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 Hoosiers forward Glen Grunwald (40) Steve Risley (34) and Ray Tolbert (45)  Mandatory Credit: Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /

Indiana basketball career stats: 11.2 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 1.2 BLK, 52.9 FG%, 127 GP

Though his stats are not the most impressive, Ray Tolbert no doubt belongs in the top 20 of best Indiana basketball players of all time due to his impact on the game without stats to show for it. Tolbert finished the regular season second on the team in scoring and minutes played, and first on the team in rebounding.

In the 1981 NCAA Tournament, Tolbert had an incredible start to the postseason with 26 points, 17 points, and 14 points in consecutive games. Though he struggled to score in the Final Four and Championship games, Tolbert still impacted the game with 17 total rebounds and 38.0 minutes per game. Because of his impressive performances, Tolbert earned the NCAA Tournament All-Region team and cemented his legacy with a championship banner.

Tolbert never averaged more than 10 shots per game in a single season, yet he ranks in the top 10 in the following statistical categories in Hoosiers history for single season and career accolades:

  • Minutes played: 4,139 (5th)
  • Field goal percentage: 52.9% (10th)
  • Total rebounds: 874 (6th)
  • Blocks: 155 (8th)
  • Blocks per game: 1.2 (9th)
  • Minutes played (single season): 1,190 in 1980-81 (tied for 6th)
  • Field goal percentage (single season): 58.8% in 1980-81 (8th)

Tolbert was the 18th overall pick in the 1981 NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets, yet only started in two games in his eight seasons of NBA action. The Hoosier-born forward averaged 3.6 points and 2.3 rebounds in 261 career games. Though he didn’t pan out to do much in the NBA, Tolbert deserves to be on this all-time list.