It was bizarre in 1973: Vols beat Temple 11-6

When Temple came to Tennessee 35 years ago this week, what happened was one of the more bizarre memories of the Ray Mears Era.

After 40 minutes, the Vols walked off the floor at Stokely Athletics Center an 11-6 winner in the lowest-scoring game of the modern era in college basketball.

The date was Dec. 15, 1973, the championship of the Volunteer Classic tournament. Temple coach Don Casey didn’t want to run with the Vols and had his Owls hold the ball for 32 of the 40 minutes.

Mears refused to budge from his zone defense so virtually nothing happened. Freshman Ernie Grunfeld scored to break a 5-5 tie with 12:44 left in the first half and Temple stalled until the break.

The second half passed without a field goal by either team. John Snow hit a technical free throw to make it 8-5 with 17:58 to play and the Owls went back into the deep freeze. Snow hit three more foul shots in the final seconds.

The 1973-74 Vols finished 17-9. The shot clock wasn’t introduced to the college game until 1985.

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Comments » 35

walt23tn writes:

I hope it's a 111 to 66.

walt23tn writes:

sorry I didn't announce 1st, it seems sort of silly....GO VOLS!!!!

walt23tn writes:

12:00 ESPN, everybody tune in, sorry, i'm done

volfan1954 writes:

I remember that game...a very boring one to say the least. John Ward, in typical fashion, had plenty to say....about football, baseball, track, and all the other UT sports....everything but the basketball game. Not a lot to say that night about the game.

ctmartin writes:

in response to volfan1954:

I remember that game...a very boring one to say the least. John Ward, in typical fashion, had plenty to say....about football, baseball, track, and all the other UT sports....everything but the basketball game. Not a lot to say that night about the game.

Mears had his guys come back out and play an orange and white game, about one quarters worth to my memory. Said the fans came to see some basketball and he wanted to give it to them.

rabidvol1998 writes:

in response to UTfan4life:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I was walking back to my car and a student asked me the score of the game. When I told him he called me a smart azz.

It was bizzare and at 7-5 it looked like one lucky play and it could work.

Knoxobserver writes:

I remember that game. It was so weird, nothing happening. My parents had season tickets but I listened at home on the radio. It was so strange I couldn't follow what was happening so I finally turned off the radio. When my parents got home I couldn't believe the final score, it had to be a mistake or something.

The next season they got me and my brother season tickets for the Ernie and Bernie Show! I will never ever forget those games!

Anyway, even though the shot clock didn't come about in college for a few more years, there were some rule changes that happened as a result of this game. The offense could no longer just sit out and hold the ball at the center stripe. You had to run some kind of play inside the time line within 5 seconds of crossing the center line. If the defense backed off and the offense didn't run a play they turned the ball over.

Wow, hadn't thought about that game in years. Hey Bruce, sure would be nice to reinstate the Vol Classic... hint, hint....

arkyvol writes:

i was a student and remember that fiasco well. with all respect to ray mears, he was a hank iba disciple, the old eight passes before anybody "thinks" about shooting on each possession. he probably loved that game. i still get nauseated whenever i hear someone mention how great a coach dean smith was. they should look up 'four corners offense' first. mears, iba, sutton, and smith were doubtlessly good at what they did, but what they did damned sure wasn't basketball. i would rather watch paint dry.

rthestar#368358 writes:

in response to RobtheVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

GET the INFO necessary TO RESPOND OR GO TAKE A NAP.
ray mears AND HIS BUDDY STU WERE offensive AND defensive brains....IT WAS TEMPLE that did the stall and the rules allowed it..

volky writes:

I was 7 years old and I remember listening to this game with my dad on the radio. I remember thinking how cool (weird?) that my youth basketball team in our game that week scored more than Tennessee did.

gobigorange8464 writes:

This game will be just shy of a chicken sandwich victory. 87 - 66, Vols Win!

tenuscvol writes:

Didn't Devoe pull the same thing once in a twenty-something game?

I may not be remebering the score correctly but I do recall Devoe stalling in one game when the Vols went up by three or four....

Boring to say the least...

The shot clock was definitely necessary in basketball...

A little off subject ,but I wish they'd put football back the way it was last year as far as the clock...

Does anyone know if it is even being considered?

GoVols!

Go Utes!

newtonrail writes:

in response to rthestar#368358:

GET the INFO necessary TO RESPOND OR GO TAKE A NAP.
ray mears AND HIS BUDDY STU WERE offensive AND defensive brains....IT WAS TEMPLE that did the stall and the rules allowed it..

Naffy, at least post your racist horse apples intelligently. Oh wait, you can't do that.

newtonrail writes:

That was suppose to be a response to Robthevol, one of his many alias on this board; and not the one to rthestar.

WereInTrouble writes:

I was there as an eighteen year old with two of my former high school basketball teammates. We were about eighteen rows back on the side court and everyone was really aggravated about Temple stalling the ball. Any thing could determine the game and after a bad call by the referee everyone stood booing very loudly. I wadded a popcorn box up tightly into a ball and threw it hitting the ref on the shoulder. All the folks around me couldn't believe I threw it that far and began patting me on the back, high fiving me, etc. The funniest thing was the ref began looking up into the crowd of 11,000 trying to find out who hit him. Ha! The good ole' days!

pdhuff#552644 writes:

in response to General_Watermelon:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Did you have to change baby Dupree's diaper during that second half?

