60 Moments at Memorial Gym: Fan Faves
March 6, 2012
To cap the series celebrating 60 years of basketball at Memorial Gym, we asked fans to relay their favorite memories from games played at the gym. Here is what they had to say.
Name : Jay Miller A'74 L'77
Memory: Spring of '72, I was a sophomore. Memphis State and Louisville were tied for first place in the Missouri Valley Conference. Memphis had already beaten Louisville twice that year. No conference tournament at the time and the winner of a one game playoff would go to the NCAA Tournament. It was decided the game would be held at a neutral site - Memorial Gym.
Tickets were $3.00 each, all general admission. Doors opened two hours before tip-off; everyone ran for their seats, both teams' bands playing, fights all over the gym between fans of the Tigers and Cardinals. Tremendous atmosphere. Cardinals won.
Name: Michael Solomon
Memory: The revenge game - Captain JvbK had his lung punctured at LSU during an on-court melee in which the Tigers' Collis Temple was the villain. VU lost down there, but when they came to Memorial, an enterprising undergrad had purple and gold t-shirts with a screen printed "Go to hell LSU" theme for sale. Most of the student section was in purple that day during the '74-'75 season, and we got our revenge and went on to a championship season. I still have that t-shirt!
Memory: Frank Seckar's game against the University of South Carolina for Eddie Fogler's first game back at Memorial Gym as the USC coach.
The Mississippi game with Shane Foster-the gym/fans were all on their feet. A great game.
Name: Mike Smiley
Memory: Shan Foster's last game against Mississippi State.
Name: Brad Cole
Memory: Hands down it has to be the Shan Foster Senior Night performance against Miss. State, best one-man shooting performance I have ever witnessed.
Name: Patrick Connor
Memory: Shan Foster drops 42 in a comeback overtime win against Mississippi State. Nine threes in a row I believe.
Name: Tommy Hulan
Memory: Barry Goheen dribbling, looking up at the clock and instead of going for the tie he stepped behind the line and buried a three pointer to win the game against Georgia in 1989.
Memory: Storming the court after beating No.1-ranked Florida in 2006 which put an end to their 17-game winning streak. That Florida team went on to win the national championship that year, but our win over them at home that night was UNFORGETTABLE!
Name: David DeDominicis
Memory: I can't necessarily pinpoint a specific moment, there have been so many, so here are a few.
- Shan Foster's Senior Night against Miss St.
- Corey Smith layup to take out Wichita St.
- Matt Freije's performance against Indiana.
- Defeating No. 1 Florida with Noah, Brewer, Horford.
- White out win over No. 1 UT.
- Tinsley's triple double.
- Michael Jordan and the Bulls appearance for an exhibition game.
- Will Perdue in the NIT against Southern Miss.
- College GameDay at Memorial this season.
I can go on and on......
Name: Ginger Gotliffe
Memory: Jan. 1976 Vandy beats UT with Bernard King and Ernie Grunfeld. There were two amazing things I remember from that game. First, our center was John Sneed. I believe he was a sophomore. All season long he had struggled a bit, but on that night he was extraordinary. He was all over Ernie and Bernie and kept getting better as the game progressed. He fouled out near the end of the game and that brings up my second memory from that game.
Memorial just kept getting louder and louder. It seemed like there must have been a five-minute delay just for the reaction to John's performance. I never again heard Memorial that loud in my remaining years at VU. What a joy to witness a young man's heroic moment!
Name: Jon Draud
Memory: My son Scott making nine three-point shots against LSU.
Name: Scott Pilkinton
Memory: This isn't a memory of an event in the gym, but a unique aspect of it. I worked in the press box which was then above the third deck. In order to get the stats down to the teams, we'd have a basket that we lowered to the first level from the press box. The basket would be dangling above people's heads in the first level while we lowered it. Someone would grab it, get the pages of stats, and then we would raise it back up to the press box. I doubt there were many gyms in the country that had a stat basket!
Name: William Adkins
Memory: I believe that it was Senior Day in 1973. Steve Turner was the only outgoing senior player that I remember.The opponent was Tennessee.It was a very boisterous crowd as is typical for Senior Day. Vanderbilt won a close game in the final minutes. Post game Ray Mears was quoted in the papers, "If you can't play here, you can't play anywhere."
Name: Kenny Diehl
Memory: Two come to mind that do not involve VU. Louisville and Memphis played a tiebreaker for the Missouri Valley Conference Championship in 1972 at Memorial before a packed house. There was an NCAA tourney game played where UK beat ASPU and Fly Williams 107-104.
Name: Marc Hughes
Memory: When we beat Tennessee after they just beat Memphis to be the new No. 1.
Name: Billy McCawley
Memory:Beating UT when they were No. 1 in the nation. SWEET!!
Memory: These are my four favorite:
- Vandy beating the No. 1 Florida Gators during their national championship year.
- Vandy destroying Kentucky in 2008. We were up by about 30 or 35 at halftime.
- Vandy beating No. 1 UT right after they had beaten Memphis to gain the top spot.
- Mario Moore's shot against Oregon.
