Friday, February 27, 2009

Huge Center-Court Logos

This weekend's theme is the huge, outsized, ginormous, center-court logo. Not that many college or pro courts have such displays, but you know it when you see one. One of the best-known logos of this genre, if not the best known, resides at Syracuse University's Carrier Dome. I've put together a little montage of the orange "S" over the years.


The "S" has always been pretty large, although it looks to me like it's grown a little in its most recent incarnation. What really gives the court visual overload, in my opinion, is the insertion of the bold "SYRACUSE" above the "S" (instead of the "Syracuse University" off to the side of center-court). Another feature of the court that's varied over the years is the color of the key, which has been royal blue, dark blue, and now, orange. (The sources for the above photos are here, here, here, and here.)

By no means is Syracuse alone, however. Clemson's tiger paw takes up quite a bit of floor space. Nor does a school have to be in a major Division I conference such as the Big East or ACC to have a huge logo. Saginaw Valley State has this interesting Cardinal design. I don't know about you, but because it's only an outline, I don't find it as overwhelming as a fully painted-in logo would have been.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Rachmiel on Court Designs (Part 3)

This is the third and final installment of Matt Rachmiel's comments on the schematic depictions that can be accessed at the heading "All NCAA Court Designs" in the links section to the right. Throughout this series, Matt has been identifying what he believes to be inaccuracies in these court depictions. For the conferences Matt has discussed earlier and to see his explanations of terminology, see Part 1 and Part 2 of the series. Here's the final set...

OHIO VALLEY CONFERENCE

Austin Peay: no blank center court; "Dave Loos Court" on court; conf logo at foul line, not on court; "NCAA" on one sideline
E. Illinois: conf logo at foul line, not in key
E. Kentucky: conf logo on court
Jacksonville St: conf logo, not "OVC" at foul line
Morehead St: large logo at center court; no paint; NCAA Basketball logo on court; no conf logo on court
Southeast Missouri St: parquet floor; "Show Me Center" on court; conf logo at foul line, not on court; "Southeast Missouri State" on sidelines, not on court
Tenn-Martin: "Pat Head Summit Court" on court; conf logo at foul line, not on court; no "UTM" at foul line; no logo on court; no blank baselines
Tenn St: half circle behind foul line only painted; conf logo on court, no "OVC" at foul line; volleyball lines; no blank baselines
Tenn Tech: large logo at center court; conf logo on court

PAC 10

Arizona St: There is a new design either this season or last season, with, I believe, "Ned Wulk Court" either on the court or on one sideline [Editor's note: Some online photos of the court are available here and here, but they're apparently too small to make out any fine print]
Stanford: My notes have volleyball lines on the court, but I believe they were recently removed
UCLA: "Nell & John Wooden Court" on court
USC: inverse painted; "Jim Sterkel Court" on court; "Galen Center" on one baseline
Washington: large logo at center court; conf logo in key
Washington St: parquet floor

PATRIOT LEAGUE

Bucknell: "Sojka Pavilion" on court; conf logo at foul line, not on baselines; no logo on court
Colgate: volleyball lines
Holy Cross: large logo on court; half circle behind foul line only painted; one blank baseline
Navy: parquet floor; "Dave Smalley Court" on court; no blank baselines

SEC

Alabama: "Crimson Tide" on court, not on sidelines; "SEC" at foul line, not on court
Arkansas: "SEC" at foul line, not on court
Auburn: "SEC" at foul line, not on court; "Auburn" on sidelines; no blank baselines
Florida: "SEC" on one sideline
LSU: key painted; "Cox Communications" on court; "SEC" at foul line; blank baselines; "Pete Maravich Assembly Center" on one sideline [Editor's note: LSU was on TV last night, hosting Florida; as shown in this photo, the key is no longer painted in, but the semi-circle above the free-throw line is filled in with yellow]
Ole Miss: no paint; conf logo in key, not on court; "The University of Mississippi" on one sideline
Miss St: "Mississippi State" on one sideline only, not both
S. Carolina: "University of South Carolina" on court; "Colonial Center" on court; no "Carolina" on sidelines

