That 1987 IU Title Team: Where Are They Now?
Editor’s Note: Long before Christian Watford’s shot, there was an even bigger one: Keith Smart’s jumper from the wing in 1987.
Everyone remembers The Shot. IU down by one. Six ticks left. Jumper, 16 feet out, Keith Smart fading, fading left to the baseline. Jim Boeheim just wants to forget it, but he can’t. The Syracuse coach has never watched a tape of the game, and he doesn’t need a visual aid to recall the way Smart played. “Everyone talks about the last shot, but he just took over down the stretch,” Boeheim says. “I think he had their last 10 or 11 points.” Actually, Smart put up 15 in the game’s final 12 minutes, but enough reminiscing. Twenty-five years have passed, and there’s a lot of catching up to do. Here’s what Smart and his teammates are up to now.
Steve Alford Then: Senior guard and team co-captain Now: Head coach at the University of New Mexico. [UPDATE: In 2013, Alford became the head coach at UCLA.] “I think everyone on Syracuse thought the last shot was going to him,” says John Feinstein, author of A Season on the Brink, which chronicled IU’s previous season
Rick Calloway Then: Sophomore forward Now: Owner of Alliance Construction, a swimming-pool company in the Houston area
Dean Garrett Then: Junior center Now: Supervisor of racing/sports book at the Flamingo Hotel in Vegas
Keith Smart Then: Junior guard Now: Head coach of the Sacramento Kings. “I bump into people all the time who want to talk about it,” Smart told Deadspin.com in 2009. “I don’t mind. I’ll talk about it as much as they want.”
Daryl Thomas Then: Senior forward and team co-captain Now: Basketball instructor at the Bulls/Sox Academy and assistant coach at a high school near Chicago
Steve Eyl Then: Junior forward Now: President of Sound-Elkin, a Carlsbad company that makes equipment for veterinarians
Tony Freeman Then: Freshman guard Now: Ordained minister
Joe Hillman Then: Junior guard Now: Orthopedic salesman who lives in Zionsville
Todd Jadlow Then: Junior forward Now: Unknown (he played professionally in Argentina and Europe)
Todd Meier Then: Senior forward and team co-captain Now: Director of Bennington Marine, a maker of luxury pontoon boats in Elkhart
Dave Minor Then: Freshman forward Now: Works for Costco in Chicago
Jeff Oliphant Then: Sophomore guard Now: Attorney at The Hastings Law Firm in Indy, specializing in personal-injury and wrongful-death claims
Magnus Pelkowski Then: Junior center Now: Landscaper and artist in Germany
Brian Sloan Then: Junior forward Now: Physician and instructor at the IU School of Medicine
Kreigh Smith Then: Junior forward Now: Farm Bureau Insurance rep in Angola
Bob Knight Then: Became only third coach to win three national titles Now: ESPN analyst, and recently put his “seasons on the block” by auctioning off his NCAA national championships rings won at IU and his Olympic gold medal from coaching the U.S. squad.
Photos: AP image of Keith Smart; IU team photo courtesy Indiana University Athletics
This article appeared in the March 2012 issue and was partially updated in 2015.