Ken Selects Fantasy Lineups For Purdue-IU All-Star Contest

Like so many things, the Indiana-Kentucky All-Star basketball series isn’t the same event I remember following in the 1970s and ‘80s.

Some of the blame belongs to college coaches demanding the series and side events be conducted in a week’s time so that their freshmen can arrive on campus and begin summer workouts.

A prime example of this is Kentucky Mr. Basketball Reed Sheppard, who according to the Lexington Herald-Leader has bowed out of this year’s games “due to commitments Sheppard has as part of his enrollment process” at the University of Kentucky.

The Kentucky All-Stars need all the help they can get in this series. Indiana has swept their Bluegrass neighbors in the annual two-game series every year but one since 2009.

Heck, even The Indianapolis Star no longer manages the games. That duty has fallen on the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association since 2012. The Star remains the event owner.

But a fan can dream. Mine is a fantasy game between the Purdue All-Stars and the Indiana University All-Stars.

Since the Indiana All-Star series began in 1939, the Hoosiers have had 29 Mr. Basketball winners; Purdue 13. Those numbers don’t include some of the greatest players in Indiana high school history like Calbert Cheaney or Terry Dischinger.

To make it difficult on myself, I allowed myself just 13 players on each roster, mirroring the current NCAA scholarship limit for men’s basketball. I also forced myself to choose the starting lineup by college position rather than having, say, four guards and a center.

Here is my starting lineup for Purdue:

Point guard: Billy Keller. The 1965 Indiana Mr. Basketball out of Indianapolis Washington, Keller led the Continentals to a state championship and then directed Purdue to the 1969 NCAA championship game. Inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992.

Shooting guard: Rick Mount. Was there any doubt? The first high school athlete featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, Mount scored 2,595 points – with no 3-point line – at Lebanon. The 1966 Indiana Mr. Basketball has held Purdue’s career scoring record (2,323 points) since 1970. Fittingly, joined backcourt mate Keller in the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992.

Center: Terry Dischinger. The 6-7 Terre Haute Garfield star was a Parade All-American before enrolling at Purdue. Three-time Big Ten scoring champion. Olympic gold medalist in 1960 and inducted with his U.S. teammates into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010. Elected to Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1989.

Forward: Glenn Robinson. The “Big Dog” won the 1991 state championship and Indiana Mr. Basketball honors representing Gary Roosevelt. After winning McDonald’s and Parade All-America honors, Robinson set Big Ten single-season records with 1,030 points and a nation’s best 30.3 scoring average in 1994. The Big Ten Player of the Year and consensus National Player of the Year, Robinson went No. 1 overall to the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1994 NBA Draft. Inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017.

Forward, Dave Schellhase: Set Evansville city scoring records at North High School while leading the state as a senior with a 30.5 scoring average. At Purdue, he was a consensus first-team All-American in 1966 and led the nation in scoring at 32.5 points a game. First No. 1 draft pick in Chicago Bulls history. Inducted along with Mount and Keller into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992.

Indiana’s All-Star starting lineup:

Point guard: Yogi Ferrell. The third-ranked high school point guard in the class of 2012 by, Ferrell led Park Tudor to a pair of state championships. At Indiana, Ferrell set the career assists record (633) while scoring 1,986 points. He is the only player in Hoosiers history to lead IU in assists for four years.

Shooting guard: Steve Alford. The 1983 Mr. Basketball out of New Castle, Alford averaged 37.2 points a game as a senior. After earning an Olympic gold medal in 1984, Alford went on to become the first four-time Indiana Most Valuable Player in school history. He helped Indiana win the 1987 national championship and graduated with 2,438 points. Inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.

Center: Kent Benson. As a sophomore, Benson helped New Castle reach the Final Four in 1971. A dominating force who scored 1,496 points and grabbed 1,585 rebounds for the Trojans, the 6-11 Benson became a starter as a freshman for Bob Knight at Indiana. Starred for the undefeated 1976 national championship team and was the overall No. 1 draft pick by the Milwaukee Bucks in 1977. Elected to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999.

Forward: Calbert Cheaney. While injuries may have affected his playing days at Evansville Harrison, once the 6-7 Cheaney arrived in Bloomington he was outstanding. His 2,613 career points remain the Indiana and Big Ten records. Cheaney was the 1993 consensus National Player of the Year. Cheaney was elected to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016.

Forward: George McGinnis. Marked for stardom from the moment he became the first Indiana high school player to surpass 1,000 points in a season, McGinnis led Indianapolis Washington to an undefeated state championship in 1969. As Indiana Mr. Basketball, he put up 53 points and 31 rebounds against Kentucky. In his lone season at Indiana, McGinnis averaged 31 points a game. He was elected to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995.

The Purdue bench: Shooting guard Troy Lewis (1984 co-Mr. Basketball), forward Caleb Swanigan (2015 Mr. Basketball), center John Garrett (Peru, 2012 Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame), forward Walter Jordan (Fort Wayne Northrop, 2003 Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame), shooting guard Jerry Sichting (Martinsville, 2002 Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame), point guard Bruce Parkinson (Yorktown, 2004 Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame), shooting guard E’Twaun Moore (East Chicago), center JaJuan Johnson (Franklin Central).

The Indiana bench: Center Don Schlundt (South Bend Washington/Clay, 1980 Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame), shooting guard Jimmy Rayl (1959 Mr. Basketball from Kokomo, 1989 Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame), forwards Tom and Dick Van Arsdale (1961 co-Indiana Mr. Basketball from Manual, 1988 Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame), forward Mike Woodson (Broad Ripple, 2010 Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame), shooting guard Eric Gordon (2007 Mr. Basketball from North Central), point guard Jordan Hulls (2009 Mr. Basketball from Bloomington South), center Cody Zeller (2011 Mr. Basketball from Washington).

– Kenny Thompson is the former sports editor for the Lafayette Journal & Cou¬rier and an award-winning journalist. He has covered Purdue athletics for many years.