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 6 vote. Below are backgrounds of the candidates. The top two players receiving votes advance to the round of 32 beginning March 17.
F JOHN JOHNSON — Scored 1,172 in two seasons from 1968-70 to rank 28th in Iowa history. Anchored 1969-70 team to 14-0 Big Ten record and a league-record 102.9 scoring average, the highest in Big Ten-only games. Holds school records for most points in a game (49), most points in a season (699), single-season per-game scoring average (27.9), most field goals in a game (20) and most field goals in a season (289). Ranks second in career per-game scoring average (23.9). Was named First-Team All-Big Ten in 1970 and received All-America honors. Led team in scoring in 1968-69 and 1969-70 seasons.
F CHRIS STREET — One of the most tenacious players in school history. Posted the most blocked shots in a season by an Iowa freshman and the most rebounds in a season by an Iowa sophomore. Holds school record for most consecutive made free throws with 34. During his junior season, Street died in an automobile accident on Jan. 19, 1993. He was 20 years old. His No. 40 is retired and the Chris Street Award is presented annually to the player or players who most exemplify Street’s spirit, enthusiasm and intensity.
C MICHAEL PAYNE — Scored 1,118 points from 1981-85 to rank tied for 33rd in Hawkeyes history. Grabbed fifth-most rebounds in Iowa history (857). Led the Hawkeyes in rebounding in 1981-82 and 1982-83 seasons. Led team in scoring in 1981-82. Team advanced to three NCAA Tournaments.
F AL LORENZEN — Advanced to four NCAA Tournaments with Iowa as both a starter and reserve in mid-80s. Twice averaged more than 10 points per game. Twice advanced to the Sweet 16 and once into the Elite Eight.