Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Orange Bowl Basketball Classic

Although most sports fans associate the term "Orange Bowl" with the annual showdown between elite college-football teams played on (or around) New Year's Day, several other Orange Bowl-related events are held in sports such as lacrosse, tennis, swimming, sailing, and track and field. Among the competitions is the MetroPCS Orange Bowl Basketball Classic, played in Sunrise, Florida at the BB&T Center. This facility, situated in Broward County, just north of Miami-Dade County, is known mainly for being the home of the NHL's Florida Panthers.

This year's Orange Bowl Basketball Classic, played last weekend, featured a college hoops doubleheader. Florida State took on UMass and Florida faced Fresno State. As shown in the following screenshots from the first game (source video), the BB&T Center has a colorful basketball court.


I'm not sure what the design just outside the three-point arc represents. The most likely contenders would seem to be Florida's ubiquitous palm trees or doves proclaiming "Peace on Earth" for Christmas. Note also that Florida State wore special turquoise uniforms for Native American Heritage Month

Sunday, December 8, 2013

More College Court Updates (Early Dec. 2013)

Four items today:

Temple University eschewed its on-campus Liacouras Center home yesterday to  host Texas at Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center, home of the 76ers. The regular Wells Fargo Center court is completely outlined in blue, with a 76ers logo at center-court. For the Temple game, however, some floor boards were strategically substituted to make it look like a Temple floor, as seen in the following screen captures from ESPN-U/Watch ESPN... (You can click on the photos to enlarge them.)


As far as these kinds of floor-board substitutions go, this one isn't bad. The only problem is that blue isn't a Temple color.

Mizzou Arena has added Tiger stripes along the baselines to reinforce Missouri's team nickname, as seen in the following screenshot from CBS...



Memphis has added a city skyline aspect to its court at Fedex Forum, based on shellac shading.

Finally, Rhode Island has added an interlocking, two-tone RI to its center-court (thanks to Matt Rachmiel). The two-tone aspect is not unlike that of Penn's "P."

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Cal State Fullerton Mural/Scenery Court

Several schools have adopted full-court mural/scenery designs for their basketball floors, as has been documented in several entries on this blog. One that I first learned about via a telecast today is Cal State Fullerton's. Here's a link with photo.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Uni Watch Previews College Hoops Uniforms -- and Courts (2013-14)

Uni Watch's 2013-14 college basketball preview focuses, naturally, on changes in teams' uniforms. However, several new court designs are also noted. Many of the listed floor changes on Uni Watch have already been documented here on this site. However, two court changes listed by Uni Watch are worth keeping an eye out for: Buffalo and Central Florida. Thanks, as usual, to Matt Rachmiel for bringing these changes to my attention.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

NBA Court Changes for 2013-14

Via the usual sources, here's a visual compilation of new court designs for the 2013-14 NBA season. Frankly, most of the courts depicted don't look that different to me from what the respective teams have had in the past.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Sharp New Court for Creighton

From my usual sources, Creighton has a neat new floor, complete with a new Blue Jay logo and what looks like a wide-plank wood design.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

San Jose State's New Floor: Two Huge Logos is One Too Many

Via Matt Rachmiel and Uni-Watch, San Jose State has a new floor, shown here. As can be seen, the design features both the school's blue and gold Spartan helmet logo and, quoting from the linked article, a "quintet of the fabled Greek heroes stand[ing] armed and ready below mid-court, with four of their shields spelling out 'SJSU' and flanking the fifth shield with the athletic program’s logo." As if this weren't enough visual stimulation, the areas inside the three-point arcs are darkened, as well. Below is a schematic I created, of how one could incorporate all the same elements without overwhelming the viewer.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Bucks Go Back to the Future

The Milwaukee Bucks will go back to a floor design with the two giant M's, similar to what they had for parts of the 1970s and '80s (via Uni-Watch).

Meanwhile, the University of Richmond Spiders will shift to a more understated court design, including getting rid of the spider web in the background (via Uni-Watch and Matt Rachmiel).

UPDATE: Here's more on the Bucks' floor (via Uni-Watch).

Friday, September 6, 2013

Latest New Unveilings: UTEP and Binghamton

Court changes for the upcoming college-basketball season are coming fast and furiously. Via the "usual" sources (Matt Rachmiel and Uni-Watch):
  • The UTEP Miners feature large pick-axes in the background of their new court. Fans sitting along either sideline will get to see a pick-axe right-side-up, but that also means they see the other one upside-down. The two pick-axes together form a box-like shape, which I think might distract from the pick-axes.
  • Binghamton University (in the State University of New York system) has a time-lapse video of the painting of its new court (see second video down on the new page that comes up).

