Even on the day before the State football team makes its dreaded biennial trip to the abyss known as Winston-Salem, SFN member NCSU1987 gives us a great find in ESPN’s series on basketball arenas to stoke our passion for basketball (ESPN):
Jay Bilas: To me, the toughest places to play had more to do with the quality of the opposing team than anything else, but Reynolds Coliseum at NC State was the toughest place I played while in college. Reynolds was configured much the same way as Cameron Indoor Stadium, but the end zones were much deeper and the sides were right on top of you. Reynolds was loud, edgy and intense. The Wolfpack under Jim Valvano were a tough out and the games were always fistfights, but the thing I remember most is coming back to a huddle and seeing lips move, but not being able to hear what was said. It was so hot and loud that your head would spin. Of course, having to guard guys like Thurl Bailey, Lorenzo Charles, Cozell McQueen and Chris Washburn probably had something to do with my head spinning.
Hubert Davis: The toughest place I ever played was Reynolds Coliseum, former home of the NC State Wolfpack. Cameron Indoor Stadium and Cole Field House don’t even come close. I remember the long walk from the locker room to the floor. You had to enter under the bleachers and then had to sprint to the floor so that the fans wouldn’t throw soda on us. The end zone seating went back as far as I’ve ever seen â€“ the sea of red just never seemed to end. In the four years I played there as a Tar Heel, I never scored on the opposite basket away from our bench in the first half. I eventually calmed down, but was always flustered in those first 20 minutes. It was that intimidating.
It’s a shame that there is already an entire generation of State grads that never got to experience Reynolds (the annual games don’t begin to compare). There are no doubt countless stories about the Reynold’s Experience, probably none better than those who were lucky enough to be there during 1983.
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