We have now reached 30 days until Indiana basketball begins the 2022-23 season, and we reveal the 30th best Hoosier player of all-time. This all-time great is known for one of the most important shots in Indiana basketball history, and it isn’t the “Wat Shot” for you younger Hoosier fans.
Top 40 Indiana basketball players of all-time
Indiana basketball career stats: 12.1 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 3.1 APG, 51.8 FG%
While his numbers don’t jump off the page, Keith Smart is definitely one of the top 30 greatest Indiana basketball players of all-time. For starters, as a freshman, Smart ranked in the top five in minutes played per game (26.0), points per game (11.2), rebounds per game (2.9), assists per game (3.2), steals per game (0.9), and free throw percentage (84.1 pct) on the 1986-87 Indiana basketball team, who were crowned the champions over Syracuse.
Oh, and the obvious reason; Smart hit the game-winning jump shot (below) to give Bob Knight and the Hoosiers their last NCAA Championship banner in 1987. He recorded 21 points that game on 9-of-15 shooting from the field and was the second-leading scorer behind Steve Alford (23 points). For his impressive play, Smart was named the 1987 Final Four Most Outstanding Player along with the honors of being named to the All-Tournament team for averaging 16.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 4.6 assists in six games.
Playing only two seasons of college basketball didn’t give Smart much of a chance to put his name in the record books statistically, but his iconic shot in the 1987 National Championship gave him the name recognition needed to get drafted 41st overall in the 1988 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors.
Smart ended up playing just two career NBA games then turned his focus to coaching with jobs as an assistant coach in the NBA starting in 2000-01 with the Cleveland Cavaliers. After a few chances to be the head man in charge of NBA teams, Smart is now currently an assistant coach under Eric Musselman at Arkansas, where the Razorbacks finished in the Elite Eight in 2022.