TOWSON, Md. - Where did the floor go?
That is a question visitors have been asking lately when they enter the Towson Center main arena and discover the hardwood basketball floor is missing.
Director of Athletics Mike Waddell knows exactly where it is.
"We've had the floor since late 1997 and even though it has undergone refinishing in the past, it's never had a major overhaul," Waddell said. "It was important for the structural integrity of the floor that we do this overhaul during the summer so that it is in top flight condition for the fall when volleyball reports for preseason camp."
New head men's basketball coach Pat Skerry says that having a new look on the playing surface has been a discussion item with the new recruits that the program has signed since his arrival in April.
"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 www.TigerArena.com 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."
Senior Associate Director of Athletics Mike Harris added that "we've worked with Rick Pallansch and our University Design Center over the last couple months to create a design for the floor and have contracted Master Care Flooring, Inc. out of Baltimore to bring it to life. The floor is in a warehouse in the Brooklyn/Curtis Bay area where it is being worked on now."
Harris mentioned the floor will reflect a new vision when it returns to the Towson Center and as the program moves towards the new Tiger Arena in 2013-14.
"We're applying watermark tiger stripes to the playing surface along with new baseline logos and the new 'Tiger Paw' mark at the scorer's table," Harris said. "This floor will be a signature element for the venue and a statement Towson community regarding the new direction that our volleyball and basketball teams are heading."
The project will take 500 man hours to complete. Eight gallons of paint and 62 gallons of finish will be used on the 225 panels that make up the 60-ft. wide by 120-ft. long (7,200 square feet) playing surface.
The floor was christened on November 24, 1997 when the Tigers played host to the University of Michigan. The Wolverines won, 75-72, before the largest crowd (5,086) to witness any event in the 35-year history of the Towson Center.
Towson point guard Marlin Wise nailed a three-pointer with eight seconds to play to pull Mike Jaskulski's Tigers to within one, 73-72. However, Robbie Reid sealed it for the Wolverines with two free throws with five seconds remaining that held off the upset-minded Tigers, who led 37-32 at halftime.
As progress on the floor continues, check back to the photo gallery above for additional images.