Top 20 Indiana basketball players of all-time

Former Indiana Hoosiers head coach Bob Knight . (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Former Indiana Hoosiers head coach Bob Knight . (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /
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Indiana basketball
Indiana head coach Bobby Knight celebrates with forward Scott May (center) and guard Quinn Buckner (21) after winning the 1976 NCAA basketball championship. Mandatory Credit: Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /

Indiana basketball career stats: 14.4 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 1.5 STL, 1.3 BLK, 70 GP

If not for Isiah Thomas, Quinn Buckner could easily be considered one of the best point guards in Indiana basketball history. Focusing solely on his sophomore, junior, and senior seasons, Buckner averaged 9.6 points and 5.0 assists in 27.1 minutes per game.

Buckner’s assist numbers in his sophomore and junior seasons both still rank top five in Indiana basketball history for single-season assist average, and he was one of the most important players on the court for the perfect 1976 Hoosiers team. The 6-foot-3 point guard was fourth on the 1975-76 team in scoring, fifth on the team in rebounding, second on the team in assists, and fifth on the team in minutes played.

In the 1976 NCAA Tournament, Buckner averaged 12.8 points, 3.6 assists, and 1.8 steals, along with shooting 50.0 percent from the field. Watch the video below to see the highlights of the Final Four of the 1976 Tournament, where Buckner had 12 points, two assists, and one steal in 40 minutes played.

Buckner is one of the best passers in Hoosier history and is ranked in the top five in the following statistical categories for career and single-season numbers:

  • Assists: 542 (3rd)
  • Assists per game: 4.5 (3rd)
  • Assists (single season): 177 in 1974-75 (4th)
  • Assists per game (single season): 5.5 in 1974-75 (3rd) & 5.4 in 1973-74 (5th)

Though his numbers may not show his lasting impact on the program, Buckner was drafted seventh overall in the 1976 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, where he spent six seasons and averaged 10.3 points, 5.2 assists, and 2.3 steals in 461 career games for Milwaukee. After leaving Milwaukee, his NBA career went downhill fast and he spent one season in 1993-94 as the head coach of the Dallas Mavericks, where the team went 13-69 (.159).