Former Indiana leading scorer, Hoosier head coach Lou Watson dies at age 88

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Lou Watson, the man who followed Branch McCracken and preceded Bob Knight as head coach at Indiana, has died at the age of 88.

According to the Associated Press, he passed away Thursday in Fairfax, Va.

Watson played at Indiana for three seasons from 1947-1950, garnering All-Big Ten honors in 1950 and, at the time, leaving the school as the program’s all-time leading scorer.

He returned to Bloomington as a head coach in 1966, coaching for four seasons, through 1971, a run that included winning the Big Ten co-championship in 1967.

His players were nicknamed the “Cardiac Kids” for their tendency to play close games down the stretch. The picture at right jokingly recalls the nickname, as players checked Watson’s vitals.

He left Indiana with an overall record of 62-60.

When Bob Knight was brought in as the Hoosiers’ head coach in 1971, Watson became a special assistant to the athletic director. He was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1983, and later retired in 1987.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_