These Are Indiana’s Greatest College Basketball Players of All-Time: #68-33

Indiana's Greatest College Basketball Players. #68 - #33

With the eyes of the college basketball world on us, it is a great time to think about Indiana’s rich history in hoops. One of the nation’s top states for high school basketball, Indiana annually sends top players into the ranks of the college game. Visit Indiana and the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame set out to put together a list of Indiana’s 68 greatest men’s college basketball players. These players took the court for colleges and universities around the country, but they honed their craft right here in the Hoosier State. This post features players ranked from #68 – #33. Players #32 – #17 will be released on March 15 via Tourney Time.

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Criteria

  • Stats, accolades, historical significance, importance to their program, among other items from their college career were considered.
  • Players across all divisions, including DI, DII, DII, NAIA, or any others are eligible.
  • Must have been at least one of the following:
    • Born in Indiana.
    • Raised in Indiana.
    • Attended an Indiana High School.

Ranking and comparing Indiana’s greatest college basketball players throughout the years – and different styles of play – was a challenge. The experts and historians weighed different aspects of these men’s college careers differently. Some mainly considered statistics, but it is hard to compare points and rebounds of those in the 21st century to those of the early 1900s. Others weighed National Championships, NCAA Tournament berths, and team success more heavily.

Please understand that this list is meant for fun and to tell Indiana’s authentic story. If we had to do it all over again, there’d likely be different placements. There’s just an immense collection of college basketball talent from Indiana!

Now….let the debate commence!

Best All-Time Players: #68-33

#68: Larry Bullington

Larry Bullington Ball State University, Indiana's Best College Basketball Players

College: Ball State University

High School: Indianapolis Marshall

Career: We start off our list of Indiana’s greatest college basketball players of all-time with Larry Bullington. Bullington set nine scoring records at Ball State University, including the single-game record at the time with 47 points. As a senior, he averaged 25.5 points and had an 88% free throw percentage.

#67: Don Buse

Don Buse Evansville University, Indiana's Best College Basketball Players

College: University of Evansville

High School: Holland

Career: Don Buse helped lead Evansville to the 1971 NCAA Men’s Division II Basketball Championship Title. Invited to play on the 1972 U.S. Olympic basketball team, Buse ended up opting to sign a professional contract.

#66: Willie Long

Willie Long University of New Mexico, Indiana's Best College Basketball Players

College: University of New Mexico

High School: Fort Wayne South Side

Career: Willie Long accumulated 1,542 career points and 800 rebounds at the University of New Mexico. Long was selected as a Helms All-American in 1970-71 and was named All-WAC twice.

#65: Courtney Lee

Courtney Lee Western Kentucky University, Indiana's greatest college basketball players

College: Western Kentucky University

High School: Pike

Career: As a Hilltoper, Courtney Lee set the record for freshman scoring with 461 points. He was named First Team All-Sun Belt Conference for three straight seasons and ended up being named Sun Belt Player of the Year as a senior. The highlight of Lee’s career was leading Western Kentucky to a Sweet Sixteen appearance in the 2008 NCAA Tournament.

#64: Kyle Mangas

Kyle Mangas Indiana Wesleyan University, Indiana's greatest college basketball players

College: Indiana Wesleyan University

High School: Warsaw

Career: One of the NAIA’s top players ever is currently active at Indiana Wesleyan University! Kyle Mangas has been awarded a number of accolades, including being a 3x NAIA 1st Team All-American, 2020 NAIA National Player of the Year, and 2018 NAIA National Tournament Most Oustanding Player. In 2021, Mangas is averaging an insane 29.7 points a game.

#63: David Logan

David Logan University of Indianapolis, Indiana's greatest college basketball players

College: University of Indianapolis

High School: North Central

Career: David Logan was named NCAA DII Player of the Year in 2005 as he averaged 28.6 points a game. He graduated as the all-time leading scorer at the University of Indianapolis with 2,352 points. Logan ended up having a very successful professional career overseas.

#62: Scott Haffner

Scott Haffner University of Evansville. Indiana's greatest college basketball players

College: University of Evansville

High School: Noblesville

Career: In just 3 seasons at the University of Evansville, Scott Haffner scored 1,686 points. Beyond just statistics, Haffner is known for leading the Aces to its first DI NCAA Tournament victory in 1989 against Oregon State. His great 1989 season was topped off by being named the Midwestern Collegiate Conference Player of the Year.

