The wonderful world of college is best known for two things these days: 1.) Loser kids protesting any and everything they think will get them even an inkling of attention, and 2.) Athletic programs trying to one up each other with the latest and greatest apparel, gear, facilities, etc. If your favorite college program doesn’t have the newest Nike uniforms or some sweet new chromed out football helmets do they even really have a program at all? In the world of college basketball, this trend has trickled down onto the court as well. Not ‘on the court’ in the figurative sense, but like literally, ON the court. The past several years have seen program after program introduce new hotness on the hardwood. Some of these new courts are trendsetting designs that will likely be mainstays for years to come. Others, like Oregon’s Kilkenny Floor for example, look like that powdery stuff the janitor would sprinkle over some kid’s vomit back in elementary school. Lots of teams have dipped their toes into the waters of the trendy court designs, but since it’s a Friday afternoon and per request from co-host @Mikey_Golds, I figured I’d rank the ten best looking courts-old and new- in college basketball today.
Long Beach State
I love the beach theme here from Long Beach State. You get it? ‘Cause of the beach? Long Beach State? Palm trees? Yea, you get it. Much like ordering sand for a frat party, there’s a fine line that exists between doing a beach theme correctly and going way too overboard, and LBSU walked that tightrope brilliantly.
I’m looking at you, FIU
Feel like I’d be picking sand out of my ass for a week after a game on that floor.
Maybe it’s the red and blue color scheme or maybe it’s the Phog Allen mystique, but something about Kansas’ floor put’s them up there with the best of the best. Not the newest, not the flashiest, basically the PB&J of college basketball courts. A time honored classic that no one will really turn their nose up at (Rival schools not included).
Notice a theme here with a lot of these courts. The key is to have something that makes your court stand out from the rest without going over the top and looking like a 70’s era disco floor. The Jaspers opted to walk a little on the wild side with all that green, but still kept enough of the natural hardwood to let us know that we’re still playing a game of basketball.
Think that’s just an ashy colored hardwood you’re looking at? Think again, Bubba.
I’m not exactly sure what that material is covering TCU’s floor, probably some sort of supernatural material brought down by Moses or the good Lord himself to bless his Christian sons and daughters, but whatever it is it’s pretty cool and looks real sharp alongside those purple horned frog scales in the lane.
You know what they say, everything is bigger in Texas, including midcourt logos. The Longhorn laid over top of the State of Texas is juuuussst big enough to really grab your attention, but not big enough to make you think that they’re overcompensating for something. Also I’m no Texas guy, but that burnt orange is sexy as always. Shaka and the Longhorns may be back sooner than you think.
Not to be confused with that one city in California, Oakland’s ‘Blacktop’ court is representative of that hard nose, gritty, street brand of basketball often associated with the people in that part of the country. Also because I’d imagine it’s not a lot of fun playing ball on a real blacktop when it’s like 10 degrees outside four months out of the year.
I don’t pay much attention to NC State hoops outside of a game or two a year and that Jim Valvano 30 for 30, but I’m a sucker for throwback everything, and that old school Wolfpack logo at center court just does it for me. So much so that when I finally peeped the new design a couple years ago, I looked into the future and saw that one day I’d be writing a blog about the hottest courts in college basketball and just knew they’d land a spot somewhere on that list.
A lot of schools from Xavier to Memphis to Washington to GW are all going with the city skyline as a prominent part of their court design. Any school located in a major city would be wise to incorporate some part of their respective city’s skyline because no image illustrates pride in where you’re from quite like a silhouette of the city. I’m not a Xavier guy, but the way that wood is colored really makes the Cincinnati skyline pop without distracting you from the actual lines on the court. I guess it should be noted that I hail from Cincy so I’m a bit partial, but when I threw up the bat signal on Twitter the other day I just asked for suggestions, not for you to actually rank these floors. Deal with it.
Notre Dame is one of those love them hate them schools. You either love ND because you’re a Midwestern Irish-Catholic that graduated from the Mendoza College of Business and drives a C-class Benz or you hate them because of the smug, pompus attitude and the Luke Harangody clones Mike Brey seems to churn out every single year. Whatever your opinion on the Irish, it’s tough to knock the two tone with the navy blue and shamrock in the middle.
Sticking with the city skyline theme, There’s no city with more iconic buildings to work with than Washington DC. The Capitol Building, the White House, and the Washington Monument are all fantastic additions to the playing surface. The only way GW’s floor could have been much better is if they could have figured out a way to work the real George Washington crossing the Delaware in 1776 into the design. Patriotical as fuck.
Feel free to let me know which courts you think should have made the list aka curse me out for not including your school’s in the comment section.
Follow yours truly @QuineTime