floor

Kentucky to install part of 2012 Final Four floor into new Rupp Arena locker room

Leave a comment

Kentucky enjoyed its national championship so much, it figured it might as well bring some memorabilia home.

John Calipari and the Wildcats will install close to 3,000 square feet of the 2012 national championship floor from the SuperDome in New Orleans into a renovated locker room at Rupp Arena.

“I’m not sure I’ve heard of any other locker room doing anything like this,” Calipari said in a release from the school. “But then again, it seems like here at Kentucky we do a lot of things that have never been done.”

Major pieces include the logo at center court, which will be placed in the middle of the team’s locker room, as well as the free throw line where Doron Lamb hit two late free throws.

As you’d expect, there is a recruiting angle to the move, which Calipari acknowledges.

“It does motivate when we’re bringing families in there and recruits in there and all of a sudden they’re like, ‘Wait a minute,’ ” Calipari said. “So yes, it’s going to be a motivating factor in us continuing to get the best and the brightest players here.”

The ironic part, though, is that most of the players integral to winning the championship will never step on the new locker room floor while suiting up for a UK game, as most have move on to the NBA, including Anthony Davis, Marquis Teague, Terrence Jones, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Darius Miller, and Lamb.

Calipari is working to raise money for charity, too, with the installation of the floor, partnering with Northwestern Mutual to auction off the remainder of the floor.

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

Long Beach State unveils new palm tree-themed floor

2 Comments

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_