Saturday, April 9, 2016

New Jersey Swamp Dragons?

Supposedly, the Nets franchise, still back in New Jersey, once entertained the idea of changing the team's name to the Swamp Dragons. Click here for an article on the alleged possible name-change. About halfway down in the article is a rendering of what the Swamp Dragons' court would have looked like. It kind of grabs you.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Women's Final Four in Indy Features Brickyard Motif on Court

The NCAA women's Final Four always seems to have a more interesting and geographically relevant court design than the one for their male counterparts. This year is no exception. This year's women's Final Four is in Indianapolis, and the local auto-racing tradition provides the theme for the basketball court. Specifically, the areas between the keys and three-point arcs feature a brick-like design, an apparent salute to the racing track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The track once consisted of an entirely brick surface (around the same era in which the Cubs last won the World Series!), with more and more of the track gradually being covered with asphalt over the years. Today, just a narrow strip of brick exists by the start/finish line. Here is a stylized drawing I made of the women's Final Four "brick" area.

Also, here's a video of the floor being installed.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

New NCAA Tourney Court Design

As a commenter on a previous post noted, there is a new design for NCAA-tournament courts. The format is identical in all cities, with a unique color-coding scheme for each location. As shown here, the different areas inside the court (the keys, inside and outside the three-point arcs) appear in different shades of wood shellac. The out-of-bounds area framing the court is what differs in color from site to site.

From the games I've seen so far, the court in Providence features royal blue, light blue, and red, whereas the one in Raleigh is mainly light blue and lavender. The center-court logos, which say "March Madness" for this weekend, will be updated for later rounds. Also, labels in the out-of-bounds area identify the city (above the center-court area) and round (upper-left corner).

I find the new style a definite improvement over the "blue-blob" design of the past several years, although some of the new color schemes will need getting used to.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Via the usual sources, the "First Four" round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament in Dayton will have a new design this year. Television station WDTN has a report on the delivery and assembly of the wood sections forming the court.

Also from Uni-Watch, Twitter user @ACC_Tracker compiled all the league's court designs in one montage.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Miscellaneous: Sacramento Kings, Eastern Kentucky, Temple Women

Some brief items:
  • Via Uni-Watch, the Sacramento Kings will close down their current arena by using a retro court for six remaining home games this season. The court will feature powder blue, dark blue, and red, which were the Kings' colors until their switch to black and purple in 1994. Blue and red were also the colors of the Cincinnati Royals and Kansas City Kings, two forerunners of the current franchise.
  • Tonight on television was the first time I saw Eastern Kentucky's court, which the Colonels have had for two seasons. The topic of huge mid-court logos has been discussed frequently on this blog. However, EKU's court is the first, to my knowledge, to use different shades of shellac to create the mid-court logo.
  • Finally, we have McGonigle Hall on the Temple University campus in Philadelphia. The Temple men's team used to play in McGonigle until the larger Liacouras Center was constructed. The women currently split their home games between McConigle and Liacouras. Whereas the Liacouras Center switched to a pretty conventional floor design several years ago, McGonigle Hall's floor has two unusual features. One is that the volleyball court has a lighter shade than the rest of the basketball court, indicating that the volleyball court is a permanent presence on the floor. At many schools, only the basketball layout is permanent, with rolls of tape being put down to delineate the volleyball court for home matches. A second notable feature is the Owl imagery in the corners of the court.

Friday, January 15, 2016

TCU's "Frog Skin" Court Surface

I've recently seen some games on television from Texas Christian University's (TCU) refurbished arena. The floor has some criss-crossing white lines and shapes faded into the wood, which I initially thought might be depicting a basketball net. It turns out, however, that the design represents "frog skin," in honor of the school's nickname, the Horned Frogs. Pictures are available here and here (the second link has some close-ups).

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Morehead State Triples the Ante on Large Logos

Regular readers of this blog know of my distaste for the extremely large logos that appear at center-court of many basketball floors. Thanks to my usual sources, I have learned that Morehead State, which used to have a fairly plain court, has now adopted a design that has not one, but three giant logos. As shown here, there's a huge eagle head facing forward at center-court, plus an enormous "M" inside the three-point arc at each end of the court. The yellow rectangles in the photo appear to be stencils for painting, as the out-of-bounds area is solid blue with yellow lettering in this video.