#61: Bobby Plump

Bobby Plump Butler University, Indiana's greatest college basketball players

College: Butler University

High School: Milan

Career: Bobby Plump was part of the legendary Milan team that won the IHSAA State Tournament in 1954. In college, he set the Butler basketball single-game record at the time with 41 points against Evansville. In that game, he was a record 17 of 17 in free-throws, proof that he is one of the best free-throw shooters in NCAA history.

#60: “Jumpin” Johnny Wilson

Johnny Wilson Anderson College, Indiana's greatest college basketball players

College: Anderson University

High School: Anderson

Career: Johnny Wilson’s impact on Indiana basketball goes way beyond just his play on the court, breaking through many racial barriers in the 1940s. Nicknamed Jumpin’ because he was the only player on his high school team who could dunk, his impact is still felt today. Jumpin’ Johnny holds Anderson University records in career scoring average, season scoring average, and field goal attempts in a game.

#59: Chet Kammerer

Chet Kammerer Grace College, Indiana's greatest college basketball players

College: Grace College

High School: Leesburg

Career: Chet Kammerer was really good in high school, but his career took off at Grace College. He set the school and Indiana intercollegiate career scoring record at the time with 2,504 points. Kammerer ended up earning NAIA All-American honors.

#58: Dick Harris

Dick Harris Manchester College, Indiana's greatest college basketball players

College: Manchester College

High School: Liberty Center

Career: Richard “Dick” Harris was a special multi-sport athlete at Manchester College, earning varsity letters in both basketball and track. He racked up over 2,600 points and 1,600 rebounds in his career. In fact, Harris even scored 54 points in one game during the 1967-1968 season!

#57: Bailey Robertson

Bailey Robertson, Indiana's greatest college basketball players

College: University of Indianapolis

High School: Indianapolis Crispus Attucks

Career: The older brother of “Big O”, Bailey Robertson made a name for himself at the University of Indianapolis. He was voted Team MVP three straight seasons (1955-1957) and completed school as UIndy’s all-time leading scorer. Robertson is still the first in scoring average, with 23.2 points per game.

#56: Billy Shepherd

Billy Shepherd Butler University, Indiana's greatest college basketball players

College: Butler University

High School: Carmel

Career: Billy Shepherd still owns Butler’s season scoring average of 27.8 points per game and career average of 24.1 points per game. In fact, he once scored 70 points in one game! Billy Shepherd and his dad were the first father-son combination selected for the Indiana All-Stars.

#55: Steve Platt

Steve Platt Huntington College, Indiana's greatest college basketball players

College: Huntington College

High School: Union

Career: Huntington College was elevated to the national stage by Steve Platt. With the Foresters, Platt amassed 3,700 points, which still stands as the leader among Indiana college players, and seventh all-time on the national list of collegiate scorers on any level. He led the nation in scoring twice with 36 points per game in 1973 and 38 points per game in 1974.

#54: Jared Jeffries

Jared Jeffries Indiana University, Indiana's greatest college basketball players

College: Indiana University

High School: Bloomington North

Career: In 2001, Jared Jeffries was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year. He was one of the stars of the Indiana University team that had a Cinderella run to the 2002 NCAA National Championship game. He averaged 14 points and 8.1 rebounds a game during the 2002 Tournament. That same season, he was named Big Ten Player of the Year and Consensus Second Team All-American.

#53: Bob “Slick” Leonard 

Bobby "Slick" Leonard, Indiana's greatest college basketball players

College: Indiana University

High School: Terre Haute Gerstmeyer

Career: Bob “Slick” Leonard was a two-time All-American at Indiana University and captain of two Big Ten Championship teams. His college career is likely best known for hitting the game-winning free throw to give the Hoosiers the 1953 NCAA National Championship. Leonard then went on to coach the Indiana Pacers for 14 years.

#52: Cody Zeller

Cody Zeller Indiana University, Indiana's greatest college basketball players

College: Indiana University

High School: Washington

Career: There is no doubt that Cody Zeller immediately became a star for the Hoosiers upon arrival, earning Big Ten Freshman of the Week seven times. His addition for the 2011-12 season helped the team improve by 15 games, the largest turnaround in the country that season. Zeller returned for his sophomore year and was even better, leading the Hoosiers to a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament. He earned All-American honors and was named First Team All-Big Ten that season.

#51: E’Twaun Moore

E'twaun Moore Purdue University, Indiana's greatest college basketball players

College: Purdue University

High School: East Chicago

Career: E’Twaun Moore is one of the great players of the Matt Painter era at Purdue. He was a four-time All-Big Ten selection and two-time AP Honorable Mention All-American. During the course of his career, Moore amassed 2,136 points, 611 rebounds, and 400 assists. He also helped lead the Boilermakers to consecutive Sweet Sixteen appearances.