SOUTHERN CONFERENCE

Coll of Charleston: no paint; conf logo in key, not on court
Citadel: no blank baselines; no "Bulldogs" at foul line
Davidson: conf logo on baselines
Elon: conf logo on court, not at foul line
Furman: conf logo on court
Ga Southern: no paint; volleyball lines; "Georgia Southern" in key; no "Hanner Fieldhouse" on court
UNCG: logo on court
W Carolina: conf logo on court
Wofford: parquet floor

SOUTHLAND

Lamar: key painted; no "Southland" at foul line
ULM: large logo at center court; "Warhawks" on court; conf logo at foul line, no team logo at foul line; no "University of Louisiana" on sidelines; no blank baselines
McNeese St: conf logo on court, not at foul line; basketball at foul line; "Southland" at foul line; no "Cameron State Bank" on court
Nicholls St: "Colonels" on court; volleyball lines; conf logo in key, not at foul line
Northwestern St: key painted; flames from baseline; "Lady Demons" on court; conf logo at foul line; no blank baselines
SHSU: no paint; volleyball lines; no blank baselines
SE La: no paint; volleyball lines; "Southland" in key, no team logo in key
SFA: key painted; no "Southland" at foul line; "Stephen F. Austin State University" on sidelines
Texas-Arlington: "Southland" at foul line; "Texas Hall" on sidelines
UTSA: volleyball lines; conf logo under basket, not in key; "The University of Texas at San Antonio" on sidelines; no "UTSA Covocation Center" on court
Texas St: volleyball lines; conf logo in key, not at foul line

SWAC

Alabama A&M: "SWAC" on court
Alabama St: "Alabama State" on court; no "Hornets" on court; volleyball lines; NCAA Basketball logo at foul line; no blank baselines
Alcorn St: no blank baselines; no "Braves" on sidelines
UAPB: "UAPB" on court; conf logo at foul line; no blank baselines
Grambling: volleyball lines
Jackson St: parquet floor; conf logo on court
MVSU: key painted; logo on court; volleyball lines; no blank baselines
Prairie View: key painted; logo on court; conf logo on court; "NCAA" on court; no blank baselines
Southern: key and inverse painted; "Jaguars" on court; NCAA Basketball logo at foul line
Texas Southern: key painted; conf logo on court; no blank baselines

SUN BELT

UALR: "Jack Stephens Center" on court, not "Stephens Center"
Arkansas St: conf logo on court, not in key; no basketball at foul line; no "Indians" on court [note, the school changed its nickname to Red Wolves]
FIU: NCAA Basketball logo on court; no blank baselines
ULL: "Ragin' Cajuns" at foul line
New Orleans: no parquet floor; no logo on court; conf logo on court
North Texas: "Wells Fargo" on court; no "University of North Texas" on court
South Alabama: inverse painted; "Mitchell Center Mobile" on court; "University of South Alabama" on court; conf logo at foul line, not on court; blank baselines
Troy: basketball at foul line; no blank baselines; no conf logo in key

WCC

LMU: no paint; logo on court; "WCC" on court; volleyball lines; "Lions" on one sideline
Pepperdine: conf logo on court; no blank baselines
Portland: key and inverse painted; "University of Portland" on court; conf logo at foul line, not on court; "Chiles Center" on sidelines; no blank baselines
St Mary's: key painted; "Gaels" on court; conf logo at foul line, not on court
San Diego: "WCC" on court

WAC

Boise St: large logo at center court; inverse painted, no large logo in 2 point area; "Northwest Dodge Dealers" on court; logo in key
Fresno St: conf logo at foul line, not on court; no blank baselines
Hawaii: "WAC" on one sideline, not on court
Idaho: no "Northwest Dodge" on court
La Tech: Large logo at center court; multi-color key; "Karl Malone Court" on court; "Bulldogs" on court; conf logo at foul line, not on court; no "Louisiana Tech University" on sidelines
Nevada: "Nevada" on court; no "Wolf Pack", "AT&T" or "Lawlor Events Center" on court; "WAC" on sidelines
New Mexico St: "Lou Henson Court" on court; conf logo in key; no basketball at foul line; no blank baselines

