It took all of one season for Oregon's crazy new floor to inspire its first imitator.
Hoping to generate some of the same buzz the Ducks did when they installed their iconic orange and tan fir tree-framed floor at Matthew Knight Arena last year, Towson University is giving its basketball court a similarly splashy makeover. Orange watermark tiger stripes on the floor will provide the signature element in addition to new baseline logos and a new "Tiger Paw" mark at the scorer's table.
Towson will install the freshly painted and finished floor in time for the start of the 2011-12 school year and then will move it over to its $68 million, 5,200-seat new arena when it opens in 2013. Newly hired coach Pat Skerry and his staff believe the new-look floor will provide them an edge in recruiting as they look to rebuild a program that went 4-26 a year ago and lost every game it played in the Colonial Athletic Association.
"Just like Oregon did last year at the Matthew Knight Arena with their new look, we feel that our new court is a plus for recruiting because kids like things that are unique and cutting edge in design," Skerry said in a statement released by the school. "When the guys first saw the court design on the www.TigerArena.com website it got a great response, so we figured as long as we are getting the court repainted why not go with the new design now."
The new floor won't be completed or installed for weeks, but Skerry is already making an impact on the recruiting trail. The former Big East assistant at Providence and Pittsburgh recently outdueled more successful CAA rivals George Mason and VCU for Class of 2012 wing Barrington Alston and also landed South Florida transfer Mike Burwell.
The staff is confident the new floor will only help its recruiting efforts. The design is subtle enough to avoid some of the backlash from traditionalists that Oregon received, yet splashy enough to catch the attention of recruits.
"It should be unique without being overbearing," Towson assistant coach Luke Murray said via text. "Once it's done we will push it more."
(Thanks, DC Sports Bog)
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