Top 10 Best Purdue Basketball Players
While they have never won a National Championship in their history, Purdue men’s basketball has still had some incredibly talented players over the years. From the 1960s all the way up through the present day, there have been plenty of superstars throughout several different eras of the school’s history. Below, the 10 greatest players in Purdue men’s basketball history are ranked and discussed.
Who Are the Best Purdue College Basketball Players of All Time?
- Joe Barry Carroll
- E’Twaun Moore
- Rick Mount
- Carsen Edwards
- Robbie Hummel
- JaJuan Johnson
- A.J. Hammons
- Dave Schellhase
- Trevion Williams
- Glenn Robinson
1. Joe Barry Carroll
- Most rebounds in school history (1,148)
- Most blocks in school history (349)
- Second-most points in school history (2,175)
While it is challenging to choose one, Joe Barry Carroll deserves the honor as the greatest Purdue men’s basketball player of all time. Carroll, who played for Purdue from 1977-1980, is near the top of the school’s all-time list in several statistical categories, including rebounds (1,148) and blocks (349). He also was a talented scorer, and he is currently the second-highest scorer in school history, with 2,175 points. During his senior season, he led the Boilermakers to their second Final Four in school history, which is also the most recent time they made the Final Four. As for awards, Carroll was a consensus first-team All-American during that senior season, and he was first-team All-Big Ten on two occasions.
2. E’Twaun Moore
- Most minutes played in school history (4,517)
- Third-most points in school history (2,136)
- Fifth-most steals in school history (164)
One of the greatest college basketball players of the 2000s, E’Twaun Moore comes in at number two on this list. Moore was an important player from the start at Purdue, and he ended up playing 4,517 minutes during his time there, nearly 600 more than the second-most player. He also is the school’s third all-time leading scorer with 2,136 points, along with having the fifth-most steals (164), second-most games played (140), and third-most three-pointers made (243). If he had not left for the NBA after his junior year, his numbers could have been even better. Moore was an honorable mention All-American two times and was on the Big Ten first team on two occasions. He led Purdue to the Sweet 16 twice, but he was unable to lead his team past that point in the tournament.
3. Rick Mount
- Purdue’s all-time leading scorer (2,323)
- Most field goals made in school history (910)
- Fourth-most free throws made (503)
The first true star that Purdue had, Rick Mount takes the number three spot in school history. Even though he played his final season in 1970, Mount is still the school’s all-time leading scorer with 2,313 points. He also made more field goals than any other player, with 910, and the fourth-most free throws, with 503. His numbers could have been even greater, but he only played three seasons rather than four, since freshmen were ineligible to play college basketball during that time. During his junior season, he led Purdue to their best NCAA tournament finish, as they lost the National Championship game that season. Not surprisingly, Mount was a two-time first-team All-American.
4. Carsen Edwards
- Most three-pointers made in school history (281)
- Seventh-most points made in school history (1,920)
- Highest three-point field goal percentage (36.8%)
From one of the first stars at Purdue to one of the most recent, Carsen Edwards is the next player discussed on this list. Undoubtedly the greatest shooter ever to play at Purdue, Edwards has the most three-pointers made (283) and attempted (763) in school history. That comes out to a career three-point percentage of 36.8%, which is also the highest of any player at Purdue. His 1,920 points rank him seventh, and he certainly would have finished higher had he not left school after his junior season to go to the NBA. Edwards was twice a first-team All-Big Ten member and was a second-team All-American in 2019. In the NCAA tournament, he led the school to two Sweet 16 appearances, and an Elite Eight run in 2019.
5. Robbie Hummel
- Tenth-most points in school history (1,772)
- Sixth-most rebounds (862)
- Eighth-most three-pointers made (216)
A guy who was great both inside and outside on the basketball court, the fifth-greatest player at Purdue is Robbie Hummel. Robbie cracked the top 10 in school history in points with 1,772, and he currently sits sixth in rebounds with 862 and eighth in three-pointers made with 216, illustrating that inside-out skill set. He also wound up with the third-best free throw percentage (84.1%) and the seventh-most minutes played (3,830). As for accolades, he was a three-time first-team All-Big Ten member and two-time honorable mention All-American. A teammate of E’Twaun Moore, he twice helped lead the Boilermakers to the Sweet 16, but that was the farthest they advanced with him on the team.
