Purdue University has a long and proud history of success in college basketball, producing some of the greatest players to ever take the court. From those who went on to the NBA to those who left an indelible mark on Purdue’s record books, these are the top 10 greatest Purdue Boilermakers basketball players of all time. These Boilermakers have become Purdue legends, remembered and celebrated by fans across the country. So without further ado, let’s take a look at the 10 best Purdue Boilermakers basketball players in history.
1) Glenn Robinson
Glenn Robinson is widely considered one of the greatest Purdue Boilermakers basketball players of all time. Robinson was a star for Purdue from 1993-1994, becoming the Big Ten Player of the Year and receiving National Player of the Year honors. His stellar play helped lead Purdue to an Elite Eight appearance in 1994, with Robinson averaging 30.3 points per game throughout his college career.
Robinson was selected with the first overall pick in the 1994 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, where he went on to become one of the most prolific scorers of his era. He averaged over 20 points per game during his 10 year NBA career, including two All-Star selections in 2000 and 2001. Robinson was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016, cementing his status as one of the best Purdue Boilermakers basketball players of all time.
2) Terry Dischinger
When it comes to the greatest Purdue Boilermakers basketball players of all time, few can match the accomplishments and accolades of Terry Dischinger. The 6’7 forward was a star in college, leading Purdue to two Final Fours and earning National Player of the Year honors in 1962.
During his three years at Purdue, Dischinger averaged 25.6 points per game and 13.4 rebounds per game, becoming the first player in Big Ten history to lead the conference in scoring and rebounding for three consecutive years. He led the nation in field goal percentage in 1962, shooting a remarkable .597 percent from the floor.
Off the court, Dischinger was also a standout student-athlete, earning All-Academic Big Ten honors in 1963. After leading the Boilermakers to their second straight Final Four in 1962, Dischinger was selected as a first-round pick by the Chicago Zephyrs in the 1962 NBA Draft. He went on to have an impressive 14-year career in the NBA and ABA, becoming a three-time All-Star and earning All-Rookie Team honors in his first season with the Zephyrs.
In 2008, Dischinger was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame for his impressive career. His legacy lives on at Purdue, where he is still considered one of the greatest Boilermakers basketball players of all time.
3) Mel Daniels
When it comes to Purdue basketball, no one personifies the program’s success more than Mel Daniels. A three-time All-American and two-time National Player of the Year in 1967 and 1968, Daniels was one of the most dominant players in college basketball during his time at Purdue.
He helped lead the Boilermakers to three consecutive Big Ten Championships from 1966-1968 and to two Final Fours in 1969 and 1980. During his time at Purdue, Daniels set many records including career scoring average, career rebounds, and season points. He was a two-time Big Ten MVP and finished his college career with 2,038 points, 1,240 rebounds and 572 blocks.
In addition to his impressive stats, Daniels was also an excellent leader who held his teammates accountable. As team captain during the 1967-68 season, he led Purdue to its first ever Big Ten regular season title. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012 and is still remembered as one of the greatest players in Purdue basketball history.
4) Dave Schellhase
When you talk about great Purdue Boilermakers basketball players, one name that immediately comes to mind is Dave Schellhase. A six-time All-American and two-time Big Ten Player of the Year, Dave Schellhase was one of the greatest players ever to don a Purdue uniform.
From 1962-1965, Dave Schellhase was the unquestioned leader of the Purdue Boilermakers basketball team, helping lead them to three straight Big Ten championships and three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. During his senior year, he averaged 22 points and 10 rebounds per game, helping him become Purdue’s all-time leading scorer with 2,323 career points.
What made Schellhase such a great player was his ability to make the most out of any situation. He could score inside or outside, rebound on both ends of the court, and was an excellent defender. In addition, his leadership and passion for the game made him an invaluable asset to any team he played for.
Dave Schellhase will forever be remembered as one of the best Purdue Boilermakers basketball players of all time. His legacy will live on in the annals of college basketball history and in the hearts of all Purdue fans who witnessed his greatness on the court.
5) Clyde Lee
When it comes to the greatest Purdue Boilermakers basketball players of all time, there is no doubt that Clyde Lee deserves to be in the conversation. The 6’10 center was a dominant force on the court for Purdue during the 1960s and 1970s.
Lee was a two-time All-American at Purdue and led the Boilermakers to the 1967 Big Ten Championship. He also averaged double figures in scoring each year of his college career and was a three-time Academic All-American. He was inducted into the Purdue Athletics Hall of Fame in 1988 and still holds several school records.
On the court, Lee was an incredible athlete who could score from inside and out. He had an excellent post game, but was just as effective from the perimeter. He was a great passer, rebounder, and shot blocker and could be counted on to provide leadership and experience for his team.
