Mt. Carmel sports legend Archie Dees continues to hold special favor with Indiana University basketball fans everywhere. Dees, who graduated from MCHS in 1954 after a record-setting career at the Hilltop, has been listed as the 10th greatest IU player of all-time.The list was put together earlier this year by sportswriter Terry Hutchens, and was based on voting done by fans online. The list was posted in his IU Insider blog with the Indianapolis Star.
Dees, 76, was a two-time college All-American. In 1958, that team included Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, Oscar Robertson, and Guy Rodgers. Dees led the Big Ten Conference in scoring twice, and was twice named the league’s MVP. Dees was also named to the all-century IU team in 2000.
Dees began his prep career at Grayville in 1950, scoring 486 points with the Bison. He transferred to Mt. Carmel the next year, setting a school record with 2,337 points over the next three years. His prep career total of 2,823 still is the 11th highest in Illinois history.
His school mark is now just the boys’ record. Lady Aces junior Tyra Buss, who is following in Dees’ footsteps with a verbal commitment to Indiana already, eclipsed his total earlier this season, and is now over the 2,500 mark at the school.
In 1953-54, his senior year, Dees led the Aces to a 25-4 record and berth in the one-class IHSA Sectional finals, where they lost to Mt. Vernon.At Indiana, Dees scored 37 or more points four times in his career, all against Big Ten rival Purdue.
Dees was the No. 2 pick in the 1958 NBA draft, taken by the Cincinnati Royals. He averaged 8.1 points and 4.8 rebounds during a fur-year pro career.Hutchens profiled each of the top 50 Hoosiers in separate articles in the series. Scott May was voted No. 1, followed by Isiah Thomas, Evansville native Calbert Cheney, George McGinnis and Steve Alford in fifth place.
Walt Bellamy was the sixth highest vote getter, followed by Don Schlundt, Mike Woodson, Quinn Buckner and Dees in 10th.Dees sold insurance for 40 years, and in 2006 became a new host at the French Lick casino.
Dees has been suffering from health issues this year, and would appreciate hearing from Golden Aces fans and friends. He is staying with family in Bloomington, Ind.
The address to use for cards or letters is: Archie Dees c/o Laurie Johnson, 3989 S. Cramer Circle, Bloomington, Ind. 47403.