Buckner to be inducted to Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame

Quinn Buckner, who helped lead Indiana to a perfect season and the 1976 National Championship, will become the fourth Hoosier player enshrined in the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame when the class of 2015 is inducted in November.

Buckner will join former IU greats Isiah Thomas, Branch McCracken and Walt Bellamy in the hall of fame, as well as former Indiana coaches Bob Knight and Everett Dean.

Buckner headlines the the class along with Ohio State’s John Havlicek, Kansas State’s Rolando Blackman, Long Beach State’s Ed Ratleff and North Caolina’s Charlie Scott. Coaches Lou Henson of Illinois, Dayton’s Don Donoher and Zip Gayles of Langston will also be inducted.

A three-year captain for Knight, Buckner is one of only three players to win a title at the high school, college, NBA and Olympic levels, joining Jerry Lucas and Magic Johnson. Buckner is in his 16th season as a television analyst for the Indiana Pacers, for whom he also serves as vice president of communications for Pacers Sports and Entertainment.


  1. I watched freshman Quinn Buckner play safety against Purdue one Saturday and the next Saturday he was the starting point guard against (I think) Harvard. He ‘dished’ passes that bounced off of Downing’s hands because he’d never played with someone who could do what Buckner could do. They got used to him and wound up in the Final Four (losing on that ‘phantom’ foul). He was truly a coach on the floor and though he had difficulty at the Free Throw line, every time IU needed a shot to drop or a free throw, he did it. I think he’s my favorite Hoosier of all time and though he received recognition for his achievements (undefeated Illinois High School Championship, undefeated NCAA Championship, Olympic Gold Medal, NBA Championship) I don’t think he was ever truly recognized for his importance to every team he was on. I am very happy to see him recognized and honored by the Basketball Hall of Fame. Well deserved for a Hoosier who has always brought honor to IU in everything he has done.

  2. Congrats to Buck….That being said, it was Downing that made the first Final Four run possible..Any other center would have been intimidated out of their shorts going up against what was supposed to be the premier All-American center…Every pair of eyes on the game was not on Quinn Buckner…It was to watch the headline act; the center from UCLA that would have his way with Mr.Downing….Downing simply proceeded to take all that pressure and outplay Walton at every facet…It’s why Walton still despises Indiana…The bogus whistle will continue to forever echo in Walton’s brain as the game that was fixed and handed to the Bruins….It’s why Walton also despises the new UCLA coach from Indiana that played for the same loud-mouthed head coach that got to inherit Downing…..Downing got used to a lot, indeed. And he never had a derogatory remark to say about Knight..Unlike Buckner, he was not recruited by Knight…It was Lou Watson that landed the two friends from Indianapolis Washington H.S.(Downing & McGinnis)/

    I do believe Knight never forgot just how important Downing was to jump-starting his first years at IU….Again, congrats to Buck…But let’s not rewrite history by acting like Downing was fumbling around with attempted assists..Downing had great hands and great feet…Only Hoosier in history to post a triple double….He was just a wonderful instinctive player..A quiet man and a class act that never inflated his own image or sought out the camera… He deserves absolutely zero suggestion of clumsiness…

  3. Harvard’s post is why I hate putting anything on this site. I don’t think I disparaged Downing at all. I think he (and Ritter) were the ‘core’ of that 72/73 Team. Buckner was the guy who was significantly better than the talent that came before and thus…Downing wasn’t looking for those passes at the beginning of the season.

    This thread once again reminds me as to why I am hesitant to post to begin with and hesitant come back to read it.

    I think that a ‘conversation’ rather than a ‘point counterpoint’ which quickly turns into “I’m right and you’re wrong” would be more productive. Then again…I’m a “dinosaur” who isn’t from the Talk Radio ‘attack’ generation.

    That’s what I have to say. I won’t be checking in to see Harvard’s or anyone else’s response. The only reason I checked back now was to see how many posts there were praising Quinn Buckner. I hope those will blossom as they should.

  4. Congrats, Quinn? You deserve such recognition. You were a great asset to IU’s teams. You were an excellent player and great leader. Thanks for your contribution to IU.

  5. iulongago
    I would not be too concerned with what a bunch of old men (or old women) who have nothing better to do than sit around and monitor this web site, have to say. Take it with a grain of salt.

