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 4 vote. Below are backgrounds of the candidates. The top two players receiving votes advance to the round of 32 beginning March 17.
DON NELSON — Scored 1,522 points in three seasons from 1959-62 to rank 13th in Iowa history. Averaged 21.2 points per game during his career. Was named First-Team All-Big Ten in both 1961 and ’62 after averaging 23.7 and 23.8 points, respectively. Was named Third-Team All-American in 1962. Led Iowa in scoring and rebounding all three seasons. Has third-most double-doubles in Iowa history with 41.
DEAN OLIVER — Scored 1,561 points from 1997-2001 to rank 11th in Iowa history. His 205 career steals and 561 career assists rank second and third, respectively, in Hawkeyes history. Led team in scoring in the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons. Led Iowa in assists all four of his seasons and in steals for three. Led Iowa to three NCAA Tournament wins in his career.
KENNY ARNOLD — Scored 1,112 points from 1978-82 to rank 35th in Hawkeyes history. Switched from off-guard to point guard because of injury and led team in scoring in 1979-80 when the Hawkeyes advanced to the Final Four. Also led Iowa in assists that season, as well as the following season. Helped Iowa win a share of 1979 Big Ten regular-season title. Hawkeyes advanced to NCAA Tournament all four seasons.
CHRIS PERVALL — Led Iowa in scoring in 1964-65 and 1965-66 seasons, averaging 21.1 and 19.1 points per game, respectively. Helped Hawkeyes earn upper-division Big Ten finishes in Ralph Miller’s first two seasons at Iowa.