Hall of Fame

Jones, Popeye 27

Ronald "Popeye" Jones

  • Class
  • Induction
    2007
  • Sport(s)
    Men's Basketball

Ronald “Popeye” Jones – Men’s Basketball, 1988-1992

Coming out of Dresden, Tenn., Popeye Jones played for Murray State men’s basketball from 1988-92.

He was inducted into the Murray State Hall of Fame in 2007.

Jones was part of four OVC regular season championship teams at MSU and with him on the team, they played in the NCAA Tournament three times.

Ranking first at MSU in career rebounds with 1,374, Jones led the nation in the 1991-92 season at 14.4 per game. The season prior, he ranked second in the nation with 14.2 per game (1990-91), second behind only LSU’s Shaquille O’Neal at 14.7. 

Jones was an unstoppable scorer and today ranks fourth at MSU in career scoring with 2,057 points.

Popeye is the only player in MSU history to get 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.

He finished his career as a three-time All-Ohio Valley Conference selection and was named OVC Player of the Year in 1990 and 1991. Jones was also named the OVC Athlete of the Year in 1991 and 92. He was also a two-time All-America selection as a junior and senior.

Popeye’s jersey No. 54 is one of nine retired at MSU and it hangs in the rafters of the CFSB Center.  

Jones was selected by the Houston Rockets in the second round as the 41st overall pick in the 1992 National Basketball Association (NBA) draft. But he never played for the Rockets and instead started his professional career in Milan, Italy and played there for one season (1992-93). The next season in 1993-1994, Popeye began what would be an 11- year career in the NBA.  He played three seasons with the Dallas Mavericks (1993-96), two seasons with the Toronto Raptors (1996-1998). He then played one season each with the Boston Celtics (1998-99) and Denver Nuggets (1999-00). He finished his career playing two seasons with the Washington Wizards (2000-02) and one in Dallas (2003-03) and with the Golden State Warriors (2003-04).

Popeye played in 535 games (304 starts) in the NBA and scored 3,726 points (6.9ppg) and pulled down 3,981 rebounds (7.4 rpg). He shot .447 percent from the field and .751 from the free throw line. He had 696 assists and 300 steals.

One of his best seasons was his second year in the NBA when he averaged 10.4 rebounds per game (844 total) and 10.3 points per game (825 total). He started in all 80 games he played that season in Dallas. He ranked eighth in the league in total rebounds and 10th in rebounds per game.

Combining his collegiate career at Murray State and what he accomplished in the NBA, Popeye played in a total of 658 games with 6,441 points and 5,355 rebounds.

Jones has carved out a successful coaching career after he playing days as well. After working in the New Jersey Nets organization, Popeye is an assistant coach with the Indiana Pacers.

 
Popeye Jones & Steve Newton Allen Ward, Popeye Jones & Steve Newton
Popeye Jones being interviewed by WKMS after his induction
Jeff Martin, Jeffery Martin, Jr., Steve Newton, Cheryl Whitaker, Allen Ward, Billy Kennedy, Popeye Jones & Darron Boatright Jeff Martin, Steve Newton, Cheryl Whitaker, Billy Kennedy, & Popeye Jones
Popeye Jones, Darron Boatright, Jeff Martin, & Jeffery Martin, Jr. Janet Futrell, Cheryl Whitaker, Popeye Jones, Saundra Edwards & Claire Benton
Popeye Jones & Craig Morris Class of 2007
Tony Wretlund, Jessica Widman-Grace, Ronald "Popeye" Jones, Jill Doty-Misner, Gary Stephens, & Dennis Jackson