#50: Ted Kitchel

Ted Kitchel Indiana University, Indiana's greatest college basketball players

College: Indiana University

High School: Lewis Cass

Career: During his freshman season, Ted Kitchel was limited to one game due to injury. He was able to come back and be a key piece of the 1981 NCAA National Championship team. Following that season, he truly became a star and was named All-Big Ten and All-American in both 1981-82 and 1982-83.

#49: Mike Warren

Mike Warren UCLA, Indiana's greatest college basketball players

College: UCLA

High School: South Bend Central

Career: Mike Warren was the captain of two NCAA Championship teams under John Wooden in 1967 and 1968. He was an All-American on a squad that featured Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), Lucius Allen, and Lynn Schackelford. John Wooden called Warren “the smartest player I’ve ever coached.”

#48: Ray McCallum

Ray McCallum Ball State University, Indiana's greatest college basketball players

College: Ball State University

High School: Muncie Central

Career: Ray McCallum was a four-year letter winner at Ball State University. He graduated as the all-time leading scorer at both BSU and the Mid-American Conference. He led the Cardinals to their first-ever regular MAC Championships in 1981 and 1982, then to its first-ever NCAA Tournament bid by winning the 1981 MAC Tournament Championship.

#47: Steve Downing

Steve Downing Indiana University, Indiana's greatest college basketball players

College: Indiana University

High School: George Washington

Career: In 1973, Steve Downing won the Chicago Tribune Silver Basketball Award as the best player in the Big Ten after averaging 20.1 points and 10.6 rebounds. In 1972, he averaged 15.1 rebounds which is the second-best mark at IU for a single season. Downing was the first Hoosier to attain a triple-double, doing it in 1971 against Michigan.

#46: Roger Kaiser

Roger Kaiser Georgia Tech, Indiana's greatest college basketball players

College: Georgia Tech

High School: Dale

Career: In both 1960 and 1961, Roger Kaiser led the Southeastern Conference in scoring. The Yellows Jackets made their first NCAA Tournament in 1960 under Kaiser’s play. He was later named SEC Most Valuable Player in 1961 and ended his career with 1,628 points. Beyond basketball, Kaiser was also a decorated baseball player at Georgia Tech!

#45: Chad Tucker

Chad Tucker Butler University, Indiana's greatest college basketball players

College: Butler University

High School: Cloverdale

Career: Chad Tucker finished his career as Butler’s all-time leading scorer with 2,321 points. Tucker’s three great seasons with the Bulldogs were highly esteemed, as he was a three-time Butler Most Valuable Player and three-time First Team All-Conference Performer. He still ranks on Butler’s top 10 list for scoring, rebounding, field goal shooting, and free throw shooting.

#44: Yogi Ferrell

Yogi Ferrell Indiana University, Indiana's greatest college basketball players

College: Indiana University

High School: Park Tudor

Career: Yogi Ferrell is one of the most accomplished college players ever. He ranks in the top six at IU for points (1,986), assists (633), and 3-pointers made (272). Yogi owns the Hoosier record for most consecutive games with at least one made 3-point field goal with 65. The Big Ten Network named Ferrell to their All-Decade Basketball Team.

#43: Dick & Tom Van Arsdale

Dick and Tom Van Arsdale Indiana University, Indiana's greatest college basketball players

College: Indiana University

High School: Indianapolis Emmerich Manual

Career: The Arsdale twins are among the most accomplished sets of twins in the history of competitive athletics. They shared the Mr. Basketball and Trest award honors together in high school. Both were All-Big 10 and All-Americans at Indiana University. Tom Van Arsdale scored 1,252 points at IU, just 12 more than Dick.

#42: Robert “Fuzzy” Vandivier

Robert Vandivier Franklin College, Indiana's greatest college basketball players

College: Franklin College

High School: Franklin

Career: Robert “Fuzzy” Vandivier was part of the “Franklin Wonder Five” in high school, a team that won three state championships (1920-1922) and is considered among the best teams ever. Vandivier gained national prominence at Franklin College and was named Chicago Tribune’s Collegiate Player of the Year. Fred Young, a sportswriter at the time, called Fuzzy “the sweetest piece of basketball timber in the United States today.”

#41: Matt Howard

Matt Howard Butler University, Indiana's greatest college basketball players

College: Butler University

High School: Connersville

Career: There aren’t many players who can say they helped guide their team to the NCAA National Championship game in two consecutive years, but Matt Howard can. He was the 2008-09 Horizon League Men’s Basketball Player of the Year. Not only did Howard have unmatched tournament success, but he also ended his career as Butler’s third all-time scorer and rebounder.