That concludes my discrepancies between the courts shown in the video game link on your blog and the courts shown in College Hoops 2K8. Obviously, new Division I Independent teams remain to be commented upon, e.g. North Dakota, South Dakota, SIU-Edwardsville, etc.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Michigan State's Numerous Logos

While watching yesterday's Wisconsin at Michigan State men's game on TV, I noticed how MSU is able to include a large number of logos and word-marks on its court without -- in my opinion at least -- creating visual overload. As can be seen at this link (plus an additional link to "Photo Gallery"), the Breslin Center court displays the following:

"MICHIGAN STATE" along the baselines;

the word "SPARTANS" and the soldier logo in the keys;

a big "S" at center-court; and

the state outline, with the word "State" superimposed, in the upper-left and lower-right positions relative to the center circle.

One definition of the word "spartan" is: "simple, frugal, or austere." Not on this court, though!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

BracketBusters Court Logo

The last two days have seen the annual BracketBusters event in college basketball. Roughly 100 teams from "mid-major" conferences take a short break from league play, as they are paired off to each play a nonconference game. The aim is to give each participating team the opportunity for an additional quality win to help their prospects for getting into the NCAA tournament. Not surprisingly in this era of extensive court decoration, there is a BracketBusters logo, which appeared on the courts at these games.


(I did a screen-capture of a freeze-frame of ESPN.com's online highlights of the Utah State-St. Mary's game.)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Rachmiel on Court Designs (Part 2)

Guest contributor Matt Rachmiel has been reviewing the schematic depictions of NCAA Division I courts from an online compendium (available where it says "All NCAA Court Designs" in the links section to the right). Matt has been painstakingly examining the depictions and pointing out what appear to him to be inaccuracies. In Part 1, he summarized the conferences ranging alphabetically from America East to Big West (and also defined his terminology). Here's the next set of conferences:

COLONIAL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION

Delaware: Logo on court; "Bob Carpenter Center" on court; key only painted
Drexel: Half circle behind foul line only painted; logo on court; volleyball lines
George Mason: "Mason Nation" on court
Georgia St.: volleyball lines; key painted
William & Mary: "Kaplan Arena" on court

CONFERENCE USA

Houston: logo on one sideline
Marshall: conf logo in key, not on court
SMU: key painted; "Moody Coliseum" on court; "Dallas, Texas" on court; conf logo at foul line; no "SMU" at foul line
So. Miss.: inverse painted; no "Golden Eagles" on sidelines
Tulane: no paint; "Tulane" on court; no logo on court; volleyball lines; conf logo in key
Tulsa: half circle behind foul line only painted
UCF: no paint
UTEP: key painted; conf logo at foul line, not in key

HORIZON LEAGUE

Cleveland St.: large logo at center court; conf logo at foul line; no basketball at foul line; "CSUVikings.com" on sidelines [note, this is a rarity among college courts and may be the only one; it is common among NBA courts]
Detroit: no "Callahan Hall" on baselines
UIC: parquet floor
Loyola (IL): logo on court; conf logo at foul line, not on court
UWM: no conf logo on court
Wright St.: painted key
Youngstown St.: no "Beeghly Center" on court; conf logo on baselines, thus no blank baselines

INDEPENDENTS [note, some of these teams have since joined conferences]

