Former Indiana star Archie Dees, 1st 2-time Big Ten MVP, dies at 80

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Former Indiana men's basketball star Archie Dees, the first two-time Big Ten Conference MVP, died Monday morning. He was 80.

His daughter, Lori Dees Johnson, announced the death on her Facebook account. School officials confirmed it and issued a statement from coach Tom Crean.

"Archie Dees will be remembered for many great things and being a part of Indiana basketball royalty will be one of them," Crean said. "When Archie was around, we always knew we were around one of the all-time best."

A native of Ethel, Mississippi, Dees became a prep star in Mount Carmel, Illinois, and went on to become the No. 2 overall pick in the 1958 NBA draft.

Dees led the Hoosiers to back-to-back conference titles in 1957 and 1958, finishing his senior season with averages of 25.5 points and 14.4 rebounds. Both numbers still rank among the five best single seasons in school history. He was rewarded with two straight league MVP awards.

At a time when the college landscape was littered with big-time stars, varying from Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor to Oscar Robertson and Jerry West, Dees was named a third-team All-American as a junior and to the second team as a senior. When he finished his career with the Hoosiers, Dees ranked fourth in rebounding (914), 10th in field goal attempts (1,252) and ninth in free throw percentage (82.8) for his career.

He was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame in 1983 and was named to the Hoosiers' all-century team in 2001.

He played professionally with the Cincinnati Royals, Detroit Pistons, Chicago Packers and St. Louis Hawks in the NBA as well as the Cleveland Pipers of the American Basketball League.

Services for Dees were scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Bloomington.