Long Beach State floor

Long Beach State unveils new palm tree-themed floor


As Long Beach State put it in a press release to announce the finishing touches on its new floor at Walter Pyramid, it’s “putting ‘The Beach’ into its men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball programs.”

In its official unveiling Friday, as pictured at right, LBSU has integrated yellow palm trees and a beach scene into its floor with the words “The Beach” plastered across center court.

The 49ers men’s basketball team won’t get a chance to test it out until Nov. 10 when they take on North Alabama, but it officially opens with a women’s volleyball match next week, Aug. 30.

As Jeff Eisenberg points out over at Yahoo!, this new floor makes Long Beach State the newest member of the group of schools that have experimented with floor designs. They join Oregon, who has perhaps the most, let us say, “creative” floor in the country, Towson, Cal State Bakersfield, and others.

It’s certainly not on the level of Boise State’s football team, which sports the all-blue turf, or the proposed all-purple floor that was passed over at Northwestern, but it gets the job done.

LBSU now has a distinct mark and brand recognition quality to itself with its palm tree floor, but didn’t go too outlandish, as one might say Oregon did. For the social media savvy, some will like that the school includes its Twitter handle, @LBSUAthletics, along the far sideline for inclusion in TV broadcasts.

The 49ers are coming off a memorable 25-9 season that earned them a spot in the NCAA tournament, where they lost to New Mexico.

They will be without leading scorers Casper Ware and Larry Anderson in 2012-13, with both having graduated, but bring in three players from the Class of 2012.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Louisville’s Rick Pitino on allegations: ‘We will get through this’

Rick Pitino
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Louisville coach Rick Pitino remains defiant that his program will survive the allegations in a book by an escort alleging that former Cardinals staffer Andre McGee hired her and other dancers to strip and have sex with recruits and players.

Pitino said Tuesday that the Cardinals “will get through this the right way.”

The coach told a packed room at a tipoff luncheon that he understands the motivation behind Katina Powell’s book “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” but questions the need for the alleged activities given the talent his program has produced.

Pitino added, “We will find out the truth, whatever it may be, and those responsible will pay the price.”

Georgia Tech lands Class of 2016 guard

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Georgia Tech picked up its third Class of 2016 commitment on Tuesday as the Yellow Jackets landed a pledged from three-star guard Josh Okogie.

The 6-foot-4 guard is considered the No. 143 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016 rankings and Okogie played with a very talented Team CP3 in the Nike EYBL. In 22 games this spring and summer, Okogie averaged 10.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 45 percent from the field.

Okogie joins three-star wing Christian Matthews and four-star big man Romello White in head coach Brian Gregory’s Class of 2016 at Georgia Tech. The group is definitely a solid influx of talent with some coming from successful grassroots programs.