  6. Quinn was a great player who has accomplished even more after basketball. He is very worthy of this honor.

    Mr. Ram: Thank you for your comment as iulongago is one of the more thoughtful persons on this forum. However as one of the old men who read these comments, at least on most days, I hope you will not lump me into a group old fogeys who have nothing better to do. I read it because it so enlightening and educational. Also because I am often slow of mind I usually fail to recognize when I have been put down or my opinion totally trashed. Even if I did recognize it l know that my attention span is so short I won’t remember it very long anyway.

    I have got to go find something to do.

  7. Mr. Walker I would not include you, but I would include myself at times. I do however try to get a decent amount of work done between posts and I try not to live on here.

  8. Absolutely well deserved! Quinn was “the Captain” and leader of the greatest college basketball team of the last 38 years. Lose KY!

  9. When I was in High School, some friends of mine and I made a road trip to watch Thornbridge (where Quinn Buckner played in High School) play East Chicago/Washington (where players Ullyses Bridgeman, Pete Trgovich, and Tim Stoddard) played.

    It was worth the trip.

    I believe the best memory I have of the undefeated 1976 season (I did not see the 1975 team, but all my friends told me it was even better than the great, undefeated 1976…) and what I remember of those games was that, to my viewing, Buckner was the only player Knight did not scream at.

    I have no inside information and I might be wrong, but I was at all those 1976 home games and it seemed like Knight showed The Mighty Quinn respect and even deference , a GREAT, GREAT team of GREAT players under fantastic guidance with the consistent great home support of the finest fans in sport, Assembly Hall.

  10. Bunch of kids on here. I grew up listening to games with Bobby Leonard, Don Schlundt, Walt Bellamy and Branch McCracken.

  11. I still think it was a slight at Downing….Do any of us really think that Steve Downing as a senior wasn’t ready to handle any clever little pass…? Downing was a tremendous high school talent..He played with McGinnis for four years of high school…They likely practiced countless hours together..Maybe some of the true Hoosier historians would even know some of the guards that played on the Washington team with Downing and McGinnis…Buckner was sound….He was pedigree…He had very good size and strength…Great defender..Great floor general…He also had the benefit of coming to a Hoosier team that had some very talented Hoosiers that he could learn from….

    But to bring up the team that made Knight’s first Final Four run and do it on the heels of acting like Buckner had to wait for Downing’s butterfingers to catch up to Buckner’s ability is simply an unfair statement(especially when a very heartfelt comment could be made honoring Buckner without taking down the talent another Hoosier)…

    I get a little sensitive on the topic of Downing…He was screwed over during a fixed Final Four game…He should have been playing for a national championship…He was a senior that had done everything right..He played dominant basketball with McGinnis in high school only to see McGinnis opt out for the NBA after one season at IU….People always dream about what that Final Four team could have done to UCLA if it would have only had McGinnis…..Fans seem to forget what Downing summoned from his heart to do for Indiana…Without a true NBA talent(McGinnis) to complement his post ability, Downing still went toe-to-toe with Walton….

    Buckner deserves all the accolades in the world for his achievements at IU and his “College” Hall of Fame induction(and the way many of you are going overboard, it sounds like you’re trying to make him into Isiah Thomas)…That’s fine…Make him Isiah Thomas…Can we just not do it at the cost of a BS statement that made a premier center look as if he wasn’t prepared for the talented passing skills of the “Mighty Quinn?”….Buckner’s freshman season was much more about a nation not realizing the talent of the IU team that had one hell of a center that would put IU on his back(without McGinnis) and provide all inside play on his sole shoulders to carry the Hoosiers to their first Final Four in decades.

  12. technically, McGinnis left to enter the ABA….You get the point. But I do believe the fumbling McGinnis would have also looked clumsy when attempting to get used to the Mighty Quinn’s spit balls…..and curve balls…and fast balls. Much like Downing, It would have also taken McGinnis less than 1/2 a practice to get used to a freshman that passed with more precision than Jim Crews……I can only imagine McGinnis in his soft voice telling Quinn to take it easy on him…or he’ll pick him up and flush him through the rim while palming his entire Hall of College Fame Thornridged buttocks with the off hand……But it was not to be.

