A look at the new floor at the Schottenstein Center
As Ohio State prepares for the eighth season of basketball at the Schottenstein Center, the school unveiled a new floor for the main arena.
There have been some subtle changes with the new floor, including a slightly different shade of red – almost undetectable to the untrained eye. It is also notable that there are new logos for Value City Arena – the official title of the playing arena.
And one of the biggest changes comes in the foul lane areas at each end. Where those areas were painted red previously, they were left unpainted on the new floor and retain the natural wood color.
Lines on the court are no longer painted red
OSU basketball coaches Thad Matta and Jim Foster met with the media Thursday to show off the new floor.
"Jim and I wanted a cleaner look," Matta said. "We didn't have a lot of input. I know he said he didn't want them to put a lot of paint on it. I was in total agreement with that. It looks like a basketball floor."
Foster added, "I like the wood look. It's a throwback. I think that's a good thing."
The first floor at VCA was actually traded into the manufacturer. According to Foster, it was beginning to show signs of wear and tear.
"This is a multipurpose facility, so it was very important that they were able to take it apart and put it together," Foster said. "But sometimes in that process, the pieces in storage fall or they get chipped sometimes.
"I think it was last year and we knew we needed a new floor and, fortunately, they could afford to do it."
Matta was asked if he ever played on a new floor.
"When I played, we played on the same floor they had since 1929 when the building was built," Matta said. "That was at Hinkle Fieldhouse at Butler."
The new Value City logo
Matta also took the opportunity after the first two weeks of preseason practice to brief the media on where things stand.
"We're in decent shape," Matta said. "I think physically we're better. Mentally, we've had a few lapses that we're trying to get through. I think for the most part the guys are in better physical condition than they've been in."
The coach said he and his staff have preached the importance of rebounding.
"We've tried to make it a big point of emphasis for this team and getting them to understand the value," he said. "We were outrebounded by about five a game last year. There aren't a lot of teams that win games that don't rebound the ball. We have spent a lot of time on the rebounding."
Former OSU standout Chris Jent is back in school this fall in hopes of finalizing his degree requirements. NCAA rules prohibit Jent, who finished last season as the interim head coach of the NBA's Orlando Magic, from coaching on the floor. But he can observe practice and also stand in when a body is needed.
"He's kind of come in and just sort of taken it all in," Matta said. "Chris' main focus is we're very aware of what he can't do. From that standpoint, it has kept him around the game. He is very passionate about the game of basketball. I think he knows what he wants to do once he completes his degree. He wants to get back into the NBA.
"Sometimes, believe it or not, he has class conflicts. He and I get a kick out of that."
Matta said he and his staff have done nothing to add any walk-ons to the 10-man squad.
"We're still pursuing that," he said. "We haven't done anything with that yet. We have to check class schedules and do background checks. I honestly haven't had time to deal with it yet."
When asked if anybody has impressed him to date, Matta said, "We're still, by design, grinding away. I have not honestly looked at combinations. We're still trying to teach how we want to play and do things. I have been pretty pleased with everybody.
"Sylvester (Mayes) and Brayden (Bell) appear, at times, to be a little bit behind because we have not spent a lot of time to explain the drills that the other guys already know. To those credit, they have continued to play and compete.
"I think our core seniors have come back in better shape. Je'Kel (Foster) is more athletic this year. James (Sullinger) is in great shape. He's able to continue to go. Terence (Dials) is in great shape, maybe the best shape of his career here. And Matt Sylvester is stronger and seems to be doing well."