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Monday, June 6, 2011
Towson takes court cue from Oregon

By Eamonn Brennan

Ah, yes, who could forget Oregon's basketball court? You know the one: Two-dimensional trees, lack of a half-court line, shimmering, reflective sheen. It wasn't always popular, Oregon's court, but it made waves. Give Matthew Knight Arena that much.

It certainly seems to have inspired Towson. Via Dan Steinberg's D.C. Sports Bog (and blog buddy Matt Norlander) comes the news that Towson, like Oregon before it, is adding a non-traditional full-court design to its floor. The design includes clear "watermark tiger stripes" across the length of the floor plus a large paw mark near the scorer's table. It was initially slated to be the new floor design when Towson moves into its new Tiger Arena in 2013-14, but new coach Pat Skerry said the design got such a positive response from players that the school decided to install the floor in Towson's current hoops home:
"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 added that "when the guys first saw the court design on the Tiger Arena web site 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."

I'm not sure a new court design will impact recruiting much in Towson's favor, but if it does anything to put the school's program on the map -- like, say, encourage blog posts on national college hoops sites -- then it will be more than worth the 500 man hours, eight gallons of paint and 62 gallons of finish it requires. Towson is constantly fighting for relevance in the Colonial. Every little bit counts.

Plus, it does look kind of cool. As long as everyone can see the half court line, what's not to like?