Nebraska basketball is experiencing more excitement than it has since it went to four straight NCAA Tournaments from 1991-94 recently, and a lot of that has to do with new coach Tim Miles and the new Pinnacle Bank Arena set to open for the 2013-14 season.
Now the Huskers have jumped into the creative floor design game.
The program unveiled a new floor design to accompany the new arena on Friday, showing off a unique concept to accompany a new era in Cornhusker hoops.
The floor’s most unique attribute will be the shadow Nebraska state outline in the middle of the court, slightly darker than the rest of the hardwood. The schools home — and state capital — Lincoln is starred on the outline. The design also as a Northwestern-esque look with the wood being slightly darker inside the three-point arcs.
Nebraska finished 15-18 last season, 5-13 in the B1G, so anything to stir up excitement about the program is a good thing. They have a charismatic coach and a new arena, so why not try and pile as much newness onto the program as possible?
It’s no FIU court, but it’s definitely up there in creativity. If Miles can show that court some wins, #Nebrasketball might have something to say for itself in the B1G next season, at least from a respectability standpoint.
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.
The greatest player in Auburn program history will honored with a statue outside of the team’s home arena.
The university announced that Charles Barkley, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, will be the fourth athlete to be given a statue, joining Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Cam Newton.
“It just means a great deal to me,” Barkley said in a statement. “Being a kid from Alabama, going to Auburn. I think everybody knows what Auburn means to me. It’s going to be pretty cool.”
Barkley, currently working as an analyst for TNT, was the SEC Player of the Year in 1984, as well as a second team All-American. He averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 84 appearances for the Tigers.