Iowa men’s basketball has a rich 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 10 vote. Below are backgrounds of the candidates. The top two players receiving votes advance to the round of 32 beginning March 17.
SAM WILLIAMS — Scored 1,176 points in two seasons from 1966 through 1968 to rank 27th. Boasts the highest scoring average in Iowa history at 24.0 points per game. Scored 25.3 points per game in 1967-68, the third-highest total in school history. Named Big Ten MVP and a third-team All-American in 1967-68. Led team in scoring both seasons.
RYAN BOWEN — Scored 1,090 points from 1994 to 1998 to rank 38th. Even at 6-foot-10, could defend nearly every position on the floor. Iowa’s career steals leader, ranks ninth in career rebounds, seventh in career blocked shots. Has school record for steals in a season (79). Led team in rebounding in 1997 and 1998, led in blocked shots in 1998.
GEORGE PEEPLES — Scored 1,025 points in three seasons from 1963 through 1966 to rank 46th. Led team in rebounding in 1965 and 1966. Averaged 15.1 points per game in his career to rank 21st.
MELSAHN BASABE — Scored 1,119 points from 2010 through 2014 to rank 32nd. Grabbed most rebounds by a freshman, fifth most blocked shots, led rebounding as a freshman in 2011, led team in blocked shots three times