It sure has been a long ten years for fans of Indiana basketball. Just a decade ago, Bobby Knight was still working the sidelines in Bloomington.
Since Knight's 2000 firing, Indiana has experienced a true roller coaster of emotions, leaving fans either elated and/or throwing up in their mouths, sometimes in the same season!
A fairy-tale run to the national championship game in '02 under Mike Davis gave way to a series of early-round ousters: the departure of Davis (also known as "Not The General" by Knight faithful); the much-anticipated hiring of Kelvin Sampson and his cell phone collection; a ranking as high as eighth nationally in '08; the ensuing train wreck (I don't wanna talk about it); and the high hopes of the Crean era, which have been seasoned with a healthy dose of humble pie in the form of a 6-25 season, the worst in Hoosiers history.
Yeah, it's been one heck of a decade. So let's take a minute to recognize the players who have done the Cream and Crimson proud through both good and bad.
It seemed like Coverdale was at least 30 by the time he graduated from IU.
During a lengthy four-year career, Tom accumulated 500 assists, averaging almost five per game. He is third all-time in Indiana history in the category, and his 178 dimes during the '01-'02 season marked the second-best passing season by a Hoosier.
He was also no slouch while taking his own shots. Coverdale scored over 1,200 points in his career, and his marks of 200-of-555 from behind the three point line make him second all-time in both categories.
His leadership was also key during the Indiana run to the 2002 title game, and he was named South Regional MVP during that tourney.
Honorable Mention: AJ Guyton, Marshall Strickland, Earl Calloway
If you like me-first shooting guards, then this ten year period in Indiana history has got to be one of your all-time favorites.
Above is the classic "Number Four fires from thirty.... clang..." photo that any IU fan will fondly remember.
Bracey averaged 17.6 ppg throughout his three year career at the Hall, but his .405 shooting percentage indicates the sheer number of possessions Wright claimed in racking up all those points (No. 15 all-time in scoring).
Bracey gets the nod at SG because Eric Gordon was even more of a ball hog in his one year at Indiana (amazing), and because Wright and Mike Davis actually won an NCAA tournament game (vs. Alabama, 2003), something Gordon couldn't manage.
Honorable Mention: Eric Gordon, Roderick Wilmont, Kyle Hornsby
The tall, skinny, and uber-talented Jeffries spent just two years at Indiana before jumping to the NBA.
In his sophomore year, he was a second team All-American while averaging 15 points, 7.6 rebounds, and almost three combined blocks/steals per game. He was also named Big Ten MVP that year.
A Bloomington native, Jeffries started all seventy games of his too-brief collegiate career.
Honorable Mention: Robert Vaden
A 'tweener for the All-Decade team, since he only played a season and a half of the 'oughts, Haston nevertheless earned this spot.
During the '00-'01 season, Haston was an absolute monster, and helped Mike Davis start out reasonably well in replacing the legendary Bobby Knight.
He averaged 19 points per game while stuffing the stat sheet in every category. He even added an outside shot to his repertoire, shooting almost 38 percent from beyond the arc on the way to being the first-round pick of the Charlotte Hornets in the 2001 NBA Draft.
Honorable Mention: Jeff Newton, A.J. Moye (led team in rebounds in 2004 despite being only 6'3"!)
I have to be honest: D.J. is my favorite player in Hoosiers' history. He may not have won a championship, or even gone deep in the tourney, but he became Indiana's bulwark in a tumultuous four year career during which he played for three different coaches.
White averaged around 13 ppg and almost 5 rpg as a freshman before missing most of the '05-'06 year due to injury.
A solid junior year during which he was paired with the jumbo-sized Marco Killingsworth gave way to a senior season in which Indiana and Kelvin Sampson had extremely high expectations and a Top 10 preseason ranking.
Throughout the awful mess that that season would become, White was Indiana's rock.
All he did was come to work every day and dominate every big man he played against. Twenty-two rebounds at Michigan. The sixth-best single season rebounding total in Indiana's long history.
Meanwhile, DJ upped his scoring as well, hitting over 17 per game and showing off a solid jump shot to go with his dominant post moves.
His 17.4-10.6 (pt/reb) season average was, statistically, the best for anybody to wear the Cream and Crimson, ever. That includes Walt Bellamy, George McGinnis, and Alan Henderson.
Honorable Mention: George Leach, Marco Killingsworth