Tom Coverdale

(Photo: Indiana Basketball)

(Contributors: Mike Pudlow)

Tom Coverdale Biography

Tom Coverdale was a basketball player born in Noblesville, Indiana and played for Indiana University. Coverdale was an Indiana high school basketball legend and was named Indiana Mr. Basketball in 1998. Coverdale was a guard for IU from 1999-2003, where he accumulated over 1200 points and 500 assists. The 6’2″ guard was known for his ability to simultaneously be a great three-point shooter and great assist man. He is also admired by Hoosier fans for his hard-nosed, scrappy play. He made 200 three-pointers and shot 36% from beyond the arc during his time at Indiana University. After only playing 10 games his freshman season, Coverdale quickly became a valuable contributor his sophomore year. During the 2001-2002 season, Coverdale had his best statistical year, averaging 15 points, 6.1 assists, and 4.1 rebounds per game. During that season, he led the nation in games played (37) and led the Big Ten in assists.

Name: Tom Coverdale
Position: Guard
Nationality: USA
Age: 44
Birthday: February 20, 1980
Hometown: Noblesville, Indiana
High School: Noblesville High School
Height: 6’2″ (188 cm)
Weight: 200 lb (90 kg)
Seasons: 4 (1999-2000, 2000-2001, 2001-2002, 2002-2003)
Jersey: #3
Education: Sports Management
NBA Draft: 2003 / Undrafted
Pro Basketball: CBA and Germany
Assistant Coaching Career: UL-Monroe (2005-2009), Tyler JC (2009-2011)
Current Profession: Insurance Salesman

Awards and Accolades

• Indiana Mr. Basketball 1998
• NCAA Tournament All-Region Team 2002

Tom Coverdale Recruiting Profile

Tom Coverdale was a highly-touted recruit. He won the 1998 Indiana Mr. Basketball award by a staggering margin. Coverdale received 107 votes, while the next highest vote total was runner-up Maynard Lewis (Terre Haute South; Purdue) who received only 22 votes. Coverdale was part of an Indiana Hoosier freshman class that also included Jeff Newton and Kyle Hornsby.

Tom Coverdale Seasons with the Hoosiers

1999-2000 Indiana Basketball Season
Bob Knight (29th Season)
20-9 (10-6 Big Ten)
4th Place Big Ten
🏅 NCAA First Round
2000-2001 Indiana Basketball Season
Mike Davis (1st Season)
21-13 (10-6 Big Ten)
3rd Place Big Ten
🏅 NCAA First Round
2001-2002 Indiana Basketball Season
Mike Davis (2nd Season)
25-12 (11-5 Big Ten)
🏆 1st Place Big Ten
🥈NCAA Runner-Up
2002-2003 Indiana Basketball Season
Mike Davis (3rd Season)
21-13 (8-8 Big Ten)
6th Place Big Ten
🏅 NCAA Second Round

Indiana University Career Statistics

2009-10 10 0.3 0.8 0.375 0 0.3 0 0.3 0.5 0.6 0.1 0.2 0.5 1 0.7 0 0 1 371 12
2010-11 34 32 3.6 7.9 0.454 2.1 3.6 0.569 1.5 4.3 0.356 2 3 0.663 0.4 3 3.4 4.8 1.6 0.1 2.6 2.6 10.7 463 16
2011-12 37 32 31.7 3.7 8.9 0.417 1.8 3.8 0.479 1.9 5.1 0.37 2.5 3.2 0.788 0.4 2.8 3.2 4.8 1.5 0.1 2.7 2 11.9 453 12.6
2012-13 34 34 34 3.5 9.2 0.38 1.3 2.9 0.449 2.2 6.3 0.349 2.7 3.3 0.821 0.5 3.1 3.6 4.5 0.8 0.1 1.9 2 11.9 443 12.3
Total 115 98 66 0.6 27 2 16.482 11 1 7.081 16 2 9.672 10 3 1 0.0 11 15 4 0.0 7 7 36 1730 13.1

Tom Coverdale Indiana University Basketball Career

Playing under Bobby Knight during his final season with the Hoosiers, Coverdale saw limited time as a freshman. He only played in 10 games and attempted only 8 field goals during his first season with IU.

However, during his second season, Coverdale became an instant mainstay. As a sophomore, Coverdale played in 34 games and averaged 10.7 points and 4.8 assists per game. The Hoosiers won 21 games that season and finished 3rd in the Big Ten. Coverdale was a major contributor, finishing third on the team in scoring (behind Kirk Haston’s 19 PPG and Jared Jeffries’ 13.8 PPG) and led the team in assists. IU’s season ended in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, as the #4 seed Hoosiers fell to #13 seed Kent State.

As a junior, Coverdale was part of the IU squad that went all the way to the National Championship game before ultimately falling to #1 seed Maryland 64-52. Coverdale again saw his numbers improve. During the 2001-2002 season, he averaged 11.9 points and 4.8 rebounds while shooting 37% from three, his best statistical season with the Hoosiers. Indiana finished 25-12 overall and 3rd in the Big Ten. The team was a #5 seed in the South region and beat #12 Utah, #13 North Carolina Wilmington, #1 Duke, #10 Kent State, and #2 Oklahoma on their way journey to the NCAA National Final against Maryland. In the final, Coverdale scored 8 points but the Hoosiers could not produce enough offense to keep up with Maryland’s dynamic trio of Juan Dixon, Lonny Baxter, and Steve Blake. Still, despite losing the final, this team still remains one of the most beloved Hoosier squads of the modern era.

During his final season with Indiana, Coverdale posted nearly identical numbers to his previous season, finishing with an average of 11.9 points and 4.5 rebounds. Indiana finished 21-13 (8-8 conference play). The Hoosiers were a #7 seed in the Midwest but fell to #2 seeded Pittsburgh in the second round.

Overall, Coverdale is a beloved figure of modern IU basketball. His dynamic shooting coupled with his unselfish play and assist ability made him a favorite for both fans and players alike. While Coverdale epitomized the new age of basketball by embracing volume three-point shooting as it was starting to become fashionable, he also displayed many of the attributes the program was historically known for, namely his gritty, dive-on-the-floor style and strong work ethic.

Tom Coverdale Mentality

In a famous article by Andy Katz, Coverdale said:

Toughness for me is all mental. It’s mental toward the end of the game when you’re not thinking, you’re tired and you’re making hustle plays. I have to make those plays because if I don’t then I’m not any good. Every other player is quicker than me, so I have to use my strength. I’ve got to be in better shape and do all the little things.” 

Writing for ESPN, Katz described Coverdale as “the consummate tough, gritty guard in college basketball. He gives hope for everyone who wants to play the game but doesn’t possess the high-flying skills, the ability to dunk or the ability to make crowd-standing plays.”

For Coverdale, toughness has always been a crucial trait. He has often cited growing up with competitive brothers as a driving force behind creating his competitive spirit.

Overall, this one quote says everything you need to know about Coverdale: “The most fun I have is proving people wrong.”

Tom Coverdale Highlights

Coaching and Speaking Videos