Campus Corner

MU basketball team prepares to play in unique gym at Vanderbilt

Updated: 2014-01-16T19:07:16Z

By TOD PALMER

The Kansas City Star

Few basketball venues in the Southeastern Conference have more history than Vanderbilt’s Memorial Gymnasium, which was built in 1952 and is where Missouri plays at 6 p.m. Thursday in a game televised on ESPN2.

Perhaps no venue presents more challenges for opposing teams than Memorial Gymnasium either.

The court is elevated and the benches are situated on the baseline, making it a completely different setup than any other venue at which the Tigers will play this season.

“It’s a unique setup, something we’ve got to get used to and prepare for in terms of the benches,” Missouri coach Frank Haith said. “But it should be a good environment.”

Then again, it’s not exactly conducive to coaches getting a good angle on the action, which means in-game adjustments are sometimes slow if the adjustments ever become apparent at all.

“I don’t know if you can see anything, to be honest with you, the way that it’s set up,” Haith said.

With its cinder-block construction, Memorial Gymnasium has a reputation for booming acoustics, which makes communication between the bench and the players on the court — already a challenge because of the baseline setup — even more tricky.

“I’ve been there as an assistant at Wake (Forest),” Haith said. “A couple times at Wake, we played there. That’s a long time ago. It’s a tough place.”

To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to tpalmer@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/todpalmer.

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