  13. Damn right I would…I understand exactly the motives and slants of the California, state of Washington, and East Coast Establishment blowbags on here that will do everything possible to demean Indiana kids while pretending to support Indiana Hoosiers……It’s the same reason they ran Knight out of town and left us siting under five banners with a clown…They just love Indiana…..They love to see the best leave the state and play at MSU, OSU, Michigan, etc…..And once they all lose interest in Indiana, you’ll find no more Double Downs..or Husky Toms…or coachv’s…screaming for more Max Hoetzel….Mission will be accomplished…IU will be irrelevant and it will all have died with “everything hinges” on Cody Zeller(which was the most ridiculous BS in the history of standout players from Indiana long before dorky Zeller ..along with the many still to come)…

    And if IU is not in the NCAA tournament, I will proudly cheer for Indiana kids that make other teams into premier college basketball teams..(expect for Duke, UNC, or Purdue)….I do have my few prejudices and hypocritical musts…

  14. except for Duke, UNC, Purdon’t…..

    Washington Husky(Seattle Tom/Husky Tom) blogger that wouldn’t quit berating Eric Gordon….
    Maine blogger that never stopped reducing Jordan Hulls to the slow white kid…
    California blogger that constantly rides James Blackmon and wants more Max Hoetzel..

    Yeah, I’m the Hoosier fan that blames Sampson’s 3-way calls on Eric Gordon..
    Yeah, I’m the Hoosier fan that reduces Hulls as the “worst defender in all of college basketball” while making Oladipo sound like the next Dr. J.
    Yeah, I’m the Hoosier fan that belittles James Blackmon because he thought of going to where his father played college ball…and that’s why we should want more Max Hoetzel California in his nurses stockings instead of a true scorer in Blackmon……
    Yeah, and I’m the Hoosier fan named 4guards that acted like the entire future of the program rested on Crean landing the cute 7-ft tall Christian that led his team to a Class 3A title(never having to play the toughest teams in the state) as are only path to the the bannner promise land….

    Believe me, Establishment boys under your palm trees.. I fully understand how you hate true ballers from our state when they end up choosing the candy striipes.. I’ve certainly had my share of encounters with your level of genius..

  15. My Hoosier basketball fanaticism (both high school and IU) goes back to the days of Mike McCoy, 7 ft center at Ft. Wayne South, and Hoosier great, Archie Dees. 4 names I remember from those 2 championship teams from Indy Washington (’66 and ’69) are Eddie Bopp, Marvin Winkler, Roy Taylor, and Bill Keller. In order utilize some of my old fogey time I’ll research the personnel from those 2 teams and perhaps get back to you.

  16. Great stuff!

    South, I envy you in the best way…I have friends who went to the Fieldhouse to see the Hurrying Hoosiers, and coachv, even though you’re not aged enough, this year’s team is, I think, sort of like those years in that we don’t care much about anything except scoring more points.

    I saw that call, Harv, on T.V. Simply Awful. Do you recall the pause prior to the ref making it? I think you’re right, that game was fixed. I have always wondered what Knight would have done had he been near the scoring table and not on the end-line of that crazy court. IU was robbed and Downing had outplayed Walton the entire game….(and no use wondering if McGinnis, Jeffries, Vonleh, etc. would have stayed, all of them have every right to get paid).

    Buckner and Isiah were two very different players, obviously. But no one is arguing who is better (at least from what I read) and anyway, we’re judging Teams, not Players, right? That’s one of the problems with the NBA post-Michael, right? Follwing the train of thought: Both were perfect for their respective teams, with The Mighty Quinn’s team more consistent but Isaih’s arguably better in that great stretch run especially the Maryland game where Landon showed how the Power Forward position should be played.

    I won’t be at the game, unfortunately, but my (relatively) youthful voice will be cheering with everyone else when that Well Deserved award is presented.
    Come on without, Come on within, you ain’t seen nothing like The Mighty Quinn.

    Pack it tight and hit that bong hard, Harv, and let it out. And don’t start pulling punches, no one needs you to come down to their level.

