Only one member of Tennessee's basketball team was born when the shot clock was introduced to college basketball in 1985.
They know nothing of an era when a stubborn or crafty coach could bring a game to a grinding halt.
They can't imagine the freaky night that happened last time Temple - UT's season-opener opponent Friday - came to play hoops in Knoxville.
In the Bruce Pearl era, the Thompson-Boling Arena scoreboard is likely to read "11-6" before the first media timeout.
On Dec. 15, 1973, that's what the Stokely Athletics Center scoreboard read at the final horn:
Tennessee 11, Temple 6.
That night, in the championship game of the Volunteer Classic, next to nothing happened. A newspaper account said Temple held the ball for 32 minutes and 5 seconds of the 40 minutes.
It was the lowest-scoring college game of the modern era. And it will stay that way, considering the shot clock arrived in 1985-86 - to prevent precisely what happened that night.
"I remember it was so tight and nerve-wracking, because every point was important,'' Rodney Woods, Tennessee's 1973-74 point guard, recalled this week.
What happened was two coaches, UT's Ray Mears and Temple's Don Casey, got into a standoff and wouldn't budge.
Mears didn't like his man-to-man defensive match-up against quicker Temple and packed the Vols in a zone.
Casey, having watched UT rout DePaul 96-61 the previous night, didn't want to run with Tennessee. His intent was to milk the clock each possession, but then he got carried away, trying to force the Vols out of the zone.
"Austin Clark kind of ventured out a few times,'' said Woods, "and I remember them (Mears and assistant Stu Aberdeen) threatening to kill him if he didn't get back and keep things tight.''
Ernie Grunfeld, a freshman, scored to put UT up 7-5 at the 12:44 mark of the first half. The Owls stalled the rest of the half until turning the ball over just before the horn.
There wasn't a single field goal in the second half. John Snow hit a technical free throw with 17:58 left to make it 8-5.
Temple held the ball, guards John Kneib and Rick Trudeaux exchanging passes, until only a couple of minutes remained.
Snow hit three more free throws in the final seconds, leaving it 11-5. Temple got a free throw at the end and that was it, 17 total points.
Nobody liked it. The crowd pelted the floor with ice. UT president Ed Boling asked Mears to bring the players back on the court for an intrasquad scrimmage, which he did.
Mears used the fiasco to lobby for a shot clock, although nobody listened at the time.
The 24-second clock had come to the NBA in 1954. It would be three decades before the college game got a clock.
By then, North Carolina's Dean Smith had made the "Four Corners" stall offense a dreaded tactic. When the Tar Heels got a lead, Smith would frequently spread his team out to dribble away the final minutes of a game. Opponents could either stand there or send the Heels to the free-throw line. Carolina's lowest-scoring game of the Smith Era was a 21-20 loss to Duke in the 1966 Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.
Pearl remembers life before the shot clock. He was a young student manager for Tom Davis at Boston College, then an assistant for Davis at Stanford.
Davis preached the breakneck style that Pearl uses today.
"But everybody back then had a delay offense for the end of the game,'' Pearl said.
No innovation has changed the college game more than the shot clock.
"My first thought,'' said Pearl, "was that the rich were going to get richer. That you would no longer have David and Goliath upsets.
"Maybe at first that was the case, but that was not accurate.''
Originally set at 45 seconds, the clock was shortened to 35 seconds in 1993. The women use a 30-second clock.
The shot clock didn't guarantee exhilarating offense, as Tennessee fans found out during the Kevin O'Neill era (1994-97).
I remember an O'Neill road trip to Penn State that was tied 33-33 at the end of regulation. It was no fluke as a month later the Vols lost 43-35 at Auburn.
May those days rest in peace but never return.
"I like the uptempo game,'' said Pearl, "but we're still patient at times. With 35 seconds, you can still be patient.''
Patient is fine, within limits. Thankfully, the shot clock defines those limits.
Mike Strange may be reached at 865-342-6276 or email@example.com.