7. Kent Benson (1977 Round 1 Pick 1)
Benson arrived in Indiana back in 1973 and became part of Hoosiers’ history before his time in Bloomington had come to an end. A 6’11 center with a physical game, he was already averaging nearly a double-double as a freshman and his numbers only increased. He averaged 17.3 points per game as a junior on Indiana’s undefeated national champion.
As a senior, those numbers increased to 19.8 points and 10.5 rebounds a game as he earned a third All-Big Ten honor and a second straight All-American nomination.
Moving forward, Benson became the first pick in the 1977 NBA Draft, taken by the Milwaukee Bucks with high expectations. Benson would never quite live up to those expectations in his career and was later traded by the Bucks after just three seasons.
He spent 11 seasons in the NBA, averaging just over 9 points a game for this entire career. He was a solid player, especially in his stint with the Detroit Pistons, but he did not fit the billing of a top pick, especially when the Bucks really needed him late in the 70s.
Five of the seven players taken after Benson in that draft achieved All-NBA status at some point in their careers, with both Bernard King and Jack Sikma enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
Benson was by no means a bad player and he got plenty of chances at the professional level, he just didn’t live up as the #1 overall pick. His collegiate years were outstanding and he’ll live forever in Hoosiers’ history; he just didn’t reach his potential in the pros.