1982 Bradley Basketball Team
Seated (from left) Manager Parrish Carter, Associate Coach Tony Barone, Assistant Coach Rudy Keeling, Head Coach Dick Versace, Assistant Coach Jay Eck, Manager Eugene Link, Manager Keith Lorick.
Standing (from left) Manager Paul McCree, Eddie Harris, Eddie Mathews, Anthony Webster, Mitchell Anderson, Donald Reese, David Thirdkill, Pierre Cooper, Kerry Cook, Voise Winters, Barney Mines, Willie Scott.
A new format by the National Invitational Tournament resulted in Bradley playing its most games ever in the NIT at the end of the 1981-82 season on the way to its fourth tournament title, its first since 1964.
Coached by Dick Versace and led by a Big Three of Mitchell Anderson, David Thirdkill and Donald Reese, the Braves climaxed a 21-10 regular season with five more wins in the NIT which went to a campus format for the first three games.
The Braves whipped American U. 76-65 in Carver Arena* in the first round, won 95-91 at
Syracuse and returned home to down Tulane 77-61 before heading for Madison Square
Garden. Oklahoma was eliminated 84-68 in the semi-finals before Bradley popped Purdue 67-58 in the title game.
Anderson, who finished with 591 points for the season and 1,750 in his four-year career, was named the Most Valuable Player in the NIT while guard Willie Scott, who teamed with Barney Mines to give BU a potent backcourt duo, joined Anderson on the all-tournament team.
Anderson also was named to the all-Missouri Valley Conference first team while Reese and Thirdkill were voted to the second team.
This note was offered by an anonymous sender ...
"I have noticed a factual error in your article entitled "1982 Bradley Basketball", to wit: the home of Bradley Basketball in that season was NOT Carver Arena, but rather the final season at the super venue Robertson Memorial Field House. Please change the text of your article to the truth."
Bobby Parker, Associate A.D. for Communications, Bradley University responds,
"Bradley moved from Robertson Fieldhouse to Carver Arena to start the 1982-83 season. The 1981-82 NIT campions played at the field house."