Knoxobserver writes:

rthestar, I had almost forgotten about Stu Aberdeen! I LOVED watching him on the sidelines of a game. This little bald headed guy who ranted and raved about every call that went against UT. I couldn't wait to see him jump up and throw his clipboard down on the floor. Some folks may complain about Mears' coaching style, but there was a fire and passion on that staff that we didn't see again at UT until we hired Pearl. I'm just saying...

Go4Two writes:

Keep in mind Mear's team scored 100+ at KY without the shot clock..

gwbask writes:

I went to a High School game in the early 70's and the final score was 8 to 7. Very exciting at the end as the losing and stalling team took the last shot with 2 sec left and missed.

iowavol writes:

in response to DukeDeLuca:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You have got to be kidding. two things:
Our student activity fee in 1973 was next to nothing and we got everything - football, basketball, concert, theatre, movie tickets - all for what $155 a quarter?
This was the most boring and ridiculous game I have ever seen. It was North Carolina's four corner stall game on steroids. There was nothing competitive about this game from a basketball perspective.

MiserableFloridaVol writes:

I remember this article last time we played Temple. Is this the best we can come up with on a basketball weekend is a story from 1973 that we read the last time we played Temple? Awful Basketball coverage so far this year.

tubavol writes:

in response to MiserableFloridaVol:

I remember this article last time we played Temple. Is this the best we can come up with on a basketball weekend is a story from 1973 that we read the last time we played Temple? Awful Basketball coverage so far this year.

I thought I was the only one that remembered this article from last year. With the economy the way it is I guess it is cheaper to recycle an article than to pay someone to write a new one. Good job KNS! Thanks for keeping us up to date!

arkyvol writes:

in fairness to mears (i hated his style of play), he probably would have been a winner had he been coaching today. he worked with what was given him, and he was given a game where the rules allowed a team to freeze the ball. it would have been interesting to see how he approached the 45 second clock. it would have blown his mind at first, but i suspect he would have adjusted.

NorthwestVol writes:

I remember listening to that game on the radio sitting at the kitchen table with my dad. Good memories.

volhome#407234 writes:

in response to RobtheVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Actually, this is an exciting childhood. You don't understand the camaraderie built betwen a father and son as they sit listening to a game together. They can discuss the nuances of the game as well as talk to each other about things other than the game. Not everyone has to have an HDTV video gamed life to have led a full and complete life. Step away from the screens and visit with your father or son. You'll be stunned what you may learn.

eduardo writes:

what the heck are we tring to do on offense?????????????Would someone please stop the ball and not let them shoot gimmees!Get tough with them please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

NorthwestVol writes:

in response to volhome#407234:

Actually, this is an exciting childhood. You don't understand the camaraderie built betwen a father and son as they sit listening to a game together. They can discuss the nuances of the game as well as talk to each other about things other than the game. Not everyone has to have an HDTV video gamed life to have led a full and complete life. Step away from the screens and visit with your father or son. You'll be stunned what you may learn.

Thanks volhome. The Naffys of this world are likely just trying to get a rise out of us. If he was serious, then I feel sorry for him.

I've got my 4 year old grandson visiting. He's still lukewarm to basketball, but he'll learn. He does a pretty nice job on 'Rocky Top' during football games though.

pkaplan (staff) writes:

in response to sweeten_159#646196:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

THANKYOU4GETTINGRIDOFTHENOTSOSLIMONE writes:

Bruce. you have a lot of coaching to do. Your team continues to play out of control with no upside out of it. You pretty much played Temples 2nd team the entire second half and your players got outplayed. For the first time in 3 years, I am questioning you. There is no way what happened today should happen. Period. Prince is not that important against Temple.At least you admit that you need to do a better coaching job unlike your former counterpart. Now do it.

NorthwestVol writes:

Ugly.

Go4Two writes:

in response to THANKYOU4GETTINGRIDOFTHENOTSOSLIMONE:

Bruce. you have a lot of coaching to do. Your team continues to play out of control with no upside out of it. You pretty much played Temples 2nd team the entire second half and your players got outplayed. For the first time in 3 years, I am questioning you. There is no way what happened today should happen. Period. Prince is not that important against Temple.At least you admit that you need to do a better coaching job unlike your former counterpart. Now do it.

It's starting the I'm a better coach than Bruce crowd will start coming out. Bruce as set high expectations when you fail to meet them fans start questioning your ability to coach

THANKYOU4GETTINGRIDOFTHENOTSOSLIMONE writes:

in response to Go4Two:

It's starting the I'm a better coach than Bruce crowd will start coming out. Bruce as set high expectations when you fail to meet them fans start questioning your ability to coach

Never said the first comment of yours but agree with the 2nd part. You have to admit mikevol though that today's performance was unacceptable.

hueypilot writes:

Seems like I remember John Wooden saying he had considered getting a lead in one of the many national Championship finals his UCLA teams played in, and going into a deep freeze, to demonstate the need for a shot clock in college ball. A 9-4 score in a nationally televised finals game would have probably brought the shot clock along more quickly, but Wooden said he thought it would be disrespectful to basketball fans, so he didn't do it.

OrangeAppeal writes:

I'll bet all comers that "thankyou4..." is at least 40 pounds overweight.

I'll also bet all comers that he will also create a new moniker by year's end calling to get rid of Pearl. He will not make the sweet 16 this year.

chuckfromwoodbury writes:

in response to DukeDeLuca:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I was a freshman at UT in 1975. My activities fee was $15 a quarter. This is a high fee? Did they drop it from the ridiciously high fee you were paying in 1973?

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