It’s been almost 20 years since Oklahoma stepped into Allen Fieldhouse and won a game.
Senior reserve Sam Grooms knows that. He’s sat at Allen Fieldhouse and heard the fans.
The Oklahoman caught up with Grooms to talk to him about his experience with The Phog and what he’s going to tell guys who are playing for their first time in front of the Jayhawk fans.
What’s it like to play in Allen Fieldhouse?
Allen Fieldhouse is probably the loudest place I’ve ever played in in my life. K State was loud but The Phog is just ridiculous. I just feel like it’s more compact. The students are right there and they just scream and yell for every ltitle thing. The environment it feels different. And probably because the court is low – it feels like its right in the dome.
In all the years you’ve been to Allen, does something stick out to you that kind of caught you off guard?
Besides how they treated James last year. They were basically screaming at him ‘You’re the manager.’ They kept saying it the whole game. They just say anything and everything to get under your skin. I’m trying to warn everybody that this is going to be — you think K State is bad. Kansas is probably the worst and they’re accustomed to winning too so that makes it even worse, in my opinion.
What do you tell the new guys to try to stay focused in the huddle?
Just don’t look up. Try to pay attention to coach as much as you can. They’re going to be screaming and yelling and that’s the only thing I can advise them. There’s no other way to really warn them for it. Just know that if you’re looking up and you look like you’re scared, they’re going to keep coming at you. If you just lock in and worry about what comes inside the four lines, you’ll be alright.
How does this game compare to every other one?
It’s not that much different. It’s just the next game really, but at the same token, we want to win this game but we haven’t beaten Kansas since I’ve been here and they haven’t beat them in a long time.
It would be huge to start a new trend if we could beat them at their home to give us a little more cloud. The same way I said if we could beat Oklahoma State here to push us up and put us in everybody’s eyes. I think that’s what it has done and then to start off 4-1. But to start off 5-1 would be great.