Randy Smith: Vols Have Major Home Court Advantage

Monday, February 11, 2019
Randy Smith
Randy Smith
I made my first visit to Thompson Boling Arena in several years this past Saturday as the top-ranked Volunteers made the Florida Gators their 18th straight victim   73-61. Now, this wasn't the first sell out crowd I have ever witnessed in the Arena but it was by far the most electric, rowdy group of fans I've ever seen at any basketball venue. 

Since I retired after 30 years of working for the Vol Network as their basketball TV announcer, I have preferred to watch the Big Orange play in the comfort of my man cave, warm and free of big crowds and in front of a big-screen television. Even though I plan to watch the remainder of this magical season at home, I'm glad I went to the game.

It's an entirely different experience.
My son, two grandsons and I arrived on campus an hour and a half before the game was scheduled to start and there was already a line wrapped around the Arena, waiting for the gates to open. I've never seen this before as far as men's basketball is concerned. The last time I saw anything close to that was when the Lady Vols of Coach Pat Summitt hosted UConn in a women's game several years ago. When the gates opened the home of the Vols became the loudest venue I've ever seen.

Now I do know something about big-time college basketball Arenas. I've worked games at Rupp Arena and Memorial Gym at Kentucky. I've done games at the Dean Smith Center at North Carolina and before that opened I worked at the old Carmichael Auditorium in Chapel Hill. I have also worked games in the Allen Fieldhouse at Kansas, and I have never been in a building with as much excitement as I witnessed when the Vols beat the Gators. I'll admit I have never seen a game at Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium, but I find it hard to believe a facility that seats 12,000 fewer fans than Thompson Boling can be as loud or boisterous.

It appears that Tennessee's starving fan base has really latched onto the amazing success of this Volunteers' basketball team. Back to back losing seasons in football has allowed Tennessee to take advantage of the best team in school history as the basketball Vols enter their fourth week as the top-ranked team in the country. I have no idea how much longer they will be ranked number one but the remaining six weeks of this 2019 season promises to be the most exciting time ever for Tennessee men's basketball and every game at home for the Big Orange will be a nightmare for opposing teams.

Dalton State Men's Golf Fall Schedule Released

City Of East Ridge Announces Updated Tennis And Pickle Ball Courts

Mocs Football Add Two Transfers


Dalton State Men's Golf Coach Ben Rickett released the Fall schedule for the Lady Roadrunners on Tuesday. The schedule features four tournaments and runs from early September until late October ... (click for more)

Recently updated tennis and pickle ball courts in the City of East Ridge will soon be available for teams and enthusiasts of the two sports to practice their skills. The City is near completion ... (click for more)

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga head coach Rusty Wright announced the addition of two more Mocs to the 2019 roster today. Louisville transfer Aaron Floyd and former Charlotte defensive ... (click for more)


Sports

Dalton State Men's Golf Fall Schedule Released

Dalton State Men's Golf Coach Ben Rickett released the Fall schedule for the Lady Roadrunners on Tuesday. The schedule features four tournaments and runs from early September until late October with a new event opening the season. The Birds will kick the season off by traveling to Memphis, to take part in the Memphis Shootout on September 9 & 10. The tournament will take ... (click for more)

City Of East Ridge Announces Updated Tennis And Pickle Ball Courts

Recently updated tennis and pickle ball courts in the City of East Ridge will soon be available for teams and enthusiasts of the two sports to practice their skills. The City is near completion of the $25,000 renovation project on the courts in front of East Ridge High School. Located on Bennett Road, the courts were deteriorating from neglect and were frequently covered with ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Shots Fired Through Locked Door Killed Man, Injured 2 Others Near UTC Campus; Omerrieal Woods Had Been Released On Federal Bond

Chattanooga Police said the incident in which one man was killed and two others injured at an apartment near the UTC campus involved shots being fired through a locked door. Police have arrested both suspects involved in the fatal shooting Sunday. Omerrieal Woods was apprehended Monday evening by the Chattanooga Police Department's Fugitive Unit with assistance from the ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Man Who Spent Over 14 Years At Brushy Mountain Set To Go Back Behind Bars

A Chattanooga man who spent 14 1/2 years at Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary is set to go back behind bars. Gary Dewayne Cross, 42, on Tuesday was sentenced by Judge Travis McDonough to serve eight years in federal prison. He had initially been facing much more time with an initial guideline range of 262-327 months due to his meeting the category of an armed career criminal. ... (click for more)

Opinion

Disappointed In The Collegedale Commission

Back a long time ago, when I was in high school at McCallie, us students were afforded a lot of freedoms. But those freedoms came with the expectation that you knew, above all else, to be honest and truthful. From the outset, this was always assumed to be the case. For example, if you missed a test, you could take it at home and return it the following day, along with a signed statement ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why I Picked Home Depot

I know precious little about hot water heaters except for Rule No. 1 – when one that’s older than your youngest child starts leaving a pool of water on the kitchen floor, “take low and go.” Replace the thing and forget about it. I don’t want to discuss it, don’t want be a prudent buyer by taking half the day to study it, and I am not about to drive all over town to find the best ... (click for more)