TERRE HAUTE — There was no surprise to see Larry Bird top the starting five of the Missouri Valley Conference All-Centennial Team, which was announced as the league prepares for the start of its postseason tournament Thursday.
The former Indiana State All-American, who led the Sycamores from 1976-79, was joined on the first team by fellow Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson of Cincinnati (1957-60), Hersey Hawkins of Bradley (1984-88), Ed McCauley of Saint Louis (1946-49) and Xavier McDaniel of Wichita State (1981-85).
Henry Iba of Oklahoma A&M; (1934-57) was selected as coach of the honor squad.
Along with Bird, two other former Sycamores — Carl Nicks and John Sherman Williams — were also chosen for the MVC All-Centennial Top 50 players. They were selected from a list of 100 players.
Nicks (1976-77, ’78-80) played guard alongside Bird on ISU’s 33-1 NCAA runner-up team in 1978-79. Nicks was an All-American in 1980. Williams (1982-86) ranks second on the school’s all-time scoring list with 2,374 points. Bird, an All-American from 1977-79, tops that list with 2,850 points in just three seasons. Williams earned All-America honors in 1983, ’85 and ’86.
Fans voted for the All-Centennial team at current conference school arenas, as well as online. A Centennial Committee also participated in the selections. A total of 7,871 votes were cast.