A popular trend in recent years is for college basketball teams to switch up the look of their home floors. Some teams have gone to certain extremes while other schools have identified with the cities in which they are located.
Florida State’s new court design made its way around social media on Friday. It’s an updated look with new ACC font on the free throw lines, but more importantly, the new Florida State Seminole logo at center court.
Responses to the photo on Twitter appear to be mostly negative.
In recent years the offseason has afforded programs the opportunity to undergo a makeover of sorts, whether it’s with new uniforms of the increasingly popular court remodeling. On Thursday Washington joined the ranks, releasing a picture of its new floor at Alaska Airlines Arena. The feature that immediately catches the eye: a silhouette of the Seattle skyline that runs from one baseline to the other.
It’s a very nice design, one that’s simple but does have its own “Washington” touch with the skyline. There’s also the contrasting shades within the three-point arc, with the area inside of the key being a much lighter shade. Washington’s won 946 games in this building, and the hope is that Lorenzo Romar’s squad will be able to return to the NCAA tournament after missing out in each of the last three seasons.
Given some of the outlandish court designs that have been unveiled this offseason, Creighton’s submission isn’t one that will spark widespread panic (or worse).
But what the change does represent is a new era, with the school now a member of the Big East Conference. With veterans like Doug McDermott, Grant Gibbs and Jahenns Manigat leading the way, head coach Greg McDermott’s program has the pieces needed to be a factor in the Big East immediately.
Creighton won 28 games last season, reaching the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive season. And with the players mentioned above back for another run, fans expect the Bluejays to earn a third straight trip while playing on the new floor.
No wild swarm of angry bluejays (for Creighton it’s ‘bluejay” as one word as opposed to “blue jay”) plastered all over the floor. Just the secondary logo at mid-court with the Big East logo in both free throw lanes. The new logo catches the eye, but it’s simple. And when compared to some of the other floors we’ve seen unveiled this summer/fall, that’s probably a good thing.
Many programs across the country have unveiled new courts this offseason, with the designs ranging from simple to in some cases outrageous. SMU has joined the ranks, unveiling a new court that coincides with the renovation of Moody Coliseum that greatly improves the home of SMU basketball.
The court is simple to say the least, with the SMU logo across mid-court, the American logos just inside of the three-point line at each end of the floor and the athletic department’s web address on the sideline. But given their current run of luck on the recruiting trail, most recently landing one of the nation’s best point guards in Emmanuel Mudiay, the question for head coach Larry Brown’s program is whether or not the floor will serve as the program’s canvas for a resurgence.
The Mustangs endured their fair share of struggles last season, finishing with a 15-17 overall record and going 5-11 in Conference USA play. But that was an undermanned roster, led by guard Nick Russell (14.0 ppg, 4.3 apg) and forward Jalen Jones (14.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg). In addition to those two, the 2013-14 campaign brings significant help in the form of three transfers (Nic Moore, Crandall Head and Markus Kennedy) and a respected recruiting haul headlined by McDonald’s All-American Keith Frazier.
The competition in conference play will be tougher, as programs like Louisville, UConn and Cincinnati are now on the schedule, but SMU has the talent needed to place a better product on the Moody Coliseum floor. SMU hasn’t reached the NCAA tournament since 1993, so predictions of immediate greatness wouldn’t be the way to go.
But if the Mustangs have their way, the product on the court will make up for the lack of pizazz in the design.
After making the program’s first NCAA tournament appearance in nearly two decades, the James Madison Dukes will be playing on a new court in 2013-14.
During the spring the James Madison athletic department asked fans to submit their ideas for a new court design, resulting in some 65 submissions. From there the athletic department cut the list down to ten, giving fans the opportunity to provide feedback on the final submissions. On Saturday the school announced its decision, choosing a design that features the school’s secondary logo.
“Several months of planning and tweaking have culminated in a layout that will be uniquely JMU while instilling heightened spirit and pride,” James Madison AD Jeff Bourne said in the release. “I’d like to commend our folks for their hard work to identify a bolder, more distinctive appearance while also thanking the many fans who participated in our social media design campaign.”
In addition to the two images of Duke Dog, James Madison’s signature and the CAA logo are on the court. Now that the design of the court has been determined, head coach Matt Brady can go about his business in earning a second consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament.
Sophomore Andre Nation returns after averaging 9.3 points and 3.1 rebounds per game as a freshman, and he’ll be asked to lead the way for a team that has to replace its top three scorers from a season ago. JMU adds six freshmen to the program with five being front court players. With Rayshawn Goins (12.1 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and A.J. Davis (12.2, 3.6) out of eligibility, the Dukes will need their young big men to hit the ground running.
In early June the University of Memphis announced that fans would be allowed to vote for the new design for the FedEx Forum floor. With the program making the move to the American Athletic Conference, there was a need to spruce things up apparently.
The floor also features the conference logo on each end of the floor, a larger mid-court logo and social media marks.
“Tiger Nation has spoken,” Memphis athletic director Tom Bowen said in the release. “We thought that the voting process would be a great chance for our fans to offer their opinions as stakeholders in the Tigers’ basketball program, and they responded in massive numbers.
“It confirms the passion that Memphis fans have for their athletic programs at the University.”
The winning design was the choice of almost half of the nearly 6,000 voters, a high amount when considering the fact that fans had four possibilities from which to choose. The court will draw some attention to the program, but not nearly as much as the group that head coach Josh Pastner will put on the the floor will.
With one of the nation’s top recruiting classes joining talented returnees such as guards Chris Crawford and Joe Jackson and forward Shaq Goodwin, Memphis is seen by many as Louisville’s biggest threat in the American in 2013-14.