Clyde Lee’s contributions to the Purdue Boilermakers cannot be overstated. He was one of the best players to ever suit up for the team and helped make Purdue basketball what it is today. He will forever be remembered as one of the greatest Purdue Boilermakers of all time.
6) John Wooden
John Wooden is widely considered one of the greatest coaches in the history of basketball, and his influence on Purdue Boilermakers Basketball is undeniable. However, he was also an incredibly successful player at Purdue, earning three All-American honors. He led the Boilermakers to two Big Ten championships and was the first player in Purdue history to score 1,000 points in a season.
Off the court, Wooden was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity and served as the Student Council President while at Purdue. He was also a member of the legendary Nucleus Five – a group of Purdue basketball players that included Ralph Hinkle, Irv Schellenberg, Wilbur Henry and Joe O’Connell.
Wooden’s leadership and commitment to excellence made him one of the best Purdue Boilermakers Basketball players of all time. His incredible accomplishments were recognized by Purdue when they named their home court after him in 1997, making him the first Purdue athlete to be honored in such a way.
7) Scott May
Scott May is one of the greatest Purdue Boilermakers basketball players of all time. He is a four-time All-American and two-time Big Ten MVP, making him one of the most accomplished college basketball players in Purdue history.
May played for Purdue from 1974 to 1976 and was part of the 1976 National Championship team. He averaged 22.8 points per game over his three years with the Boilermakers and was a key component of the 1975-76 team’s run to a national title. In that year, May had averages of 20.5 points and 8.2 rebounds per game.
In addition to his on-court success, May was well respected by his teammates and coaches, who lauded his leadership ability. He also garnered numerous awards and honors, including being named a consensus first team All-American in 1976 and a four-time All-Big Ten selection.
May is currently sixth on Purdue’s all-time scoring list with 1,822 points and is one of just two Boilermakers to have their jersey retired. His number 25 hangs in the rafters of Mackey Arena as a testament to his excellence during his time at Purdue.
Scott May truly deserves his place among the top ten Purdue Boilermakers basketball players of all time.
8) Rick Mount
The greatest Purdue Boilermakers basketball player of all time is Rick Mount. The 6-foot-2 guard from Lebanon, Indiana, played at Purdue from 1966 to 1970, and was one of the best players in school history.
Mount was an incredible scorer, averaging 28 points per game throughout his college career. He holds the Purdue records for most career points (2,323), most career field goals made (898), and most field goals made in a single season (350). He led the nation in scoring in 1969-1970, averaging an incredible 38.7 points per game. He was also named an All-American three times and the Big Ten Player of the Year in 1970.
On top of his individual accolades, Mount also helped lead Purdue to a Final Four appearance in 1969 and two Big Ten Championships in 1968 and 1969. During his senior year, he also served as the captain of the team, displaying great leadership skills on and off the court.
Rick Mount is widely considered to be one of the greatest Purdue basketball players ever, and it’s hard to argue that. His records still stand today, and he is a beloved legend in the Boilermakers basketball community.
9) Joe Barry Carroll
Joe Barry Carroll was one of the greatest Purdue Boilermakers Basketball players of all time. He was an All-American center and earned All-Big Ten honors twice during his college career. From 1976-1980, Carroll played under legendary coach Gene Keady, leading the team to two Big Ten titles and an appearance in the 1980 NCAA Final Four.
Throughout his four-year career at Purdue, Carroll was a dominant force in the paint. He was a strong finisher around the rim and had the ability to make shots from anywhere on the court. He also had good rebounding instincts and was a terrific shot-blocker, averaging nearly 3 blocks per game throughout his college career.
At 6-foot-10, Carroll was a tall, athletic presence in the paint, and he used his size and athleticism to dominate opponents. He was a tenacious rebounder and was able to get position easily on defense due to his long wingspan.
Carroll left Purdue as one of the school’s all-time greats and was selected first overall in the 1980 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors. He went on to have a successful 12-year career in the NBA, winning an All-Star selection and a gold medal in the 1984 Olympic Games. His legacy as one of the best Purdue Boilermakers Basketball players of all time will live on forever.
10) Jerry Sichting
No list of the greatest Purdue Boilermakers Basketball Players of all time would be complete without the inclusion of Jerry Sichting. A three-time All-Big Ten selection, Jerry Sichting ranks among Purdue’s all-time leading scorers and is considered one of the best players in program history.
Sichting led the Boilermakers to the 1980 NCAA Championship Game, scoring a then-school-record 30 points in a semifinal win over DePaul. He also established a school record with 43 points against rival Indiana in 1979, a mark that still stands today. He went on to be drafted by the Boston Celtics in 1980, and played nine seasons in the NBA before retiring in 1989.
Sichting was inducted into the Purdue Athletics Hall of Fame in 1998. He remains an integral part of Purdue basketball lore, remembered for his clutch play and big heart.