Favorite Hoosier No. 12? Picking Indiana’s Favorite Basketball Players, One Number at a Time

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Welcome to our summer series where Hoosier basketball fans can vote for their favorite Indiana players to wear each number. Today, we resume with all the best to wear the number 12.

Favorite Hoosier?

Each day we’re going to give you four picks along with a short player bio to choose your favorite Hoosier who wore a certain number.

Here are your four No. 12 jersey picks in alphabetical order so we don’t show bias. Be sure to take the poll below via Twitter.

(Editor’s note: We’ll be taking results for 48 hours on the poll, then sharing the results on this story the next day, so check back regularly to see the results.)

Steve Alford (1983-87)

We start the day with Steve Alford, a native of New Castle, Indiana, recruited by former trainer Bob Knight in the 80s.

The guard started 120 of 125 games for the Hoosiers, becoming Indiana’s all-time leading scorer with 2,438 points in 4,314 minutes played. This record was later surpassed by Calbert Cheaney with 2,613 points.

During Alford’s four seasons on the team, the Hoosiers appeared in the NCAA Tournament three times. Alford’s first big dance came in 1984 for his first season where Indiana advanced to the Elite Eight after upsetting top-seeded North Carolina in the Sweet 16 round. were sent home by Virginia, two points shy of the tie.

In 1985, Alford and the Hoosiers did not participate in the tournament and did not see the first round until 1986 against Cleveland State which defeated Indiana 83-79.

That all changed in Alford’s senior season where the Hoosiers won their fifth national title and coach Knight won his third. In the title game against Syracuse, Alford went 7 for 10 from the three-point line, scored 23 points and scored a hat-trick before halftime to give Indiana the lead.

Alford was awarded the title of team MVP. After his college career, he was drafted 26th overall in the 1987 NBA draft and played for the Dallas Mavericks for mostly four seasons, except for part of a season with the Golden State Warriors.

You can now find Alford coaching the game he loves, right now for the Nevada Wolf Pack after several other teams.

Steve Alford

Phil Buck (1948-51)

Forward Phil Buck of Rossville, Ind. played under head coach Branch McCracken. Although a valued member of the team, Buck was perhaps best known for his coaching career which began on Coach McCracken’s team before moving on to coaching in high school at Flora, Rossville, Frankfort and Anderson Madison Heights.

During his 24 seasons at Madison Heights, Buck led his team to nine Sections, four Regionals and one semi-state title. He won 495 games and 13 sectional titles overall, which landed him in the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1983.

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Coach Buck died in 2018 from a long illness. He was 90 years old.

Phil Buck

Phil Buck

Verdell Jones III (2008-12)

Guard Verdell Jones III of Champaign, Illinois, left his career at Indiana with 68 double-digit career games and as the 23rd ranked scorer in program history after graduation with 1,347 total points. He currently sits in 28th place.

Jones filled out the stat sheet as a rookie, former head coach Tom Crean’s first season with the Hoosiers, finishing second on the team in averaging 11 points per game.

His sophomore season, he led the Hoosiers with 463 points and was ranked second in assists with 105. He was later named an honorable mention All-Big Ten by conference media.

After another consistent junior season, Jones and the Hoosiers made it to the NCAA Tournament but lost to Kentucky in the Sweet 16 round. Jones was unable to play in the tournament due to a torn right ACL.

Verdell Jones III

Verdell Jones III

Miller Kopp (2021-current)

You might know him as the Northwestern transfer who was part of Indiana’s starting lineup last season. Maybe you saw his viral TikToks during the NCAA Tournament and throughout the season as well.

Kopp, a forward from Houston, Texas, will play another year for Indiana alongside fellow starters Trayce Jackson-Davis, Xavier Johnson and Race Thompson.

While at Indiana, Kopp started all 35 games and scored 209 points averaging six per game. His best stat is his free throws with 86.5%. Between his career with the Wildcats and the Hoosiers, Kopp has scored 1,041 career points and is yet to finish.

Miller Kopp

Miller Kopp

Indiana’s all-time number 12

Here are all the players who have worn number 12 at Indiana:

  • Miller Kopp (2021-current)
  • Ethan Lasko — (2017-18)
  • Hanner Mosquera-Perea — (2012-15)
  • Verdell Jones III — (2008-12)
  • Donald Perry — (2001-05)
  • Luc Jimenez — (1996-00)
  • Robert Foster — (1993-94)
  • Steve Alford — (1983-87)
  • Phil Buck — (1948-51)
  • Norbert Herman — (1944-48)
  • Jim Gridley — (1938-41)
  • Jay McCreary — (1937-38, 1939-40)
  • James Birr — (1935-38)
  • Phil Liehr (1935-36)
  • Serious young blood — (1931-32)
  • Victor Dauer — (1929-32)
  • Jay Campbell (1930-32)
  • George Coffey — (1921-24)

Vote for your favorite number 12 on Twitter

You will be able to vote on Twitter for your favorite player with each number. Here is the link to today’s poll for #12.

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