6. JaJuan Johnson
- Eighth-most points scored (1,919)
- Eighth-most rebounds (853)
- Third-most blocks (263)
Another teammate of both Robbie Hummel and E’Twaun Moore, JaJuan Johnson starts off the second half of this list. Johnson managed to finish eighth in Purdue history in both points-scored with 1,919, and rebounds, with 853, along with all of the other great talents racking up numbers around him. He was an incredible shot-blocker as well, and his 263 career blocks are the third-most ever at the school. Like his fellow class member Moore, Johnson left school for the NBA after his junior year, during which he won Big Ten Player of the Year and was an All-American, so his numbers were not quite as good as they would have been had he stayed. The fact that three of the greatest players in school history played on the same team, and still could not advance past the Sweet 16, illustrates just how challenging it is to win in the NCAA Tournament.
7. A.J. Hammons
- Third-most rebounds (930)
- Second-most blocks (343)
- Eight-highest field goal percentage (54.3%)
One of the greatest defensive players in Purdue history and an elite big man, A.J. Hammons is one of the more underrated players at the school. Hammons finished his career with 930 rebounds (third-most at Purdue) and 343 blocks (second-most). He also was efficient on the offensive end, shooting 54.3% for his career, which ranks him eighth all-time. Illustrating his defensive prowess, Hammons was a three-time All-Big Ten defensive first-team member and was the league’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2016. He also was a member of the All-Big Ten first team and an honorable mention All-American during that season, his senior year. Through no fault of his, the Boilermakers were, unfortunately, unable to make it out of the second round of the NCAA Tournament during his years at the school.
8. Dave Schellhase
- Fourth-most points (2,074)
- Third-highest rebounds per game average (10)
- Second-most free throws made (582)
The one man who could challenge Rick Mount as the first great Purdue superstar basketball player, Dave Schellhase comes in at number eight. As was the case with Mount, Schellhase only played three seasons of varsity basketball at Purdue, since freshmen were ineligible, so his numbers are not as good as some of his fellow Boilermakers who played four seasons. Nonetheless, he still became the first player in school history to reach 2,000 points, and his 2,074 points rank him fourth all-time. He also made the second-most free throws with 582. On a per-game basis, his 28.8 points and 10 rebound averages are good enough for second and third, respectively, all-time. Despite the greatness of Schellhase, Purdue never made the tournament during his time there.
9. Trevion Williams
- Fourth-most rebounds (905)
- Most offensive rebounds (353)
- Ninth-highest field goal percentage (53.1%)
Another efficient big man and the most contemporary player of this group, Trevion Williams is the penultimate member of this list. Williams was an ultimate rebounder, racking up 905 rebounds, good for fourth-most at Purdue, and 353 offensive rebounds, which are more than any Boilermaker of all-time since they began tracking them in 2000. He was also efficient on the offensive end, shooting 53.1% for his career, good enough for the ninth-best in school history. Williams was a member of the 2019 team, along with Carsen Edwards, that made it to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament. He also led Purdue to the Sweet 16 in the 2022 season, during his senior year. As for awards, Williams was a two-time All-Big Ten member and was the 2021-22 Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year Award winner.
10. Glenn Robinson
- Fourth-highest points per game (27.5)
- Fifth-highest rebounds per game (9.7)
- Third-highest steals per game (1.8)
The final member of this list would certainly be higher up had he played more seasons, but unfortunately for Purdue fans, Glenn Robinson left school after his sophomore season to go to the NBA. He averaged 27.5 points per game, 9.7 rebounds per game, and 1.8 steals per game while at Purdue, good for fourth, fifth, and third all-time at the school, respectively. During his sophomore campaign in 1991, Robinson was named the Big Ten Player of the Year, as well as the National Player of the Year by the Associated Press. His scoring average of 30.3 points per game that year led the nation, along with his 10.1 rebounds per game. He also led Purdue to the Elite Eight for just the third time in school history that year, prior to heading off to the NBA.
While the players listed below did not quite make the top 10 list, they still deserve some recognition as honorable mentions. They are listed in alphabetical order by last name:
- Brian Cardinal
- Russell Cross
- Terry Dischinger
- Vince Edwards
- Walter Jordan
- Chris Kramer
- Troy Lewis
- Brad Miller
- Caleb Swanigan
- John Wooden
Who is the best Purdue men’s basketball player of all time?
While there have been lots of talented players over the years, the best basketball player at Purdue was Joe Barry Carroll. Carroll is Purdue’s all-time leader in rebounds (with 1,148) and blocked shots (with 349), as well as being the second all-time leading scorer with 2,175 points. Carroll was an All-American during his senior season, during which he led Purdue to their most recent Final Four, and he twice made the All-Big Ten first team.