It's that time of the year once more

Tonight, the University of North Carolina and Duke University will take to the hardwood for the 233rd time.  Their first contests took place in 1920, so its remarkable to think that when Hugh Morton photographed these two teams playing during his college years, today’s arch rivals had been playing against each other for “only” twenty years or so!

Duke at UNC basketball game, February 7, 1942
UNC vs. Duke University men's basketball game at Woollen Gymnasium, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC. Photograph (cropped) appears in the 11 February 1942 issue of THE DAILY TAR HEEL with caption, " SOME OF THE HEATED play in the first half of the Duke contest is seen in this action photo by cameraman Hugh Morton. Captain Bob Rose and Duke's Stark are on the floor trying to throw the ball in to teammates. George Paine and Clyde Allen are battling for possession of the elusive sphere while McCahan, (48), Reid Suggs, (17), and Rothbaum, (58), look on." Duke won the game 52-40.

As the caption above describes, The Daily Tar Heel cropped Hugh Morton’s photograph shown above—it focused on the players and left out the referee (before the striped jersey era!) and the basket above the action.  Without cropping, the full view gives a better sense of the atmosphere of Woollen Gymnasium.
Below is another photograph from a UNC–Duke basketball game, but this one is without a date.  Is this a different game at a different location? Anybody want to try their hand at identifications? (Clicking on the photograph will take you to the online collection, where you can use the zoom tool.)
UNC versus Duke basketball game, undated

15 thoughts on “It's that time of the year once more”

  1. First, a comment on picture #1. The same picture is on page 35 of the 1979 book “The Winning Tradition: A Pictorial History of Carolina Basketball.” (The book was designed by L. Barry Moore & William Bradley Miller). Carolina players are #8 Bob Rose, #17 Reid Suggs or Don Wilson (the DTH lists Suggs as #17, the Tar Heel Times website lists Wilson, but doesn’t have a number for Suggs) and George Payne or Paine (spelled Paine in DTH and Payne in book). Duke players are #48 Bill McCahan, #54 J. Clyde Allen, #58 Sammy Rothbaum (according to the DTH, but according to the Duke website, Rathbaum wore #40), and #57 Bill Stark.
    There is a second picture from this game on page 36 of the same book. Both pictures are credited to Morton.
    Now, for picture #2. The light colored home uniform style in picture #2, as well as #1, match the ones worn by Carolina in 1941 to 1944. Since we know that Morton enlisted in the Army in October of 1942, he would not have been on campus for games in ’43 and ’44. Carolina player #4 is Lewis Hayworth according to Tar Heel Times, but according to the 1943 Yack, L. Hayworth wore #5. Duke players are #40 Sammy Rathbaum?, #48 Bill McCahan, #49 either Bill Bailey or Garland Loftis. The Duke website lists Bailey as playing 1940-1944, and Loftis as playing from 1942 to 1947…both wearing jersey #49.
    The referee in picture #1 is wearing what looks like a patch or badge on is shirt, but the official in picture #2 is not. (In that second Morton picture in the book, a different ref is wearing a different kind of patch or badge). What did the patch mean? Were there three officials working this game? For what it’s worth, both officials pictured in the book have whistle in mouth. The official in picture #2 does not.
    Finally, picture #1 appeared in the Daily Tar Heel on Wednesday, February 11, 1942. According to Tar Heel Times the game was played on Saturday, February 7, 1942. Why the delay?
    So, how’s that for clearing up everything?

  2. Just checked the 1942 Yack. Picture #1 is on page 294. Also on that page, Lewis Hayworth wearing jersey #11.

  3. Thanks Jack, for digging up some fodder for discussion! Re Paine, the DTH spelled it that way in box scores throughout the season, and the 1954 alumni directory has a George Henry Paine ’43 living in Wynnewood, PA, so that’s likely the correct spelling.
    The game was played on a Saturday, and the DTH had an article without photographs the next day. Sunday’s paper had only a handful of photographs—six portraits and one candid—in the entire issue. The DTH did not produce issues on Mondays, so Tuesday was the next available, but the ran a posed “action” portrait of Don Wilson in uniform. I guess that explains what the DTH did, but not why!

  4. Good information, Stephen. Carolina played Duke in Raleigh’s Memorial Auditorium on February 27, 1941 in the first round of the Southern Conference Tournament. A 38 – 37 Duke win.
    Duke and Carolina played in the finals of the Southern Conference Tournament at Raleigh’s Memorial Auditorium on March 2, 1940. This was a Carolina win 39 – 23.

  5. I’m thinking now that photograph number 2 is at Duke Indoor Stadium. A Morton photograph in the DTH on March 1, 1942 of the 27 February game at Duke, shows the home team in dark uniforms and visiting UNC in lighter uniforms. The railing in the left background looks very similar, too.

  6. Stephen here is one more item that tends to place image #2 in Duke Indoor Stadium (now Cameron Indoor Stadium since 1/22/72). In the 1942 Duke Yearbook (Chanticleer) there is a picture on page 341 from the Duke-Tennessee game and shows the light-colored solid backboard and netting on the floor behind the basket as it is in image #2. There is even an official standing in front of the netting just like image #2.

  7. FYI:
    The game official in image #1 has a patch on his shirt upper left that reads: NSOA. That could stand for Northern Sports Officials Association, an organization from the distant past, but recently re-launched.

  8. Was doing some research for an upcoming V2H and found image #1 on page 27 of Bob Quincy’s 1973 book “They Made The Bell Tower Chime.” The picture is part of a montage page without captions.

  9. Here we go…In my opinion, photo #2 is Carolina-Duke at Duke Indoor Stadium, February 16, 1946. UNC won 54-44. For UNC there is Bob Paxton (4) and Taylor Thorne (3). For Duke, Dick Whiting (64) and Dick Gordon (49).

  10. Just confirming Duke player #49 in picture #2. It’s my dad, Dick (later known as Curly) Gordon. He was a Duke fan until the day he died, 10/23/2011.

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