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April 2nd Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day

Home Court Advantage At Fike Field House

(Photo Uploaded By Alan Cutts)

Today’s photo is from Fike Field House as the Tigers play Wake Forest in the mid 1960’s.

Today, most ACC Basketball fans think of Cameron Indoor Stadium as the toughest place to play a basketball game as an opponent. The Cameron Crazies can make life miserable for opposing players with their creative taunting.

But there was a time at Clemson where opponents viewed their trip into Fike Field House as the most intimidating place to play a basketball game.

Fike Field House was the Tigers home court in basketball until the 1968-1969 season and developed a reputation as a difficult place to play a basketball game.

Former Wake Forest coach Horace “Bones” McKinney had some funny comments about taking his Demon Deacon team into Fike Field House in those days.

"That place was so-o-o dark" he said, "that the referees had to come in wearing coal miners' helmets. It was dark brown everywhere, and when they started playing things were pitch black."

"Fan’s feet were the out-of-bounds marks and they'd sit there and pluck the hair on our players' legs when they tried to throw the play in."

McKinney would go on to describe the “closeness” of the fans in Fike.

"I'd call a timeout to change strategy, and there'd be 30-40 young men looking over my shoulder as I wrote on the sideline in chalk. They'd keep hollering, 'No, Bones, that'll never work,' 'You better get back on the bus,' ' That plan wouldn't win in Peewee League,' things like that.”

The building originally opened in 1930 as the Clemson Field House, and was the indoor home to Clemson athletics. It also contained the original dressing rooms for the football team, who would leave the building, cross Williamson Rd., and make their grand entrance, running down the hill into Clemson Memorial Stadium.

It was renamed in 1966 in honor of the late Dr. Rupert H. "Rube" Fike, Class of 1908, a longtime booster and founder of the IPTAY Club, one of the country's first athletic booster clubs. It has been expanded three times, in the 1940s, 1970s, and prior to 2003, when it received its current name.

(Note: If you have old pictures dating before 1990 that are Clemson related and you would like to share them, send them to me in an email with as much information about the picture as you can give and I will use it for a future “Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day”).

Scott Rhymer can be reached at Scottrhymer.tps@gmail.com

Credit to clemsonwiki

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