Big XII Coaches Tell Their Toughest Allen Fieldhouse Stories

The Mecca of College Basketball. The Cathedral of College Basketball. The Home of College Basketball. The White House of College Basketball. The Indianapolis Children’s Museum of College Basketball. All names you’ve heard to describe one building: Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas Basketball hasn’t lost in Allen Fieldhouse since Sherron Collins’ “Leg Caught in a Bear Trap” game in 2009, and they look to defend all thirteen of their conference titles this season upon the hallowed home floor.

“Old Fieldhousey,” as it’s called, can get rowdy, wild, and even rambunctious, but one thing it’s definitely going to get is chaotic. A lot of people pack into this old house and yell really loud every now and then, and boy do you hear it. At Big XII Basketball Media Day this week, several Big XII coaches weighed in on their toughest experiences at the Fieldhouse.

large crowd

Scott Drew, Baylor

“I’m no stranger to a tough environment, but, man, does it get rowdy in there. Two years ago, it got so loud that one of my players burst an eardrum and spent most of the second half writhing in pain, begging for some silence and solace to aid his ringing eardrum. The Kansas fans would not oblige, screaming even louder and louder as the clock ticked down and blood ran from his ears. The paramedics staff had to take him out of the stadium and let him writhe for a while before he could come back in the game.”

Shaka Smart, Texas

shaka

“There’s been an angry wasp nest in the away locker room since like 1998 and every time we come in that’s in the back of your mind, like, even once the game starts – “I’m gonna have to be around the wasp nest for halftime, and after the game, too” – It really psyches you out, you have to be in a good head space to play basketball and that wasp nest just gets to some guys.”

Chris Beard, Texas Tech

“The rumors that I shit my pants due to loudness during our game at Allen Fieldhouse last year are partially true. I did indeed shit my pants, but it wasn’t because it got too loud. I shit my pants at some point during the first half of every game as a sort of pump-up ritual. Kansas didn’t do that to me. I did that to me. I did that to me.”

Bruce Weber, Kansas State

bruce

“It was one of the most terrifying experiences of my entire life when I first coached there. There was an old, old man seated behind the away bench, he had this big staff with him he held the whole time. At tipoff, I heard this inhuman whisper from him, it sounded like a whisper but he was a couple rows away, there’s no way I should’ve been able to hear it from him: “October 19, 1956”. Now, that’s my date of birth. And he just kept counting up from there, each subsequent birthday. “October 19, 1957, October 19, 1958, October 19, 1959” and so forth, once every 21-22 seconds or so. Eventually he got to the future birthdays, like “October 19, 2019, October 19, 2020” but then he said “June 17, 2024” and stopped. That was it. He was silent for the rest of the game. I was freaking out, like “Is that when I’m gonna die? June 17, 2024? Is that my last day on Earth? I’m only gonna live to 67? I still get chills thinking of that.”

Jamie Dixon, TCU

dunke

“It’s common practice in college basketball that the stadium staff sets up all these Gatorade cups behind the bench before the game in case someone gets dehydrated. Somebody does, anyway, I don’t. Anyway, every year I’ve been there, there’s been one cup just full of human blood. I don’t know who puts it there, or where they get the blood from, but it’s not Gatorade. That’s an intimidation factor, not knowing whether I’m gonna get the Lemon-Lime Rush or the Human Blood with the next cup.”

Lon Kruger, Oklahoma

“It was 2013, the whole crowd chanted something – a spell or an incantation, I guess – in Latin when my power forward was shooting a free throw. He missed it, badly, and he never made another shot again. He just couldn’t, the rest of his career was just missed shot after missed shot. He had to leave the game entirely – hell, he had to leave society entirely – he works as a lumberjack now and doesn’t have a phone.”

Mike Boynton, Oklahoma State

“I was visited the ghost of every man I had ever wronged in the visitor’s locker room before a game and they cursed me and my entire team. We lost by eighteen.”

Bob Huggins, West Virginia

bob

“The crowd’s tough, but I swear to god, that video board team does a fantastic job of getting them pumped up. Somehow, back during 2015, they found footage of my wedding, my first grade class play, my failed interview that got me rejected from medical school, my failure at the 1964 West Virginia State Spelling Bee, and the security video of me shoplifting two hot dogs and a bottle of NyQuil from a Safeway in Hayward, California in 2004, and they cut it all together. Then they synced it up to this crazy song, I couldn’t totally make it out, but I think it was the newspaper article written regarding my birth remixed with a Bob Sinclar track, I think it was “Iche Rocke”. Their whole crowd was jumping all crazy, screaming and making noise while the loudspeakers played that out, ‘Robert Huggins was born without complication at 5:33 AM on September 21st.’ Man, that was nuts.”

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About Joe Bush

The guy behind JoeBush.net and a lot of other things
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