North Dakota St.: "Art & Norene Bunker Court" on court; Summit League logo at foul line
No. Colorado: key painted; large logo at center court; Big Sky logo at foul line; no "Northern Colorado" on sidelines
Savannah St.: blank center court; no paint; logo on court, but not at center court; volleyball lines; "Tiger Pride" on one sideline
South Dakota St.: Summit League logo at foul line
Texas Pan American: "IBC" on court; "NCAA" on court; volleyball lines; "Texas Pan American" on sidelines
Texas A&M CC: Inverse painted; NCAA Basketball logo on court; "American Bank Center" on one baseline, but not on court; "Islanders" on one sideline
Cal-Davis: key only painted; "Go Aggs!" on court; Big West logo on court; basketball at foul line; logo on one sideline
Utah Valley St.: inverse painted

IVY LEAGUE

Brown: entire 2 point area painted; logo in corners [such as at North Carolina]
Columbia: blank center court; logo on court; no blank baselines
Cornell: "Cornell" on court, conf logo on court
Dartmouth: conf logo on court
Harvard: blank baselines
Penn: conf logo on court; "Ivy League" on one baseline
Yale: large logo at center court; inverse painted; conf logo on court

METRO-ATLANTIC ATHLETIC CONFERENCE

Canisius: "Canisius" on court [Editor's note: Going back to when I (Alan) lived in Buffalo in the nineties, Canisius has played an occasional game at HSBC Arena]
Fairfield: "Arena at Harbor Yards" [plural, not singular] on court
Iona: no paint; "Gaels" on court, not "Iona College"; conf logo in key, not on court
Loyola (MD): conf logo on court, not in key; "MAAC" at foul line; no basketball at foul line; no blank baselines
Manhattan: "MAAC" at foul line, not on court; no blank baselines
Marist: conf logo at foul line, not on court
Niagara: "Niagara University" on court; no "Gallagher Center" on court; conf logo on court
Rider: key painted; logo on court; conf logo at foul line; no "Rider University" on court
St. Peter's: no paint; no blank baselines; "Peacocks" and "Peahens" on court [note, another rare example where both the men's and women's teams' nicknames are on the court]
Siena: blank center court; "Siena" on court, but no logo on court; no "Pepsi Arena" on baselines

MID-CONTINENT CONFERENCE (now the SUMMIT LEAGUE)

Chicago St. (now an Independent): key painted; NCAA logo on court; no blank baselines
IUPUI: "The Jungle" on court; basketball at foul line; blank baselines
Oakland (Mich.): conf logo at foul line
Oral Roberts: conf logo at foul line; no "Mabee Center" on court
Southern Utah: blank center court; conf logo at foul line, not on court; "Southern Utah University" on sidelines
UMKC: "UMKC" on court; conf logo at foul line, not on court; "Kansas City Missouri" on baselines; "Municipal Arena" on sidelines; "Kansas City" on court
Valpo: Large logo at center court, not on court; no paint; conf logo at foul line; "Valparaiso" on sidelines
W. Illinois: parquet floor; conf logo on court

MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE

Ball St: blank center court; logo on court; no "Cardinals" on court; no conf logo in key; no "John E. Worthen Arena" on sidelines
C. Michigan: no paint; conf logo on sideline, not on court
E. Michigan: no paint; conf logo on court, not under basket; no basketball at foul line; no "NCAA" or "Eagles" on sidelines
Kent St: no paint; conf logo at foul line, not on court
NIU: "Convocation Center" on court; conf logo on court, not at foul line; logo at foul line
Ohio U: "The Convo" at foul line; no conf logo at foul line
Toledo: no paint; conf logo on court
W. Michigan: large logo at center court

MID-EASTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE

Coppin St: key painted; "MEAC Sports" at foul line; no blank baselines
Delaware St: inverse painted; "MEAC" on court; basketball at foul line; no "Delaware State University" on sidelines
FAMU: no blank center court; "MEAC Sports" on court; volleyball lines
Hampton: logo on court; no "Pirates" on court
UMES: volleyball lines
Morgan St: no paint; basketball at foul line; volleyball lines; no blank baselines
Norfolk St: no paint; "MEAC Sports" on court; no "NSU" on court; volleyball lines
NC A&T: [note, I have a different court altogether, but the court shown is most likely a recent change because it includes the name of the court on the court itself]
S Carolina St: "SC State" on court; volleyball lines; "MEAC" in key

MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE

Bradley: no "Peoria Civic Center" on court
Drake: logo on court; no "Drake" on court; no conf logo at foul line; "The Knapp Center" on baselines
Evansville: "Roberts Stadium" on court
Ill St: conf logo on court, not at foul line; "Redbird Arena" on sidelines
Ind St: "Hulman Center" on sidelines
Missouri St: "John Q. Hammons Student Center" on court; "Missouri State" on court; conf logo at foul line; no blank baselines
UNI: "Robert J. McCoy Court" on court; no logo on court; no "McLeod USA" on court; no "Northern Iowa" on sidelines
SIU: "Harry L. Crisp Sr. Court" on court [note, I saw this court on TV last week and didn't notice it, so it may have been removed]

MOUNTAIN WEST

Air Force: no paint; "Clune Arena" on court; conf logo at foul line, not on court; no blank baselines
BYU: key painted
New Mexico: no paint; "University of New Mexico" on court; "Bob King Court" on court
UNLV: no paint; no "Thomas & Mack Center" on court
Utah: conf logo on court, not at foul line
Wyoming: no blank center court; no paint; no logo on court; no blank baselines

NORTHEAST

CCSU: "Blue Devils" on court; no "Central Connecticut State University" on sidelines
FDU: no "Knights" on court
LIU: key painted; volleyball lines; conf logo in key; no blank baselines
Monmouth: conf logo in key, not at foul line
Mt St Mary's: inverse painted; "Coach Jim Phelan 1954-2003" on court
Quinnipiac: "Quinnipiac Bobcats" on court; "Lender Court" on court; no blank baselines
Robert Morris: no paint; volleyball lines; conf logo in key; no blank baselines; no www.rmu.edu on court
Sacred Heart: parquet floor; "Sacred Heart University" on court
St. Francis (NY): key painted; "Terriers" on court; no "Peter Aquilone Court" on court [note, the design shown may be a recent change]
St. Francis (PA): key painted; volleyball lines; conf logo in key; no blank baselines
Wagner: parquet floor

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Texas vs. Texas A&M Rivalry Logo

While watching the television broadcast of last night's Texas at Texas A&M men's basketball game, I noticed a logo on the floor that is only used for Longhorn-Aggie athletic contests. UT and A&M have given an official name to their rivalry, the Lone Star Showdown. Any time the two schools meet in any sport, the winner earns points that are added up across sports at the end of the academic year. In addition, a Lone Star Showdown logo is shown on the playing field/court for some (if not all) other sports, including football (the adjoining photo, from a previous year's Longhorn-Aggie hoops battle, is from the Wikipedia page on the Showdown, cropped to highlight the logo by the referee).

Even though I'm based in Big 12 country (I'm a faculty member at Texas Tech) and watch a lot of men's and women's conference basketball, I had not noticed the logo until last night.

Other schools have similar rivalries. For example, UCLA and USC have a competition known as the Lexus Gauntlet (South), whereas Stanford and Cal have a northern California version of the Gauntlet, as well. I also watch a lot of Pac-Ten hoops (UCLA is my undergraduate alma mater), and I don't recall ever seeing a basketball floor decal for one of these rivalry games.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Phoenix's Court for NBA All-Star Weekend


When an NBA team gets to host the all-star game and festivities, it will create a special floor for the occasion that is a more garish version, to some degree, of its usual floor. Shown above is what Phoenix has come up with this year. This court made its debut last night with the all-star rookies vs. sophomores game (I got this image from the shot tracker of the rookie-sophomore game, de-selecting the symbols for made and missed shots; actual photographs from the game are available here).

