IU honors 1992 Final Four team during Monday’s game

On a team with six 1,000-point scorers, five All-Big Ten honorees, four All-Americans and two Big Ten Most Valuable Players, members of Indiana’s 1991-92 Final Four squad recall one characteristic that stands above the rest.

“There were no egos whatsoever on this team,” Calbert Cheaney said.

To have five players finish as double-figure scorers, there couldn’t be. A quarter-century later, the 1992 Hoosiers recalled fond memories of that season during a 25-year reunion Monday prior to IU’s game against Iowa.

Cheaney, Alan Henderson, Matt Nover, Todd Lindeman, Todd Leary, Brian Evans and Eric Anderson were on hand in Bloomington for the festivities.

“One of the things, looking back and playing on different teams in different places over the years, I never heard anyone complain about getting shots,” Henderson said. “I don’t know if I was in my own little world, but I never heard it. Everything we did was about trying to get a win.”

IU picked up plenty of those that season, 27 overall and 14 within the Big Ten. It allowed the Hoosiers to enter the NCAA Tournament as a No. 2 seed, advancing to the Final Four, where they fell to eventual national champion Duke, 91-78.

That season paved the way for the 1993 team, which may have won it all if not for Henderson’s late-season knee injury.

“This group and that era is the best, in my opinion, at Indiana University that doesn’t have a championship banner, and they should’ve,” former Herald-Times sports editor Bob Hammel said.

Banner or not, these Hoosiers relished the opportunities they had in 1992, which began with a lopsided, 87-72 loss to UCLA in the season opener. IU returned the favor with a 106-79 NCAA Tournament West Regional victory against the Bruins in March.

“What a lot of people may not remember is we got blown out by UCLA at the beginning of the year in a preseason tournament,” Nover said. “We learned a lot from that and kept getting better and better. By (March), we were really hitting on all cylinders.”‘

The practices conducted that season by legendary coach Bob Knight reflected that.

“There were spirited, competitive practices,” Cheaney said. “We got into one another, but at the same time, we knew that we were all there for one purpose. That was to win.”

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