Eagles Highlights

NCAA Division: Division I
Conference: Ohio Valley Conference
Past Conferences: Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
City: Morehead, Kentucky

Arena: Ellis Johnson Arena
NCAA Tournaments: 8 (1956, 1957, 1961, 1983, 1984, 2009, 2011, 2021)
National Championships – 0
Conference Titles – 9 (1956, 1957, 1961, 1963, 1969, 1972, 1974, 1984, 2003)

Team History

Morehead State began playing basketball in the 1929-30 season under coach George Downing. The Eagles joined the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference for the 1933-34 season and remained in the conference until the completion of the 1947-48 season. Morehead State, along with fellow KIAC members Louisville, Eastern Kentucky, Murray State, and Western Kentucky, moved to the newly formed Ohio Valley Conference. The Eagles played in the 1951 NAIB Tournament, dropping its first game to Southwest Texas State.

The Eagles were a solid team in the late 1950s and early 1960s, winning the conference championship in 1956, 1957, and 1961, advancing to the NCAA Tournament each year. Morehead State had some good teams in the mid-60s and 1970s, winning the regular season conference title in 1963, 1969, 1972, and 1974, but the Eagles couldn’t get back to the NCAA Tournament until 1983, where they lost to Syracuse in the first round. Morehead State returned the following year, defeating North Carolina A&T in a preliminary game before falling to Louisville in the first round.

25-Year Postseason Drought

Morehead State fell on some hard times after its last Tournament appearance and went through a 25-year postseason drought that finally ended in 2009. The Eagles won the OVC conference tournament and a trip back to the NCAA Tournament. Morehead State won another preliminary game but once again was sent home by Louisville in the first round. Morehead State went 23-10 in 2009-10 and the Eagles earned a berth to the CBI, losing in the quarterfinals.

In 2011, Morehead State once again faced Louisville in the NCAA Tournament, although this time the Eagles pulled off the upset against their in-state rivals by a 62-61 final score. The victory ended a 13-game losing streak to the Cardinals. The Eagles returned to the CBI in 2014 and 2016, where they lost in the finals to Nevada. Morehead State advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2021, losing to West Virginia in the first round.

Morehead State Eagles All-Time Records

Points Scored
Ricky Minard, 2,381
Herbie Stamper, 2,072
Kenneth Faried, 2,009

Steve Hamilton, 1,675
Kenneth Faried, 1,673
Norman Pokley, 1,046

Marquis Sykes, 606
Ricky Minard, 417
Howard Wallen, 411



How did Morehead State get its name?

Morehead State University is located in Morehead, Kentucky, which is where the name comes from. The city was named after James T. Morehead, who served as governor of Kentucky from 1834 to 1836.

Have any Morehead State players played in the NBA?

Morehead State has sent seven players to the NBA. Kenneth Faried had the most successful career, playing in 478 games and averaging 11.4 points and 8.1 rebounds over the eight seasons he played in the NBA.

What was Morehead State’s biggest victory?

Upsetting Louisville in the first round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament is undoubtedly the biggest win in school history. Not only did it come against an in-state rival, but it came on a Demonte Harper 3-pointer from the top of the key with 4.2 seconds remaining. Harper was 0 for 5 on 3-pointers in the game at the time he took his shot.

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