A Historic Season

for Men’s Basketball

The entire Bradley men’s basketball roster was not born the last time the program achieved the level of regular season success it did in 2022-2023. But the players didn’t show the weight of that 27-year title drought on a magical 2022-2023 campaign that featured extended winning streaks and huge home crowds. Led by two Dutch forwards, a 5th-year senior off the bench and strong guard play, Bradley captured the first Missouri Valley Conference title since 1996 and captivated a university and city in the process.

By The Numbers:

1996 – The last time Bradley men’s basketball won the regular season Missouri Valley Conference title.

1,000 Career Points – Both Ja’Shon Henry and Rienk Mast eclipsed that mark for career points this season, becoming the 51st and 52nd players in Bradley history to do so.

17-game home winning streak – was the 3rd-longest active streak in the nation this season and 9th longest in program history.

12-game winning streak – the 10th-longest in Bradley history.

16 Conference wins – matching the most in program history with the 1985 1986 season.

50 blocks and steals from Malevy Leons this season – the first Missouri Valley Conference player ever to achieve that mark and only the 102nd player since the 92-93 season.

10,458 – The sellout crowd number at Carver Arena for the final game of the season.

5th-Year senior Ja’Shon Henry, reflecting on the end of his Bradley career at the close of Missouri Valley Conference tournament:
“I’m just super thankful. This team, this program, these fans. Bradley made a dream come true for a kid from a small town in Saskatchewan, to play NCAA Division I basketball. It’s a dream I had as a kid, a dream my late father had for me. I make that two taps to my chest and point up to him. Pray to him that he lives through me in this game. Hope that I can have the heart and desire that he did from being a father and a brother. That’s what drove me in this tournament.”

Head coach Brian Wardle on the sellout crowd for the season finale against Drake:
“It was awesome. I try to stay in the moment and zone everything out, to be honest. … The last decade and since COVID, it’s hard to get fans to arenas in all sports. People aren’t coming out to watch games live as much anymore, and there’s multiple factors for that, there’s not just one, there’s multiple.”

Head coach Brian Wardle on his favorite part of the day Bradley won its first Missouri Valley Conference title since 1996:
“The best part was driving in. You know, I usually drive in with about an hour-15, hour-20 ahead of time — and to see all the fans already there, walking in and celebrating and screaming and yelling outside… That was special because that’s what you want as a coach, you want to build your community and you want to bring a lot of pride and excitement to your city. And I think this group has done that.”

“For all the fans that have been coming
all year: We love you. And for all the newbies
that came today, bandwagoners: I love you, too.
Keep coming out. We need you next year.”

— Coach Brian Wardle

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