Antoine Young couldn’t believe his eyes.
He watched Oregon play a home game on TV, and like pretty much everyone who has seen the court at Matthew Knight Arena which opened in January, the star Creighton guard was taken aback. A pretty unique floor, huh, Antoine?
“Yeah,” he said with emphasis before practice on Tuesday. “Watching it on TV, it kind of looks a little weird. I’m interested to see how it looks in person.”
Think the Boise State football stadium’s “Smurf Turf” is strange? When the Bluejays try to sweep the best-of-three College Basketball Invitational championship series against the Ducks on Wednesday night, they’ll be doing it on a floor that displays a brown and tan silhouette of a fir tree forest.
The out of bounds lines also are difficult to see, and so is the line at midcourt. It’s practically invisible on the tube.
“But it’s a basketball floor so eventually we’ll get used to it,” Young said. “The lines look a little different but it should be alright.”
Young said he has bigger issues with Oregon than an odd-looking court. Guard Johnathan Loyd in particular.
When Oregon made a late push in the second half on Monday night at the Qwest Center, it was due in part to Loyd’s defense. Creighton couldn’t get into an offensive rhythm as Loyd hounded Young, the team’s floor general. Wouldn’t even let Young catch the ball at times.
Young, who finished with nine points and eight assists in the Bluejays’ 84-76 win, called Loyd “super quick.” But Young added that the Creighton guards have a rare edge in their matchup against him. That’s right, the 6-foot Young and his backcourt teammates, considered on the wee side themselves, are hulks compared to Loyd.
The freshman, who had 10 points and five assists before fouling out in game one, is 5-foot-8. Young said Creighton’s guards would be best served using their muscle against him.
“A lot of our guards, I never thought we’d have a size advantage but we have a size advantage on him,” said Young, who has 35 assists and just four turnovers in four CBI games. “I think we need to use our size and expect that it’s going to be physical. … We know it’s going to be a physical game, they know it’s going to be a physical game. I’m just ready to play it.”