Iowa men’s basketball has a rich, historic tradition with 25 NCAA Tournament appearances, eight Sweet 16s and three Final Fours. The Hawkeyes have produced dozens of elite players who have played professionally, earned All-Big Ten honors and remain icons throughout the state for generations.
Throughout March, Landof10.com will host daily polls designed for fans to vote for the best players in Iowa basketball history. The first 16 days will consist of four players in 16 different pods (64 total players). From March 17-24, each pod’s top two players receiving votes will advance to knockout-style voting condensed to eight pods consisting of 32 players. From March 25-28, the eight pod winners will compete in four head-to-head matchups. On March 29-30, the top four players face off in head-to-head competition. The final vote between the top two players will be held March 31.
Here is the March 1 vote. Below are backgrounds of the candidates. The top two players receiving votes advance to the round of 32 beginning March 17.
PG RONNIE LESTER — Scored 1,675 points from 1976-80, leaving Iowa as the school’s all-team leading scorer despite missing half of his final season with a knee injury. Led Hawkeyes to 1980 Final Four. Still has fourth-most field goals and sixth-most assists in school history. Led team in scoring and assists in the 1977-78 and 1978-79 seasons, earning First-Team All-Big Ten honors both seasons and earning assorted All-American honors in the 1978-79 season. His number 12 is retired. Still ranks No. 7 in all-time scoring at Iowa.
F DAVE GUNTHER — Scored 1,188 points in three seasons from 1956-1959. Averaged 18.0 points per game in his career and 21.9 per game in 1958-59, his final season. Led the Hawkeyes in scoring all three years and rebounding twice. Was named First-Team All-Big Ten 1959. Tied for No. 24 in Iowa scoring.
C ED HORTON — Scored 1,372 points from 1985-1989, currently ranking No. 17 in Iowa history. Posted the fifth-most rebounds in a season with 350, the fourth-most rebounds in a career with 877, and the 10th-most field goals with 560. Led team in rebounding in 1989. Was named First-Team All-Big Ten in 1989. Competed in four NCAA Tournaments, two Sweet 16s and one Elite Eight.
G JIMMY RODGERS — Started for three seasons from 1962-1965. Averaged at least 11.2 points per game and led the Hawkeyes in free-throw percentage in every season.
VIDEO OF RONNIE LESTER AND LUTE OLSON IN 2016