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

New Court for James Madison University

Via Uni-Watch and Matt Rachmiel, a wild new design for James Madison University.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

New LSU Court

Via Uni-Watch and Matt Rachmiel, LSU has a new court design. I think the Tiger face in the background at mid-court may be a little subtle and abstract, but I like the rest of it.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Boise State's New Court

Via Uni Watch and Matt Rachmiel, Boise State will have a new court this upcoming season. In the past, the Broncos have had pretty wild, colorful courts. The new one, however, is fairly conventional.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Summer Updates: ODU, Cal, and UConn

Frequent contributor Matt Rachmiel has brought news of two three new court designs to my attention:
  • Old Dominion is now the second school to my knowledge to put a state shape (in this case, Virginia's) at center-court, filled in with a symbolic logo. ODU's nickname is the Monarchs, but it is a lion monarch (perhaps the king of the jungle?) that is embedded within the state of Virgina. A visual depiction of the court is available here. The previous school to embed a logo in a state shape is East Carolina, which features a Pirate design within the shape of North Carolina.
  • Cal has now joined the huge-logo club (for other members, see here, herehere, herehere, here, and here). ESPN.com's Eamonn Brennan gives the new Golden Bears' floor high marks, but I think the logo is too big. Brennan's article also contains a time-lapse video of the old floor being sanded-down and repainted.
  • UConn has a new Husky logo, plus changes have been made to the keys (from solid blue to empty) and area between the keys and three-point arcs (from nothing to dark shellac). Click here for a new/old comparison.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Hypothetical Court for "The U" (of Miami)

Building upon this Bleacher Report slideshow of hypothetical college-basketball court designs for a variety of teams, including the University of Miami, I would like to offer my own artistic vision for the Hurricanes' court. Probably the phrase most closely associated with Miami athletics is "The U" or "It's all about the U" (here and here). These expressions recognize the orange-and-green U that appears on the school's football helmet, on the current basketball center-court, and as a new statue on campus.

It occurred to me that the area in between the three-point arc and the key forms what might be considered a sideways U. I was also, I'm sure, influenced by a former University of Florida court design, in which the area between the three-point arc and the key was painted blue on one side and orange on the other. The upshot of all this is a design in which the University of Miami "U" fills most of the area between the arc and the key, as shown in the following image.


Note that the bottom of the U is much flatter than the curvature of the three-point arc. Therefore, the bottom of the U protrudes beyond the arc. I've used lighter shades of orange and green to illustrate the parts of the U that are behind the arc. Also, the straight parts of the U do not completely fill the area between the arc and key; to preserve the actual proportions of the U, there is some open space along the lengths of the key. Finally, painting the traditional outline of a circle at the top of the key would entail breaking the continuity of the U. Therefore, I opted for a filled-in circle of lighter wood, which minimally overlaps with the base of the U.

For center-court, I went with the university's "miami" wordmark. Perhaps some fans of the school would prefer "canes" instead. What do people think?

Monday, May 20, 2013

George Washington U. Latest to Unveil Floor with Local Geographic/Cultural Motif

Via frequent contributor Matt Rachmiel, George Washington University's basketball court will feature DC landmarks in the background. A visual depiction is available here.

GW's court thus joins the beach motifs of Miami-based Florida International University and California's Long Beach State, and the forest imagery of the University of Oregon, in paying tribute to the local geography and culture. Though it's only used for a conference tournament and not for an entire slate of home games, the Mountain West Conference's mountain-themed court should also be included in this discussion.

UPDATE: I also found a slideshow of hypothetical court designs of this type for several schools.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Nebraska Redesigns Floor for New Arena

With Nebraska getting ready to move into its new Pinnacle Bank Arena, the Huskers have decided to revamp their floor design. An artist's rendering is available here via the Lincoln Journal Star. The signature feature is the use of different shades of shellac to create the state shape at center-court. Also, it appears that the "N" at center-court won't be as ginormous as it was in the Huskers' previous facility. (I hope Nebraska's move away from a huge logo starts a trend!) Thanks to frequent contributor Matt Rachmiel for this discovery.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Florida International's New Beach-Like Court

Now that the college national championships are over, I wanted to share a new design for next season (originally brought to my attention by Matt Rachmiel). The Miami-based Florida International University will have a court that looks like a painting of the beach, as shown here.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

2013 Women's Final Four in New Orleans

With the men's Division I NCAA tournament continuing to use a standard floor design, the women's Final Four is the only opportunity each season to anticipate a wild, unusual, and/or creative court scheme (Denver 2012, Indianapolis 2011, and others).

The latest women's Final Four court, unveiled just a couple of hours ago in New Orleans, is certainly more artistic than the typical court, but perhaps a little more subdued than women's Final Four courts of the last few years.

The New Orleans court has a pretty typical "Final Four" logo at center court. The novel design features are located along both baselines, reaching into the keys. Probably the best-known symbol of New Orleans is the fleur de lis (or lily flower in French). What's on the court looks like an elaborate system of curls, growing out of a fleur de lis. If you look at the reddish image in the upper-right corner of this montage, you'll have an idea of what the women's Final Four court looks like.

UPDATE: Here's an aerial shot of the court.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Conference Tournaments 2013

Some brief observations:

The Mountain West tournament, taking place in Las Vegas, is using the same mountain-themed court as was used for last year's NCAA women's Final Four in Denver. (Thanks to Matt Rachmiel for giving me a heads-up a while back.)

The Atlantic 10 is playing at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The whole midcourt area is saturated with advertisements.

I like the simplicity of the BOK Center court in Tulsa for the Conference USA tourney.