Monday, November 23, 2009

The Palestra: Penn's Classic Gym

Matt Rachmiel sent me a picture of himself (taken by Jeremy Fishman) from a recent game at the Palestra. Located on the University of Pennsylvania ("Penn") campus in Philadelphia, the Palestra is one of the classic arenas in college basketball. It hosts games not only of the host school, which is in the Ivy League, but also selected games involving other Philly schools who, along with Penn, make up a collective known as the Big 5. Having previously sported painted-in keys, the Palestra has switched in recent years to empty ones.
UPDATE: August 2013: I (Alan Reifman) recently had a chance to visit Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania. I took some photos on campus, including of the Palestra. These are available on my college-campuses website.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Original Allen Fieldhouse Center Court

Jeremy Boden, one of our Texas Tech graduate students, recently attended an academic conference at the University of Kansas (KU). While there, he took a bunch of photographs of the campus, including some in the school's athletic hall of fame. The latter houses a number of Jayhawk athletic artifacts, including the original center-court hardwood (above) from legendary Allen Fieldhouse, which opened in 1955. The KU court has featured a few different looks in recent decades, including one dominated by the cartoonish Jayhawk mascot (which is cute in its own right). Allen Fieldhouse, by the way, has recently undergone renovation to improve amenities for the fans.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Puerto Rico Tip-Off Tournament

I'm not crazy about how the circle at the top of the key was designed at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico, home of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off college basketball tournament (the screen capture is from the Dayton-Georgia Tech game, the larger set of highlights of which can be viewed here).

For one thing, many college courts no longer even depict the semi-circle inside the free-throw line (i.e., the key is a solid rectangle, as seen in this example), because the held-ball/alternating-possession rule has eliminated the possibility of a jump-ball in the free-throw circle. Also, I find a white free-throw stripe on a light wood floor hard to discern, sometimes.

On the other hand, the unusual key give the Puerto Rico court some uniqueness, which is sadly missing from a lot of other courts.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hall of Fame Showcase from St. Louis

Super-contributor Matt Rachmiel notified me about the funky court used a couple of nights ago in St. Louis for the Hall of Fame Showcase game between Louisville and Arkansas (a Kansas-Memphis rematch of the 2008 national championship game was also on the bill). I encourage readers to watch the highlight video from I made the following screen capture to give everyone a preview (on which you can click to enlarge).

Friday, November 13, 2009

Welcome to the 2009-2010 Season!

With the NBA season a couple weeks old and college basketball heading into its first big weekend of play, I'd like to welcome everyone to another season of my Basketball Court Designs blog! I invite all visitors to add comments to any of the postings (or e-mail me via my Texas Tech faculty webpage at the top of the links column to the right) with any ideas, suggestions, or questions you have. If you discover a team that has a new court design this season, please let us know!

I am pictured above on the floor at Texas Tech's United Spirit Arena, by the giant Double-T center-court logo (photo by Michelle Flores). If you've taken photos of basketball courts, I'd be happy to post them, too.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Early Reports of College Court Changes

Sports uniform guru Paul Lukas, in previewing college basketball teams' new duds for the coming season, also alludes to a few floor changes. The specific passage, which appears down near the bottom of the linked article, is:

Several teams have new court designs, including Arizona..., East Tennessee State, Marshall, Minnesota..., Mississippi State, Notre Dame and Virginia Tech.

In Lukas's article, you can actually click on the school names and other links to see pictures and videos of the new court designs (hat tip: Matt Rachmiel).

I really enjoy seeing videos and slide shows of the court-design process, including the use of decals, stencils, and paint. Here's a clue about one of the aforementioned changes: Arizona will no longer have the McKale Center court adorned by the cactus logo.