The renowned foursome, who combined have guided the Jayhawks since 1964, enjoyed a night of reliving their favorite Allen Fieldhouse memories. Kansas Athletics and Self's Assists Foundation teamed up to provide the one of a kind evening, the proceeds of which are benefitting charities designated by each of the four coaches. The fans showed their support in a big way as the tables on the floor sold out and a total of 7,500 were in attendance.
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But as Bill Self, Roy Williams and Larry Brown waited for Ted Owens on Monday evening — where was he anyway? — the idle conversation turned to their former players. What else were they going to talk about?
For the last 50 years, only four men have guided the Kansas basketball program. Now they were together at Allen Fieldhouse for the first time, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the venerable building at a charity event on Monday night.
“There’s something hanging around in there that’s really unique,” Williams said, “that no one else has.”
…“I got up at 4 a.m. this morning, and just thought about what it might feel like and what I might say,” Williams said. “For 15 years, I gave my heart, my body and soul, and I loved it. I wish we had won one more game on a Monday night on a couple occasions. There’s no question right there.”
Brown and Owens were happy to return as well. Both men have become familiar faces in Lawrence during the Self’s tenure. And for Brown, now in his third season as the head coach at Southern Methodist, those five seasons at Kansas left lasting memories. He coached Danny Manning, won an NCAA title, became part of the Jayhawk lore.
“If you looked up in the dictionary what a fieldhouse is, they’d probably say Allen,” Brown said. “It’s just probably exactly what you would imagine every college arena should be like.
“After all these years, nothing has really changed. It’s all about the basketball court and the people that were in it.”
Bilas knows his golf, though, and he knows his Kansas University basketball.
He nailed it when he called Allen Fieldhouse “the St. Andrew’s of college basketball.”
After watching KU’s Sunday practice down the hall from the fieldhouse in the practice gym, Bilas expounded on that comment.
“That building has a soul,” Bilas said. “You can feel the aura of the building even when it’s empty. That’s one of my favorite times to be there. Before or after practice, when nobody’s there and you’re just kind of looking around, it’s understated but beautiful. It’s been updated, but it’s still old-school.”
10/27/14, 10:56 PM
Such an amazing night here at Allen Fieldhouse. Honor and blessed to apart of such great HISTORY and TRADITION. There's no place like KU!
10/27/14, 10:24 PM
Ted Owens, who recruited Jay Bilas, gets laughs w/this: "Would you attribute your mediocre success in life to picking Duke over KU?"
10/27/14, 8:59 PM
Larry Brown: "I'm so happy Roy is back, even if he is wearing a god-damn ugly Carolina blue tie." (Audience roars.)
GREAT Allen Fieldhouse celebration tonight!!
Wish I could've attended 60 year celebration of Allen Field House last night. What an amazing building. If only the walls could talk!
Jay Bilas: “Every road in this game, leads back to Lawrence, KS.”
“Pay Heed. The game you love began here. Respect those who came before you. Make their legacy your own. Because destiny favors the dedicated. And rings don’t replace work. In this game you don’t get what you want. You get what you earn. We are Kansas. Together we rise. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!