Twenty-six former IU basketball players selected in the first round of NBA Draft – The Daily Hoosier

While the Hoosiers are not expected to draft this year, with 26 players selected in the first round of the NBA Draft, Indiana ranks seventh all-time in NCAA history.

Of course, one of the 26 is coach Mike Woodson. Knicks picked Woodson with the twelfth pick from the 1980 NBA Draft and enjoyed an 11-year NBA playing career, averaging 14.0 points over 786 games.

The first of the 26 selected was Ward Williams, a 6-foot-4 Colfax producer who played for IU coach Branch McCracken in the 1940s. The latter was Romeo Langford, who lived in New Albany, India, and is IU’s only star.

Two of Indiana’s most dominant teams – the 1975-1976 undefeated Hoosiers, and the 1992-93 17-1 Big Ten champions are well represented, with four first-round players selected from each team. The 1981 champion finished with three first-round picks.

Indiana is one of only 19 programs that saw at least two of its former players selected to be the first pick in the draft. For IU, Walt Bellamy and Kent Benson were selected first overall in their respective drafts.

Here are the 26 former Hoosiers selected in the first round of the NBA Draft.

  • Ward Williams – 1948 (Fort Wayne)
  • Archie Dess – 1958 (Cincinnati)
  • Walt Bellamy – 1961 (Chicago)
  • Steve Downing – 1973 (Boston)
  • Quinn Buckner – 1976 (Milwaukee)
  • Scott May 1976 (Chicago)
  • Bobby Wilkerson – 1976 (Seattle)
  • Kent Benson – 1977 (Milwaukee)
  • Mike Woodson – 1980 (New York)
  • Isiah Thomas – 1981 (Detroit)
  • Ray Tolbert – 1981 (New Jersey)
  • Randy Whitman – 1983 (Washington)
  • Ui Pulp – 1985 (Dallas)
  • Calbert Cheney – 1993 (Washington)
  • Greg Graham – 1993 (Charlotte)
  • Alan Henderson – 1995 (Atlanta)
  • Brian Evans – 1996 (Orlando)
  • Kirk Haston – 2001 (Charlotte)
  • Jared Jeffries – 2002 (Washington)
  • Eric Gordon – 2008 (Los Angeles Clippers)
  • DJ White – 2008 (Detroit)
  • Victor Oladipo – 2013 (Orlando)
  • Cody Zeller – 2013 (Charlotte)
  • Noah Funlet – 2014 (Charlotte)
  • OG Anunoby – 2017 (Toronto)
  • Romeo Langford – 2019 (Boston)

Of course what constitutes the first-round selection of the NBA draft has changed as the number of players in the league has expanded.

Here are other former Hoosiers who could also have been a first-round picks based on today’s Team 30 League:

  • Bill Jarrett (16th Choice, 1950)
  • Lou Watson (The Thirtieth Choice, 1950)
  • Dick Farley (15th Choice, 1954)
  • Don Schlundt (14th Choice, 1954)
  • Bobby Leonard (10th Choice, 1956)
  • Ron Horn (16th Choice, 1961)
  • Frank Radovich (14th Choice, 1961)
  • Tom Pollard (19th Choice, 1962)
  • John McGlocklin (24th Choice, 1965)
  • Dick Van Arsdale (10th Choice, 1965)
  • Tom Van Arsdale (Eleventh Choice, 1965)
  • Jimmy Ryle (Choice 22, 1967)
  • Joby Wright (18th Choice, 1972)
  • Steve Green (The Thirtieth Choice, 1975)
  • George McGuinness (Choice 22, 1971)
  • Wayne Radford (Choice 27, 1978)
  • Steve Alford (Choice 26, 1987)

The Daily Hoosier – “Where Indiana Fans Gather When They’re Not in the Assembly”

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