Below is a little collage I put together of the floors from recent years' all-star games (click on photos to enlarge). The 2007 event was held in Las Vegas, which doesn't have an NBA team, so there is no regular team court to compare it to. The host cities in the upper two photos are identified along the courts' baselines: New Orleans (2008) and Las Vegas. Lower-left is Houston (2006), whereas the lower-right is from Los Angeles (2004; the photo is from the rookie-soph game). The original sources for these photos are: N.O., L.V., Houston, and L.A.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Matt Rachmiel on TCB Schematic Court Images (Part 1)

Over in the links section, on the right, where it says "All NCAA Court Designs," you can access schematic depictions of all NCAA Division I courts from the video game Total College Basketball.

New Jersey lawyer Matt Rachmiel tracks floor designs like no one else, and in a series of guest postings, he'll point out discrepancies between the linked schematic images and how particular schools' courts really are (NOTE: The text and link above have been lightly edited to more accurately reflect Matt's professional practice). Here are Matt's comments for the first several conferences (alphabetically)...

Here is my first batch of what I think are inaccuracies with the court designs shown. Inverse painted means the key is not painted but the 2-point area surrounding it is painted. Words in quotes are wordmarks on the court.

AMERICA EAST CONFERENCE

Albany: painted key, not "inverse" painted; conference logo on court
Binghamton: the paint surrounding the court is green at one end and black at the other end
Boston U: no paint, not inverse painted; "The Roof" on court
Hartford: "Hartford" on one sideline
Maine: painted key; conference logo at foul line
New Hampshire: volleyball lines on court; "New Hampshire" on sidelines
Stony Brook: conference logo at foul line
Vermont: "Catamounts" on court; conference logo on court

ATLANTIC 10

Dayton: no paint; "National City" on court; "Blackburn Court" on baselines
Duquense: parquet floor
George Washington: large logo at center court; "Tex Silverman Court" on court; "The George Washington University" on court; conference logo at foul line
UMass: "Mullins Center" on court
Richmond: "Robins Center" on one sideline
St Bonaventure: "St. Bonaventure University" on court; conference logo in key; not blank baselines
St. Joseph's: "Saint Joseph's University" on court
St. Louis: "Scottrade Center" on court; conference logo at foul line; "Billikens" on one sideline [Editor's note: SLU now plays in the on-campus Chaifetz Arena]
Temple: "John Chaney Harry Litwack" at center court; "The Liacouras Center Temple University" on court; logo on baselines

ACC

Florida St.: "Florida State Seminoles" on court; blank baselines
Georgia Tech: large logo at center court
NC St.: Painted key
Wake Forest: "Winston Salem" on one sideline

ATLANTIC SUN

North Florida: Volleyball lines on court; conf logo at foul line
Stetson: "Glenn Wilkes Court" on court; volleyball lines on court
Campbell: no paint; no logo on court
FAU: conf logo at foul line
Gardner Webb: Blank center court; logo on court; no paint; volleyball lines on court; conf logo in key
Jacksonville: "Billy N. Nimnicht Court" on court; painted key
Kennessaw St.: logo on court; "Convocation Center" on court
Mercer: no logo on court

BIG EAST

Cincy: no paint; "Fifth Third Bank" on court; "Fifth Third Arena" on one sideline
DePaul: "Ray & Marge Meyer Court" on court; conf logo at foul line
G'Town: conf logo at foul line
Louisville: conf logo at foul line
Marquette: "Bradley Center" on court
Pitt: conf logo at foul line
Providence: "Dave Garitt Court" on baselines; "Dunkin' Donuts Center" on sidelines
Rutgers: "The RAC" on court; conf logo at foul line
St. John's: logo on court; "Lou Carnasecca" on court; conf logo at foul line; "Carnasecca Arena" on baselines
Seton Hall: no parquet court; "Prudential Center" on court
South Florida: "Sun Dome" on sidelines; no basketball at foul line
Syracuse: conf logo at foul line
Villanova: conf logo at foul line

BIG SKY

E. Wash: volleyball lines on court
Idaho St.: volleyball lines on court
Montana: painted key; "The University of Montana" on court; "Grizzlies" on court; conf logo on court; logo in key; "Dahlberg Arena" on baselines
Montana St.: "Murdoch's Ranch & Home Supply" on court
NAU: conf logo in key
Weber St.: no "Weber State University" on court; conf logo on court; logo on one sideline; painted key

