We're back this evening with a few thoughts about Matt Court, a quick look at some of the doings around the Pac-10 and a link to our story for tomorrow. Enough for a Friday night? If it isn't, you have my pity. Read on.
• Matthew Knight Arena just needs a few things to be one of the nicest basketball facility on the West Coast. A visible half-court line. Some fans. And a sander. ... Believe it or not, the half-court line is really an out-of-bounds line. When the ball crosses half-court and a player establishes possession in the front court with it, it serves the same purpose for the offensive team. Step on it holding the ball or dribbling and it's a turnover. The out-of-bounds lines in the new arena are easy to see, thick, perfect. The mid-court stripe is hard to see, thin, a problem waiting to happen. ... The Ducks announced more than 10,000 in the place last night but that must have been one of those inflated-by-season-ticket-holder numbers. There were no more than 8,000, maybe less. And, despite how well Oregon played, they were quite quiet most of the night. When Dana Altman's teams start winning like his groups did at Creighton and the UO fans decide basketball is cool again, the noise in Matt could be extraordinary. The seats rise high, but go up at such a nice steep angle, no one is too far from the court and the noise is funneled down to the players. ... The sander? That's obvious. That ungodly painted floor has to go. I know it won't, anymore than the blue turf will ever leave Boise, but if such designs ever become ubiquitous, watch out. If I were an athletic director somewhere, I would have my floor painted such a wild color scheme the other team might just upchuck for the first 10 minutes. And when the NCAA told me it had to go, I would point to Eugene. Symbolic or not, it doesn't belong in the game. And, yes I know how old I sound. ... The Huskies are in Eugene today for their game tomorrow and Lorenzo Romar talked about some early plans for a practice facility. ... Jerry Brewer has some thoughts on UW's loss. ... And there will be no sexual assault charges for the UW basketball player, though he's not off the hook completely as of yet. ... OK, back to WSU and such. Paul Wulff had a live chat on the Seattle Times' site you can read here. ... We have a story for tomorrow focusing on the maddening inconsistency of the two teams that will meet in Gill Coliseum. And, surprisingly enough, Paul Buker covers the same ground from the Oregon State side.
• That's all for tonight. We'll be back in the morning as usual. Until then ...