  17. mihoosier2-

    Would love to hear the stories….Would love to hear if you have any on Crispus Attucks H.S. teams and Oscar Robertson, as well. He was an average guard that passed on Bloomington…rather than pass to some of our awkward post players.. Maybe some on here haven’t heard of “The Big O.”…..If he was on the team, they’d likely be calling for more Max Hoetzel…..or more Ambi-Stan(who’s has been unfairly held back by Tom Crean).

  18. Please do, mihoosier2! I’d really enjoy reading your recollections of those times. My Mother has told me of Archie Dees….(said he was the best shot ever)

  19. I watched Buckner play football against Northwestern his sophomore year. that was his last year playing football. But he was an outstanding football player, too. One of the best athletes to ever attend IU. Good for him.

  20. Love the internet. It didn’t take too much of my old fogey time to find box scores of the Continentals’ 2 championships from the ’60’s. My memory failed me on one count, as the first trophy was in ’65, not ’66. I’m sure I would have been set straight soon enough from a blogger from NW Indiana who clearly remembers that Michigan City won the state in ’66. However, all 4 names I remembered were part of the ’65 team. The only name from the ’69 team that was familiar to me (aside from the 2 men among boys already named) was “Pack,” whose first name might have been Wayne. Can’ wait to spend more old fogey time tomorrow night — Go Hoosiers!

  21. No, Jeffrey….Post #2 was not judging teams…It was praising Buckner with no need of also judging Downing as a butterfingers center that had to get used to the Mighty Quinn. I never brought up Downing …Nor would I belittle as great a player as Downing to elevate Quinn just ever so slightly more…I did hear that Quinn has shaken the hands of war veterans and supports the “war effort.” Are you sure that you’re going to the ceremony knowing he’s a Christian hypocrite?

  22. Michigan City Elston…? Tony Branch…He was o.k. Bet you don’t know of Alex KIiner….Wow..Kiner of Elston was the fastest guard I’ve ever seen….and a true baller…He never went to school beyond MC Elston…They came to our little Chesterton gym and just annihilated our dorky squad….I was mesmerized by Kiner….Closest player in a Hoosier uniform that I’ve ever seen to Kiner’s cool swagger was Earl Calloway….But Calloway did not have the speed…Kiner never played college ball…I heard a rumor that he got in trouble with the law….I don’t know if it was just the moment in my life, but I’ll never forget Alex Kiner….He had it all…Speed, shot, coolness, swagger…Complete “it factor.” Downing would have undoubtedly fumbled many of his passes too.

  23. I was referencing post #15, Harv.

    And no one on this site was denigrating Steve Downing, the post said that Downing had to get used to Buckner’s passing and that is a legitimate comment. You’re the one libeling Downing with erroneous adjectives and fumbling verbiage.

    I get the concept that a guard cannot carry a team alone….if that is what you’re getting at. However, that concept (that a guard, or guards, CAN carry a team) is precisely what makes this particular season so intriguing, (and tomorrow’s game so eagerly anticipated.)

  24. A three-year captain at Indiana for Coach Bob Knight, Quinn Buckner was a key member of IU’s 1975-76 NCAA Championship team, which is the last team to go unbeaten throughout an entire season and post-season. He is one of only three players to win a title at the high school, college, NBA and Olympic level, joining Jerry Lucas and Magic Johnson.

    “I played with very smart and terrific teammates,” Buckner explained, “And that’s what this is more about. This is about Indiana University and the team that we played on. This is not about an individual.”

  25. Downing didn’t have to get used to anything…He was a senior. Magic Johnson ….Larry Bird….Pete Maravich…Some of the greatest passers in the game.. Nobody gets used to phenomenal passing…They are blessed by it.. It’s a bogus claim….Troy Williams isn’t getting used to Yogi’s passing….When Yogi doesn’t have to be the forced “:”scorer,” he’s likely asking “where have you been all my life.”

    #2 also said Downing had never seen anyone that could do what Buckner could do….I would argue that Buckner had never seen a post player at Thornridge that could post three triple doubles…and do what Downing could do. To have the hands to grab so many boards each night..To be able to put up double digit assists while snatching that many boards…? Sounds like a guy that really has to get used to his freshman guard….It’s very likely that Buckner’s timing was off and modeled for the slower speed in most those Thornbridge dorks in their multi-class basketball system at Illinois…Indiana wasn’t playing multi-class basketball..We had long ago allowed black kids to play in the same one class system not built to protect anyone….Downing had played against every level of competition and played h.s. ball with one of the best players, a high school and early IU teammate, to enter the professional game from that era. Let’s quit the BS…..about Downing not being used to great passing. I am not denigrating Downing at all in my sarcastic responses to a ridiculous assertion.

