While no Hoosiers are expected to be drafted this year, with 26 players chosen in the first round of the NBA Draft, Indiana ranks No. 7 all-time in NCAA history.
Of course one of the 26 is head coach Mike Woodson. The Knicks selected Woodson with the 12th pick of the 1980 NBA Draft and he enjoyed an 11-year NBA playing career, averaging 14.0 points over 786 games.
The first of the 26 to be chosen was Ward Williams, a 6-foot-4 Colfax, Ind. product who played for IU head coach Branch McCracken in the 40s. The last was New Albany, Ind. based one-and-done IU star Romeo Langford.
Two of Indiana’s more dominant teams — the 1975-76 undefeated Hoosiers, and the 1992-93 17-1 Big Ten champions are well represented, with four players chosen in the first round from each squad. The 1981 national champions ended up with three first round selections.
Indiana is one of just 19 programs to have seen at least two of its former players chosen as the No. 1 overall pick in the Draft. For IU, it was Walt Bellamy and Kent Benson who were chosen first overall in their respective drafts.
Here are the 26 former Hoosiers who were chosen in the NBA Draft’s first round.
- Ward Williams – 1948 (Fort Wayne)
- Archie Dees – 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 Wittman – 1983 (Washington)
- Uwe Blab – 1985 (Dallas)
- Calbert Cheaney – 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 (L.A. Clippers)
- D.J. White – 2008 (Detroit)
- Victor Oladipo – 2013 (Orlando)
- Cody Zeller – 2013 (Charlotte)
- Noah Vonleh – 2014 (Charlotte)
- OG Anunoby – 2017 (Toronto)
- Romeo Langford – 2019 (Boston)
Of course what constitutes an NBA Draft first round selection has changed as the number of players in the league has expanded.
Here are the other former Hoosiers who would have also been first round choices based on today’s 30 team league:
- Bill Garrett (16th pick, 1950)
- Lou Watson (30th pick, 1950)
- Dick Farley (15th pick, 1954)
- Don Schlundt (14th pick, 1954)
- Bobby Leonard (10th pick, 1956)
- Ron Horn (16th pick, 1961)
- Frank Radovich (14th pick, 1961)
- Tom Bolyard (19th pick, 1962)
- Jon McGlocklin (24th pick, 1965)
- Dick Van Arsdale (10th pick, 1965)
- Tom Van Arsdale (11th pick, 1965)
- Jimmy Rayl (22nd pick, 1967)
- Joby Wright (18th pick, 1972)
- Steve Green (30th pick, 1975)
- George McGinnis (22nd pick, 1971)
- Wayne Radford (27th pick, 1978)
- Steve Alford (26th pick, 1987)
The Daily Hoosier –“Where Indiana fans assemble when they’re not at Assembly”