BIG SOUTH

Charleston Southern: "Charleston Southern University" on court; conf logo at foul line
Coastal Carolina: multi-color key; volleyball lines; no blank baselines
High Point: no paint; volleyball lines; conf logo in key; no logo on court; no blank center court
Liberty: painted key; no "Liberty Flames" on court
UNC Asheville: conf logo on court; volleyball lines; painted key
Radford: no "Highlanders" on court
VMI: basketball at foul line; no "Cameron Hall" on court

BIG TEN

Michigan: has a new court design this year, either the key or the inverse is now painted [Editor's note: Here's a link; I'm a Michigan alumnus!]
Minnesota: "Cub" only on sideline

BIG TWELVE

Baylor: basketball at foul line
Nebraska: no conf logo on court
Ok. St.: painted key, no longer multi-colored key

BIG WEST

Cal Poly: "Cal Poly Mustangs" on court; conf logo at foul line, not on court
Cal St Fullerton: conf logo on court, not at foul line; volleyball lines; "Titans" at foul line
Cal St Northridge: volleyball lines; painted key; one blank baseline; "Cal State Northridge" on one sideline
Long Beach St: no paint; "The Pyramid Long Beach State Arena" on court
Pacific: volleyball lines
Cal-Irvine: "Bren Events Center" on court; conf logo at foul line, not on court; "Eater Nation" on one sideline; "UC Irvine" on one sideline
Cal-Riverside: painted key; volleyball lines; no blank baselines
UCSB: conf logo on court; no "Gauchos" on court

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Last October's Unveiling of the OKC Thunder's Floor

Last October, Doug Loudenback (aka "Doug Dawg") posted an extensive set of photos on his blog from the inaugural home game of the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder (formerly Seattle SuperSonics). The photos after the health spa ad with the female model, in particular, provide excellent views of the court. I've never been a fan of painting in the semicircle behind the free-throw line when the key is unpainted, but in this case, it looks decent.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Goldmine of College Court Designs

I just found a page where someone has posted the designs for all NCAA Division I courts circa 2006-07, as used in the video game Total College Basketball. I'll also add a permanent link (in the right-hand column) to the site with all the designs.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Charlotte Likes the Green!

The Charlotte 49ers, known previously as UNC Charlotte, have varied the look of their court in recent years, although in neither of the linked photos have they been stingy with the green paint! Here's one version, and here's another (the latter link leads to a slide show, so you need to advance to the sixth photo).

Monday, February 9, 2009

McArthur Court (U. Oregon): A Historical Look

Jeremy Brahm e-mailed me with links to some old photos of the center-court and free-throw/key areas in the University of Oregon's McArthur Court. I've visited "Mac Court" myself, so I thought this was an excellent opportunity to put together a description of the court's evolution over the decades.

The first photo in our sequence, provided by Jeremy, is of a 1960s-era UO men's team situated along the free-throw line, so most of the key is showing. As Jeremy asks seemingly in amazement, "How about the Donald Duck spinning a basketball on his finger for the University of Oregon?"

Next, also from Jeremy, is a team picture of the 1980-81 Lady Ducks at center court. Seeing this black-and-white photo leads me to recall that the color scheme was something like this PowerPoint image I just slapped together (I was an undergrad student at UCLA at the time, so I watched Pac-10 games from Oregon on TV fairly frequently):


Next is a picture I took myself, during a 2001 visit to Eugene. As can be seen (albeit fuzzily), the midcourt logo consists of a large O, with a duck marching through, and interlocked UO symbols are located to the lower-left and upper-right of the center circle.


Finally, the Ducks' present layout consists of a singular, bold O at midcourt, with "OREGON" shown immediately beneath it. It's the same kind of O that's used on the school's football helmets.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

To Use the State Shape or Not?