Memory: I used to get so excited and nervous about the last minute in every Vandy men's b-ball game that the concessions would literally have a couple brown paper bags for me to help stop me from hyperventilating! None was needed more than the Vandy vs LSU game when Shaq was a senior and we shut him down. We won with our center's incredible lay up with 2 seconds to go in 1993. GO DORES!!!!!
I remember being carried out on a man's shoulders after one Clyde Lee game in the early 60s when we won at the buzzer! The crowd was abuzz with happiness and those stairs were scary for a little kid!
Name: Lucy Shockley
Memory: This is not a basketball memory but I recall when the B-52s came to campus to perform in Memorial Gym in 1983, I believe. We were in the balcony and they had to stop the concert and plead with everyone to sit down because the balcony was visibly swaying (we could feel it moving beneath our feet) as we all jumped up and down in time with the music. It was fun, but a little scary too.
Memory: Last home game of 1983 was the night of the MASH finale and we were playing Georgia. I believe ouronly lead was the winning basket, 71-70.Georgia went on to the Final Four.
Unfortunately, many students watched MASH instead (but not me!)
Name: Meg Smath
Memory: My brother and I had season tickets when I was in high school in one of the balconies on the student section side (I remember it as the first balcony and my brother swears it was the second). The entire 73-74 season stands out as one great win after another, but in particular I remember the win over Alabama as the greatest game I ever attended.
I may not remember the details correctly, but as I recall we were down by seven with less than a minute to go in the days before there was a shot clock. We somehow managed to get the win in a furious finish, with Butch Feher hitting the winning layup as time expired. I can remember literally jumping for joy in the stands, hugging all the people who had sat around us for those four years we had the tickets. I have no idea what their names were, but I sure shared a joyful moment with them!
Name: Abe Benavides
Memory: A.J. Ogilvy's tip-in to send it to overtime against Georgia in 2010. Watch Video
Name: Keith Slaughter
Memory: The '86 game where Vandy rallied from 8 down with less than a minute against Tennessee. Goheen hit a bucket, and while my friend Tommy Hulan and I were jumping up and down, I noticed the ref pointing to the floor, indicating a foul was also called. Goheen hit it, Big Orange went down! The fans would not leave until the team returned (to the court). I couldn't talk the next day from screaming!
Name: Keith Herrell, A&S '72
Memory: Consecutive victories over North Carolina, Davidson and Duke in 1967. I was a high school senior and lucky enough to attend two of the three.
Name: Jeff Fortner
Memory: Looks like folks have all ready mentioned two that I thought of:
- The Fogler team beating LSU with Shaq and Chris Jackson.
- The Corey Smith from Jason Holwerda buzzer-beater over Wichita St. in the NIT.
Name: Clyde C. Wilhoite A'58
Memory: January 28, 1956. Vandy defeated Rupp's Kentucky Wildcats by about 7 points. Babe Taylor, always at his best against UK (he was from Frankfort, Ky.) sank shot after shot from the perimeter. Today, they would have been 3-pointers.
Apparently, Coach Bob Polk had installed new nets which slowed the ball as it went through, thus hindering UK's fast-break offense. Rupp took his team off the court until the old nets were put up.
I can remember that night almost as if it were last night.
Memory: It was in '59 or '60 that Vanderbilt had the Great Panty Raid at Peabody. A day or so later the Chancellor called a meeting in Memorial Gym of all the male students. A Vanderbilt graduate playing at the time for the Chicago Bears, I think, came and spoke in the gym and forcefully expressed the point that such behavior was not acceptable at Vanderbilt. They passed out a sheet for those who participated to sign. That event I remember after so many years but it is not as important a memory as the basketball games and entertainment programs.
Name: Sandra Kidd
Memory: The students have the best seats in the house at Vanderbilt, and our seats were Section J, Row 1, Seats 1-4. That was the entire row - four seats, courtside. As seniors, we had a friendly arrangement with the ushers and they would hold our tickets until we got there from class or lab or Rotier's. By the end of the season our senior year, we had literally rocked Row J-1 loose from its floor bolts. There is no place in the nation like Memorial Gymnasium.
I also was in Memorial the first time the Vanderbilt women played the Tennessee women. The official attendance was 200, and that included players, coaches, staff, families, and a few diehard Tennessee fans. Seeing Memorial sell out now for the Vanderbilt-Tennessee women's basketball annual meeting shows how fast and how far we have come.
Name: Sandy Shelton
Memory: Steve Grant 3-pointer (I think it was the 1st of his Vandy career!) at the buzzer to beat Georgia!
Name: Patrick B. Kinney
Memory: While working at T.G.I. Friday's in the mid 80s I had season tickets and took a co-worker to a game with me. While I'm not sure who we were playing (I think it was North Carolina), they were ranked #1 at the time and we won by a last-second field goal by Barry Goheen! Of course the crowd went wild, and I turned to my friend and said, 'This happens all the time.' True story!
Name: Christopher H. Hancock
Memory: The first time Dicky Keffer started for Vandy. He was such a great ball handler, passer and shooter, the announcers couldn't believe it. It was a huge surprise, and the announcers, who were not familiar with him that first time, mistakenly referred to him as "Keefer" and not Keffer. Dicky Keffer played circa 1974-1978. He played with the famous "F-Troop."
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