    You didn’t answer the last question about Buckner shaking hands of war veterans….I’ve always assumed(could be wrong, but it just seems like how he presents himself) Buckner to be quite the conservative…Might even be a Christian…If he shakes the hand of a returning soldier, does that make him a hypocrite supporting our war effort?

  26. mihoosier2-

    I wasn’t out of Satan’s womb yet….But it sounds like Verne Payne was another fabulous NW Indiana baller…Michigan City Elston, East Chicago Washington, Gary Roosevelt…South Bend Adams….Many of these fabulous schools eliminated each other in local sectionals..

    Of course, Dan Dakich wants people to believe it all was born at Andrean…..Most years, Andrean couldn’t shake a stick at the cream of the crop teams from NW Indiana…Nor did they have the talent like Michigan City, East Chicago, and Gary teams…..

    I actually heard that it took Michael Jordan an entire game to get used to Dakich’s passing gas while guarding him on a off night.

    But thanks for giving props to some of the true ballers from NW Indiana, mihoosier2..I’ve been trying to give props to the area of the state that Crean and most Hoosier fans don’t acknowledge nor care to act like exists.. You are probably making far greater strides….I can assure you, they are listening while having trouble handling the “passes” of such truth to their ears.. These are “everything hinges” on Cody people….Branden Dawson and Mitch McGary…might as well be from Montana… Heaven forbid acknowledge their talent simply because Crean panders to only a 50 mile radius of fans that control all the politics our new and improved Hoosier basketball program.

  27. In 1972 Illinois High School Basketball was a two-class system…the larger schools were the ones that had blacks playing. Thornbridge won the last single class (1971) Championship and the first two-class Championsihp (1972). The 1972 Thornbridge team is considered the greatest Illinois High School team ever. I went to a few of their games, (including East Chicago) and, Harv, there were no dorks on Thornbridge. Their press was fantastic. And the smaller class (A) was primarily down-state, where not many, if any, blacks resided in 1972 (in the small towns that were Class A).

    I like when you write about stuff you know something about, Harv, but you’re kind of mean and mis-represent other’s words in order to puff yourself up and be right.

    and I never said anything about not shaking the hand of a war veteran. I also have to idea what Quinn Buckner’s political beliefs are and I think it’s irrelevant to the discussion.

    I did make a comment, and apologized, twice, because it was out of place on this basketball site. I explained myself for why I made the comment and don’t retract it, just apologize(d) for it because this is not a political site, it’s a basketball site.

    You said you played baketball but quit because your coach was taking showers with the team and lathering up a little too ostentatiously…that’s your right and I think you were right to quit that sort of abuse. Our High School coach did not take showers with us, but I grew up in a big city (Chicago).

    Lastly, I agree, and agreed, with that # 2 post from iulongago. To say that Downing and the team ‘got used to what Buckner could do and wound up in the Final 4’ is accurate. the post did not say that Buckner’s passes were better than what Downing could handle, just different. Every player has to get used to another’s play…that is not a value judgement on the skill of the pass…..It is quite likely that Downing, a senior, was used to a style of play that varied with what Buckner could do…not that Buckner was any ‘better’, just different.

    I think, H4H, that your real motivation is that you called the Minnesota game to be close and I correctly predicted that it would not be close. I think you’re still mad about that but won’t be reading this site anymore to see your reaction.

    It was fun to blog on this site for a while but there’s enough people on it to carry on without my opinions.

    It’s a great season and IU Basketball is a wonderful, ongoing, saga.

    I thank everyone who posted on this site while I was reading it. It helped me get through another winter.

  28. I think you’re confused….I called the Michigan game to be close. I don’t believe I made any prediction concerning Minnesota….Looks like you fumbled another one. Are you sure you’re not Steve Downing?