One decision a state university faces in decorating its basketball court is whether to use the shape of the state in the design, or not. I personally like depictions of the state, but some schools have gotten rid of them. The University of Tennessee is one such school (current on the left, old on the right).


(I found the photo of the current Tennessee court here, and the one of the old court here; I enlarged the old photo to emphasize the shape of Tennessee at mid-court.)

I'll try to find examples from other schools, to post in the future

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Double Three-Point Lines

A novel element of the court in U.S. college basketball this year is the presence of two three-point lines, as a result of the men's game moving its arc one foot behind the prior uniform men's/women's distance and the women not following suit (shown in this photo of Tennessee Lady Vols' coach Pat Summitt speaking on the floor following her 1,000th win).

Beyond whatever damage the double-arc feature does to the court's aesthetic appeal, it can also serve as a distraction or even a source of confusion to people watching a game. I don't know if this has actually happened yet, but conceivably a referee could award the wrong number of points on a shot if he or she momentarily forgets which line applies to the type of game -- men's or women's -- going on.

An article from earlier this season in Raleigh, North Carolina's News and Observer looks at the dual-line issue from the perspective of women's college teams in the area, as illustrated in the following quote:

"It's kind of confusing sometimes," N.C. State senior guard Shayla Fields said. "You look at the men's 3-point line and you look at our 3-point line and you just want to shoot from the men's because it's the line that's out there."

The obvious solution to all the complaints is to go back to a single three-point distance. Duke coach Joanne McCallie apparently favors using the closer distance for both men's and women's:

"It's a funny concept that here we are back with this men/women thing, especially since shooting percentages for men have been down. Like what are they doing backing up the line? That doesn't make any sense.

I would opt for applying the farther distance to both men and women. It's only one foot behind what had been in use for both sexes for many years, and many observers felt the old distance was no longer that challenging.

In reality, however, the new three-point distance for men this year does not seem to be having much impact on the game. Basketball analyst Ken Pomeroy is tracking men's three-point statistics this year compared to last and, as of today, this year's success rate behind the arc is only minimally lower than last year's (34.1% vs. 35.1%). The frequency of three-point attempts (as a percentage of all field-goal attempts) has only been affected slightly, as well.

As long as we're stuck with two lines, the best thing schools can do, in my opinion, is paint the men's and women's lines in clearly contrasting colors, as the above linked Tennessee photo illustrates.

[UPDATE: Someone has tactfully brought to my attention that, on any given court, the men's and women's arcs must be in different colors according to NCAA regulations.]

Friday, February 6, 2009

Introduction and Welcome to the Basketball Courts Blog

Welcome to my latest blog, devoted to the artistic design aspects of basketball courts. My focus will be on NBA and college courts in the United States, but if you know of any courts at other levels (e.g., international, high school) that look interesting to you -- in either a good or bad way -- please let me know.

I have been regularly attending basketball games and watching them on television since around 1970, when I was seven years old (although I believe the first game I attended was in the mid-1960s at the L.A. Sports Arena when I was very young). As we know, basketball court designs can range from ones as plain and simple as the one at Indiana University's Assembly Hall...


...to ones as colorful and busy as the one at Boise State's Taco Bell Arena (original source)...


Several issues have always fascinated me:

*Painted-in vs. empty keys (the latter makes a mockery of the term "points in the paint," but I think an empty key can look good in the right context).

*Three-point lines (or sometimes painted-in areas). This issue has been quite salient this year at the college level, now that the three-point distance is different for men's and women's.

*Mid-court logos (and specific to the college game, whether state universities include the shape of the state in the decor, as Indiana does).

*Naming of the court per se, often with the honoree's signature as part of the design, in an arena that has a different name. One example is Oklahoma State's "Eddie Sutton Court" at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

*Permanent vs. one-time court designs, the latter exemplified by NCAA tournament games or all-star games.

I expect to post quite often during basketball season, less so in the off-season. Please feel free to send me suggestions, comments, or questions via the comments section.

The basketball court (website) is now in session!