#40: Jimmy Rayl

Jimmy Rayl Indiana University, Indiana's greatest college basketball players

College: Indiana University

High School: Kokomo

Career: Jimmy Rayl was a four-year player at IU, earning All-American honors his final two seasons. He still owns the Hoosier single-game scoring record of 56 points, actually reaching that milestone twice! Rayl also set the school record of consecutive free throws with 32 straight, ending his career 83.5% from the charity stripe.

#39: Ray Tolbert

Ray Tolbert Indiana University, Indiana's greatest college basketball players

College: Indiana University

High School: Anderson Madison Heights

Career: In Ray Tolbert’s 1981 Big Ten Player of the Year Campaign, he led the Hoosiers to their fourth National Championship. He was tops on the team in blocks, rebounding, and field goal percentage that year. Tolbert ended his career with 1,427 points, 874 blocks, and 154 assists.

#38: Greg Oden

Greg Oden Ohio State University, Indiana's greatest college basketball players

College: Ohio State University

High School: Lawrence North

Career: Greg Oden played only one season at Ohio State University, but left his indelible mark. As a freshman, he averaged 15.7 points and 9.6 rebounds. The Buckeyes made it all the way to the 2007 NCAA National Championship, losing to the Florida Gators. Oden played a key role in sneaking past Tennessee in the Sweet Sixteen by blocking a shot with .2 seconds left to clinch an 85-84 victory. He entered the 2007 NBA draft and was selected No. 1 overall by the Portland Trail Blazers.

#37: Damon Bailey

Damon Bailey Indiana University, Indiana's greatest college basketball players

College: Indiana University

High School: Bedford North Lawrence

Career: If you’ve heard of Indiana high school basketball, you’ve heard of Damon Bailey. The 1990 Mr. Basketball was a bonafide star at Bedford North Lawrence, graduating as the all-time leading scorer in Indiana high school basketball history. His career at IU was more of the same, leaving with the most wins in an IU jersey of any player, #5 in points, and #2 in assists.

#36: Gordon Hayward

Gordon Hayward Butler University, Indiana's greatest college basketball players
Photo provided by Butler University.

College: Butler University

High School: Brownsburg

Career: Gordon Hayward will forever be immortalized in college basketball after leading Butler to the 2010 NCAA National Championship. The 2009-10 Horizon League Player of the Year is perhaps best known for his last-second heave in the National Championship that “almost went in”. Over 69 career games, Hayward averaged 14.4 points and 7.4 rebounds a game. It’s no surprise that he is one of Indiana’s greatest college basketball players.

#35: JaJuan Johnson

JuJuan Johnson Purdue University, Indiana's greatest college basketball players

College: Purdue University

High School: Franklin Central

Career: In just his 2010-11 senior season alone, JaJuan Johnson was named first-team consensus All-American, Big Ten Player of the Year, and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. Johnson finished as the seventh leading scorer in Purdue history and the school’s first-ever winner of the Pete Newell National Big Man of the Year Award.

#34: Brian Evans

Brian Evans Indiana University, Indiana's greatest college basketball players

College: Indiana University

High School: Terre Haute South

Career: Brian Evans was one of Bob Knight’s best scorers. He averaged 21.2 points and 7.1 rebounds as a senior, earning him Big Ten Most Valuable Player honors in 1996. At the conclusion of his career, Evans had compiled 1,701 points and 750 rebounds, both of which are near the top of IU’s all-time rankings.

#33: Tyler Zeller

Tyler Zeller University of North Carolina, Indiana's greatest college basketball players

College: University of North Carolina

High School: Washington

Career: Tyer Zeller was able to taste glory as a freshman by winning the 2009 NCAA National Championship. As a senior, he scored 16.5 points per game on 55% shooting, earning him ACC Player of the Year. Zeller’s North Carolina jersey is hung in the rafters of the Dean E. Smith Center.

Indiana’s Greatest College Basketball Players

Players #32 – #17: COMING MARCH 15

Players #16 – #1: COMING MARCH 29

Come back to Tourney Time as we count down Indiana’s greatest college basketball players!

Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, New Castle, Small Town

Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame

Less than 20 minutes from The Hoosier Gym is the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, a 14,000 square foot museum that is full of memorabilia and interactive displays about basketball in the state. The Hall of Fame features inductees such as Oscar Robertson, Larry Bird, Bob Knight, John Wooden, and many more. Most of the photos on this page were provided by the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. 

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These Are Indiana’s Greatest College Basketball Players of All-Time: #68-33