IU installing 5 national title monuments outside Assembly Hall

Indiana’s five national championship teams will now be honored by more than banners.

IU announced Tuesday that it will install five granite monuments this week commemorating those teams in the Ken Nunn Champions Plaza outside the South entryway to Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

The name of every player and coach from each team will be included on their respective monument. Images from each season will be included on one side of the monuments, while the other side will feature the team’s story and their unique journeys to the national title.

The monuments will be installed in time for Saturday’s Hoosier Hysteria.

“There could be no better addition to Ken Nunn Champions Plaza than these inspiring tributes to our five national champion men’s basketball teams – with room for more,” IU athletic director Fred Glass said in a statement. “I’m particularly pleased that the name of every player and coach from every championship team is immortalized on these granite monuments, as Indiana Basketball always wins as a team.”

Former coach Bob Knight requested not to be depicted in any monument. IU will honor his decision.

The 1940 monument features depictions of standout players Curly Armstrong, Bill Menke, Jay McCreary, Bob Menke, Bob Dro, Marv Huffman and Bill Torphy along with head coach Branch McCracken.

For the 1953 monument, images of Dick Farley, Burke Scott, Charley Kraak, Bobby Leonard and Don Schlundt with Branch McCracken are featured in addition to a team image with each player holding their national championship plaque.

Kent Benson, Scott May, Bobby Wilkerson, Quinn Buckner and Tom Abernethy, along with the five seniors, are featured on the 1976 monument, along with the numerous trophies they won during their careers.

The 1981 monument features Isiah Thomas, Ted Kitchel, Ray Tolbert, Randy Wittman and Landon Turner. It also includes a depiction of the team photo and a ticket stub from the championship game at the Spectrum in Philadelphia.

On the 1987 monument, Dean Garrett, Todd Meier, Daryl Thomas, Steve Alford, Keith Smart, Daryl Thomas and Rick Calloway are all featured. Thomas, Meier and Alford are also shown holding up the championship trophy after winning the title game.

The monuments are made possible thanks to a donation from Bill and Juanita Beach.

16 comments

  1. Aren’t there trophy cases with plaques, pic memories in them with other displays and etc. A lot of looking into long past history rather than recent current events from the 21st century. Of course those are very limited. I would rather see maybe displays inside the gym. I guess it gives another opportunity for a well off donor to get their name in the IU bb folklore. I would rather them to go build sandcastles on the beach.

  2. Hey, that’s Knight’s choice. And given that he’s become such a bitter, petulant old fool, that’s fine with me. IU’s officials should have no further contact with Knight or his representatives, and make no further effort to contact him or respond to him, in any way, shape or form. If he wants to remain immersed in anger and bitterness, and take absolutely no responsibility for his part in how his association with IU came to an end, let him be gone.

  3. Ken Nunn Champions Plaza….? That still cracks me up. How many championships have we had since Knight? Nunn.

  4. Maybe, the Skjodt’s, Nunn’s, Beach’, and Glass ‘s plus invitees could get together for an annual Donkey basketball game…of course in their own honor.

  5. I used to be a HUGE coach Knight fan, but he is really just turned into an embarrassment. Not sure why IU even tries to reach out to him. He enjoys the misfortunes of the university more than anyone on the planet. He’s better off rambling about Clair Bee and Henry Iba to a bunch of old folks in a red adidas sweaters in a nursing home in west Lafayette with Gene Keady.

    The monuments are great and all, but I agree that it’s time to quit consistently living through past accomplishments or embracing mediocre ones like Crean did. It’s been 30 years since the Hoosiers last national championship. Let’s keep the focus on the present and the future.

    I truly believe we have our first real basketball coach since 1993 and now that the 24 year old circus has finally left town, maybe we can finally move forward. Hopefully IU takes steps to appeal to a younger generation of talent. I was never for changing the uniform style, but I’m on board now if it will help draw in talent. At the very least an alternate uniform should be worn consistently not just in the big ten tournament. Iu needs to take every advancement forward within the rules to compete at the highest level. Looking forward to the Archie Miller Era.

  6. Ben_M- Totally agree…The numerous reunions..and champions halls…and hall of fame ceremonies…and dedicated monuments for all things happened decades before most currents students were born…?
    Did Glass always dream of being a museum curator? Is McCracken made of maple shipped in from the Petrified Forest?

  7. Dickie V just had his biweekly meltdown about Indiana disrespecting Knight by not making a statue honoring him. This time on Twitter. Twitter, being as calm and collected as it is, unleashed a torrent of links followed by some colorful language about Knight’s request NOT to be included. And, in true fashion, when confronted with facts that don’t fit one’s narrative, instead of saying, “My Bad, didn’t realize that. Can’t wait to see the new statues…”, he doubled down and said that Indiana should make a statue of him ANYWAY. Honoring him by dishonoring his request. He’s a catfish. All mouth and no brains.

    Indiana University and, most importantly, the fans and alumni, have gone out of their way to try and welcome him back. They seem to be the only ones in the world who care to genuinely welcome him back and acknowledge his accomplishments. He doesn’t understand that showing up to these Purdue events that his former rivals are snickering at HIM. The joke’s always been on Knight, he’s just too thin skinned and narcissistic to realize it.

  8. Without Bobby, the Big Ten has such little bragging rights when it comes to banners in basketball. And without a horrific call at a Final Four that went in Walton’s favor in ’73, and a broken wrist to Scott May in ’75, Knight would likely have claimed a couple more.

    Even without an ounce of forgiveness in his old bitter heart, the Einstein of Hoops needs a statue. Place it on Purdue’s campus….if you so prefer.

    1. H4H,

      I am glad that I am not the only one who remembers that terrible 1973 call. Also haven’t forgotten the halftime swap out of officials (not really but it seemed like it) at the IU-Duke final 4 semifinal in the early 90’s.

    2. Absolutely right. Tom Izzo is the only current coach with a national championship. I’m almost certain Painter and Izzo are the only current coaches with big ten titles. Iu has as many national titles as the rest of the big ten combined.

      I have high hopes for coach Miller. He is truly the closest thing to a young coach knight that exist in this era. Iu fans want to win, but I truly believe Hoosiers fans want to win within the rules. As we can tell by the current scandals that’s not an easy thing to do when so many schools who actually win it all aren’t. 1992-1993 was the end of Iu basketball. Bridges burned throughout the state as the culture of the college basketball landscape started to change, IU remained in the past. Archie being young and a true basketball person is promising For the future. College hoops is all about the coach. We’ve seen UNC, UCLA, Kentucky, and even Duke when coach K was out struggle under certain coaches. I’m hoping that not only is Miller the man to fullfill our void, but one that stays for 30+ years to build a true legacy.

  9. Early 90’s…? Probably the Damon Bailey and Alan Henderson years….Remember when we used to get really versatile post players who could actually play with finesse on the inside?
    In today’s recruiting world, Damon Bailey could have retired on Adidas dollars…Hell, the kid was being recruited in middle school.

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