  29. And I’m not delusional to the point about caring about respect or legitimacy for my opinions based on stats, analytics(anal the key word here), or predictions…This is a blog…Who the hell cares? Anyone here working for Brian Williams and needs enough salary to buy a helicopter? Lunardi had us on the outside looking in….I could never match that level of respect or income. ..I’m pretty sure that I said we would “breeze” into the tournament….If only the breeze could rip that crazy-glued mink bowl off Lunardi’s brilliant head…

  30. Geoff, yup.

    It is why I just read rather than comment anymore. Well, I read about 30%. You can probably guess which 70% I completely ignore.

  31. H4H, Just so you have accurate bullets to shoot, Larry Gipson and O’Neil Simmons of Elston were even faster than Kiner. They had quick hands also and could steal the ball before the offensive guards would get across the half court line. They were the best 2 starting HS guards I’ve ever seen in person or on TV. “Lightning in a Bottle” and buried Indy Tech easily in the championship game. Morse the center for the Red Devils was the closest thing to Laimbeer I ever saw in HS. The HS I had graduated from had a damn good team that same year and would have beaten half the eventual regional contestants but could not get out of the sectional because of MC Elston. Indeed great talent in NW Indiana in the day. Single class BB in Indiana was, TITS. POTFB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. Fastest Indiana guard? My vote goes to Seymour’s Baron Hill. State champ in the 100 yard dash and an outstanding ball handler. He would be named an Indiana All Star and I saw the back of his jersey more than once on the football field.

    To quote Jerry Tarkanian, “He’s faster than he looks…but…then…white guys always are.”

    I was dating a Floyd Central cheerleader so I was in attendance at the regional game when the Highlanders upset they 23-1 Owls by scoring 41 4th quarter points. They went on to a matchup with that great East Chicago Washington squad, racking up 88 points in a losing effort. The Highlanders run to the Final Four was a great Hoosier story as, along with Seymour, they beat Jeffersonville and Mike Flynn as well as a New Albany squad with several players that would win the title 2 years later.

    Floyd Central was led by Jerry Hale, who would join Flynn at Kentucky, and Jerry Schellenburg who became a star at Wake Forest. Hill played college ball for Furman.

  33. Couple really nice looking Indiana kids on the Xavier team…Watched a little of their game against Cincy….The kid from Bloomington South playing on Xavier looked like a really solid guard….Don’t follow the Indiana h.s. games at all anymore….Once the IHSAA stole the uniqueness away and split our storied all-inclusive tournament into multiple classes, I simply quit caring… Maybe most don’t make too big of deal out it….I think it was one of the most criminal acts ever committed against sport…It took away something from our hearts…Won’t take up a bunch of space trying to be eloquent… But these names that Chet and Clarion summon to this screen after decades their wars in sectionals, and sometimes cities beyond, live on for a reason….There may not be championship trophies next to their names, but they are champions at something bigger…..And they were teams….They were towns..They were generations of pride represented in those gyms…They were motivated to achieve a goal so far out of reach that they loved it all the more…The wanted it for each other….Teammates grew together from days on elementary school playgrounds to the cheers of families that had watched them in wonderment as they matured into seasoned high school brothers of hardwood…And with all the unrealistic dream of trips to regionals or semi-states, somehow the far-fetched dreams became the greatest truth of love for the jersey on your back and the memories that never die….It was once Hoosier basketball. It was once something eternal with every buzzer-beater, heartbreak, and tear of joy. The IHSAA took that from us so all could be handed a blue ribbon and a plastic toy they call a trophy.

  34. Weird….I’m getting “your comment is awaiting Jeremy’s moderation,” but my comment appears in the sidebar as if it’s gone through. War of the Spam Gods….Coming to a theater near you.

    Indiana 74
    Purdue 73

  35. You’re right of course, Harvard. I remember walking into the gym at Silver Creek and seeing the giant poster of their sectional champs and my 8th grade track coach was in the picture. I always thought he was a little cooler for that. Even when they had future Hoosier Steve Green Silver Creek could never get past Jeff or New Albany (or Floyd Central) for decades. They were moved to a different sectional in the 70’s.

    That sectional championship team was a big deal in Sellersburg.

    For a number of years the Jeffersonville sectional only had 4 teams but they managed to put a team in the final four for something like 5 years in a row.

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