Matthew Knight Arena gets vivid, new arena floor as fans await basketball’s return

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Matthew Knight Arena gets vivid, new arena floor as fans await basketball’s return originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

Matthew Knight Arena has undergone a facelift.

When Oregon men and women’s basketball returns to Eugene, Oregon, fans will watch their Duck favorites on a new arena floor.

In a post on Twitter Thursday, Oregon women’s basketball coach Kelly Graves gave fans a sneak peek of the team’s home court.

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Like previous designs, the new wood flooring features trippy fir trees towering toward center court, the iconic 1970’s interlocking UO logo, and three shamrocks surrounding the name “Kilkenny Court,” above the logo.The finishing touch, of course, the words “Deep in the Woods,” located below the legendary logo.

The question remains when will fans get an opportunity to see their Ducks back on the hardwood at Matthew Knight Arena?

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest former Oregon football running back LeGarrette Blount].

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott seemed optimistic that Pac-12 sports could return to play before 2021 after the conference announced a landmark deal with the Quidel Corporation to begin daily, rapid testing in each of the school’s athletic departments.

“Right now, I’ve got high-degree confidence we’re playing in January,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said earlier this month on when teams' fall sports could return. “It’s possible because of this announcement we could play sooner.”

The conference will begin testing on its student-athletes in October.

“By being able to test a student-athlete every day before they go into practice or a game, we can have a high degree of confidence that no one at a practice or a game has the coronavirus and could spread it,” Scott said. “So, this is an important step in the path to us reconsidering resumption of play.”

Even if Pac-12 basketball does return this fall, that doesn’t mean spectators are any closer to attending games at Matthew Knight Arena. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown remains mum on when large sports gatherings can resume.

“I know this is really, really hard,” Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said last week. “I know many of you love going to Autzen Stadium and watching our Oregon Ducks kick the Washington Huskies. I know many of us enjoy going to the Pendleton Roundup. Honestly it’s some of my favorite time and some of my favorite memories in Oregon. So I know that this is really, really hard.”

She continued: “(We look forward to when) we can continue to cheer on our favorite football team, whether it’s the Ducks or the Beavers. And that we can go back to some semblance of normal, but this fall, and this winter isn’t the time for that.”

It’s been a cruel year for the sports world, and Oregon women’s basketball was no exception.

Sabrina Ionescu, Satou Sabally and Ruthy Hebard never had the opportunity to cut down the nets in New Orleans. Without the Ducks iconic “Big 3,” Oregon will look to Jazz Shelley, Taylor Chavez, Erin Boley, Sedona Prince and Nyara Sabally, sister of Satou Sabally, for a shot as a perennial national title contender.

Add the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class of Angela Dugalic, Hina Paopao, Sydney Parrish, Maddie Scherr and Kylee Watson, and Oregon seems poised to make a run for a title.

Until then, we’ll marvel over Matthew Knight Arena’s shiny new hardwood, as the 2020 Ducks cast their sights, once again, on winning it all.