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 7 vote. Below are backgrounds of the candidates. The top two players receiving votes advance to the round of 32 beginning March 17.
GREG STOKES — Scored 1,768 points from 1981 through 1985 to rank fourth in Iowa history. Scored the second-most field goals, blocked the second-most shots in Iowa history. Named first-team all-Big Ten in 1985. Led team in scoring three times, led team in rebounding final two years, led in blocks all four years. Was 11-for-11 from the field in a 1984 game. His number 41 is retired.
BOBBY HANSEN — Scored 1,145 points from 1979 through 1983. Helped Iowa to two Sweet 16 appearances and a 1980 Final Four appearance. Has called games as a radio color analyst for nearly 25 years.
CARL CAIN — Scored 1,054 points in three seasons from 1953 through 1956. Helped lead Iowa to consecutive Final Four appearances in 1955 and 1956. First-team all-Big Ten in 1956, second-team all-Big Ten in 1954 and 1955. Earned All-America honors in 1956. Scored 34 points against Kentucky to send team to 1956 Final Four. Added 20 points and 15 rebounds in NCAA semifinal win against Temple. Had 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in NCAA title game loss to Bill Russell and San Francisco. His number 21 is retired.
KEVIN GAMBLE — Hit 3-pointer with 1 second left to lift the Hawkeyes past Oklahoma in 1987 Sweet 16. Was 11 of 13 from the field for 26 points that night. Added 18 points in regional final loss to UNLV. Averaged 19 points during that postseason. Averaged 11.9 points per game in 1986-87.