MOREHEAD, Ky. - Morehead State Athletics will be honoring one of its most accomplished group of athletes this coming weekend when the 1982-83 men's basketball team gathers to celebrate the 35th anniversary of their Ohio Valley Conference Championship and NCAA Tournament berth.
"The 1982-83 men's basketball team is one of our all-time greatest. They set the tone for what MSU Basketball could be and ushered in an era of tremendous success," said Director of Athletics Brian Hutchinson. "It is important to honor our past, and I am glad we could bring the group together on this significant anniversary celebration."
The team will be honored at halftime of Saturday's men's basketball game versus Belmont. Tip-off is at 4 p.m. ET.
Rocky Adkins, a senior on that team and now a member of the Kentucky State House of Representatives, still relives those precious memories of a championship season.
"I refuse to believe it's been 35 years since our team was last on the court, because I'm convinced, with a little practice, we could still whip most of those playing now," Atkins said. "I will say that it is rare for a day to go by that I don't think back to that time, to what we accomplished and how we did it. The memories and friendships we made then mean more to me than ever, so I encourage you to join with those of us who are planning to celebrate that incredible season. I hope to see you there."
The 1982-83 Eagles, under the direction of head coach Wayne Martin (currently the Vice Chair of the MSU Board of Regents), finished 19-11 overall and 10-4 in the OVC. They opened the OVC Tournament that season at Racer Arena in Murray with a 54-53 triumph over Tennessee Tech. The Eagles claimed the title with an 81-65 victory over Akron.
Along with Adkins, team members included Guy Minnifield, Earl Harrison, Jeff Tipton, Jeff Tucker, Eddie Childress, Arthur Sullivan, Harold Moore, Rob Barker, Jeff Fultz, Alonzo Linner, Dickie Alexander, David Stamper, Craig Hubbard, Keith Myers and Timmy Sullivan. Minnifield led the troops with a 15.8 scoring average, and Harrison scored 13.6 per game. The team averaged 78 points per outing and shot 50 percent for the season.
Morehead State was selected to face Syracuse in the NCAA Tournament, a team that boasted three preseason All-Americans. Thousands of MSU fans made the trek to Hartford, Conn., to cheer on the Eagles in their first NCAA Tournament game since 1961. MSU battled the Orangemen until the end but fell 74-59.