NORMAN — Alvan Adams came home.
Some of the basketball greats from the 1970s put their arms around each other and sang the alma mater.
The newest Sooners — such as freshman Buddy Hield — linked the past and the present and beat Central Oklahoma 94-66 in Oklahoma's first exhibition game in McCasland Field House in 11 years and its second game since 1975.
The whole atmosphere was themed around the ‘70s from Journey's “Don't Stop Believin'” and tie-dyed shirts for OU workers to the young and old grooving out to KC & the Sunshine Band. But in the press room after the game, second-year OU coach Lon Kruger was surrounded by the new — junior college transfer Amath M'Baye and freshmen Je'lon Hornbeak and Hield.
Kruger was smiling. After all, the three newcomers combined for almost half of Oklahoma's 94 points.
M'Baye and Hornbeak both started and finished with 11 and 15 points, respectively. Hield, who came off the bench, led Oklahoma with 19 points, going 3-for-4 from the arc. That's the same 3-point production Oklahoma had in its first exhibition game, a 83-66 victory against Washburn (Kan.).
“Buddy's been bringing that aggressiveness regardless of if he starts or comes off the bench,” Kruger said. “He just wants to play. He's going to get his minutes, and it's nice having that type of immediate lift for sure.”
However, Hield and the other two newcomers said they all had trouble at the start of the game adjusting to the different arena. Hornbeak said they didn't get as much shootaround time as they typically get in new, unfamiliar gyms.
It didn't stop Hield from coming out and making 13 field goal attempts and shooting multiple 3s from the top of the arc.
“It was a different depth, but I adjusted quick,” Hield said. “It was a good adjustment.”
Oklahoma opens its regular season Sunday, back in its regular arena, Lloyd Noble Center. The game tips off at 2 p.m. against Louisiana-Monroe.
ALVAN ADAMS AND OTHER OU GREATS MAKE HALFTIME APPEARANCE
Former Oklahoma star Alvan Adams, who played in the last game at McCasland Field House in 1975, was honored during halftime.
Adams led the Sooners for three years and finished his time at Oklahoma with 1,707 points, a 53.9 field goal percentage and a 70.2 free throw percentage.
Adams was drafted with the fourth pick overall in 1975 by the Phoenix Suns. The former Putnam City High School star spent 13 years with the Suns and played in one All-Star game.
Lon Kruger, who also played at McCasland when he starred at Kansas State in the ‘70s, talked about the experience.
“I thought it was great,” Kruger said. “It is a lot different. Of course my perspective is a little bit different too.”
Oklahoma will play one regular season game inside the field house on Dec. 31, against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
“It was good to get back in here,” Kruger said. “I think that (game in December) will be great to get a lot of families and folks out for that.”
Juniors Cameron Clark and A'math M'Baye went up and swatted the ball in the second half.
Clark drew a foul. He also drew a standing ovation from the crowd of Oklahoma football players in Section E/F who were yelling and cheering.
A couple plays later, M'Baye went up for the swat and executed it cleanly. Then the ball was passed across the court to Hield, who finished the possession off with a 3-point shot.
The Sooners finished the night with seven blocks.