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1964 Bradley Basketball Team

FRONT ROW (L to R): Student assistant coach Steve Hudgens, Steve Day, Rich Williams, Lee Frederick, Levern Tart, Rich Doniey, Tom Gordon, Bobby West, Leon Hail

BACK ROW (L to R): Ernie Thompson, Ron Martin, Joe Strawder, Jack Hutchinson, Eddie Jackson, Ron Patterson, Coach Charles Orsborn.

NOT PICTURED: Assistant Coach Joe Stoweii, Tom Lund.


Bradley University's 1963-64 basketball team, who went 20-6 in the regular season, continued on to give Coach Chuck Orsborn and assistant Joe Stowell their third National Invitational Tournament Championship in eight seasons. Orsborn had won Bradley's first NIT title in 1957 and repeated in 1960.

The 1963 team was lead by Levern Tart, Joe Strawder, Manual High School's Eddie Jackson, Ernie Thompson and Rich Williams. During the regular season, Bradley was unable to hold off Wichita and Drake Co-Missouri Valley Champions, but once the season was over B.U. went on to sweep through to the NIT Championship.

The most difficult tournament game came in the first round in an 83-81 win over St. Joseph of Philadelphia. Bradley's next opponent, ARMY, Coached by Bobby Knight, was cuffed by a score of 67-52. In the title game, the Braves faced New Mexico and its vaunted center, Ira "Large" Harge, and produced a somewhat surprising and overwhelming 86-54 victory.

Tart, who later went on to professional basketball, averaged 17.5 points and the 6'9' Strawder 16.9. Eddie Jackson scored 385 points in his first varsity season. Three other local players were on the team - Bobby West of Peoria Central, Steve Day of Richwoods, and Ron Patterson of Farmington - along with Tom Gordon, Leon Hall, Ron Martin, Jack Hutchinson, Rich Donley, Lee Frederick, and Tom Lund. Steve Hudgens was