2 start before losing consecutive games in the Las Vegas Classic. The Hoosiers spent most of the Big Ten season playing poorly against poor teams and well against good teams, and consistently losing. They ended with a 3-15 Big Ten record, one win less than the previous year, and a 12-20 overall record.


  • New: Remy Abell, Austin Etherington, Raphael Smith, Cody Zeller
  • Gone: Bobby Capobianco, Steven Gambles, Jeremiah Rivers

The arrival of freshman phenom Cody Zeller and improvements from sophomores Oladipo and Sheehey were factors in the general expectation that the Hoosiers would rise to the middle of the Big Ten. Fans were pleasantly surprised at Zeller's immediate contributions, and the team jumped out to an 8-0 start to the season before top-ranked Kentucky came to town. Few expected the Hoosiers to challenge, but in a play that made every national season highlight reel, Christian Watford's last-second three-pointer put the Hoosiers over the Wildcats. Indiana went on to win its first 12 games and 15 of the first 16 en route to a #9 ranking. Victories over Ohio State and Michigan State gave the team wins over three teams ranked in the top 5.

Finishing 5th in a highly competitive conference, the Hoosiers earned a #4 seed in the NCAA tournament, although the team's spotty history made them a top target for upset predictions. Nevertheless, the Hoosiers dispatched New Mexico State and Virginia Commonwealth to set up a rematch against Kentucky, but Indiana was unable to beat the eventual national champions for a second time.


  • New: Yogi Ferrell, Jeremy Hollowell, Peter Jurkin, Hanner Mosquera-Perea
  • Gone: Kory Barnett, Daniel Moore, Verdell Jones III, Tom Pritchard, Matt Roth

Fans wondered if there would be enough scholarships for the freshman class known as "The Movement" until Ron Patterson went to a prep school instead. Returning all five starters from the prior year's Sweet 16 team, the Hoosiers began the season ranked #1. While the team played well enough to stay near the top of the rankings all year long, a lack of consistency kept them from ever winning several games in a row. Although winning the Big Ten regular season championship, the team lost in the second round of the Big Ten tournament and in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA's. Junior Victor Oladipo and sophomore Cody Zeller subsequently declared themselves eligible for the NBA draft, and were picked second and fourth, respectively. It was the first time two Indiana players had been drafted in the first five picks.

Coaching History