Allen Field House

Topics: Basketball / Pages: 18 (600 words) / Published: Nov 3rd, 2011
Allen Field House It's early October on the grounds of the University of Kansas where barren trees; swaths of dormant, beige grass; and the pale, limestone buildings have created a monochromatic tableau that looks like a picture in an old, yellowed newspaper. Amongst the landscape of what could look like cathedrals lies a building that brings many students to their feet in anticipation of what will happen. Indeed, arriving for a game at Allen Fieldhouse can feel like preparing to rummage through the dusty archives of college basketball. But after a 2005 renovation, there's nothing musty about the newly developed structure. And with one of the best teams in the NCAA holding court inside, Allen Fieldhouse is all about the traditions that built the schools storied program. In the stadium, which originally seated 17,000 when the facility opened in March 1955, was reduced to 15,200 when Ted Owens coached here (1964 to 1983). Since 1993, the facility has held 16,300. Here fans fill red-and-blue bleachers from the floor to window-lined ceiling, creating an ambiance that is so retro-perfect it feels staged. The place couldn't look or feel much more like the set of a gladiator battle. After inventing the game, James Naismith launched the program at KU, coaching the Jayhawks from 1898 to 1907, and his name is on the floor. Wilt Chamberlain played two seasons for the Jayhawks, averaging 29.9 points and 18.3 rebounds. His name tops a banner recognizing All-Americans and his No. 13 hangs from the rafters. Another banner recognizes the school's academic All-Americans, including Bud Stallworth, Darnell Valentine and Jacque Vaughn. Folks here are proud of the fact that legendary coaches Adolph Rupp and Dean Smith are both KU alums and protégés of the building's namesake. Allen Fieldhouse defies logic. It holds almost twice as many fans as Cameron Indoor Stadium, yet somehow feels just as intimate. And its five championship banners are six fewer than hang in Pauley Pavilion,

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