Roundtable: Northwestern's new court design
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    Kimberly Alters: The basketball administration wanted to get the fans involved way before the season started — just look at the new Welsh-Ryan court. Over the summer, fans could vote on which out of four designs they liked best for the new court by "liking" the pictures on Northwestern Athletics' Facebook page. Do you think things like that show Northwestern's desire to build buzz for its basketball program too? And, of course — what did you think about the option of a purple court, which didn’t ultimately win the competition?

    Stanley Kay: I was 100 percent in support of the purple court. I thought that painting Northwestern's court purple would have added a distinction to the program, other than the fact that the 'Cats are the only major conference team to have never made the NCAA tournament. It would have made Welsh-Ryan Arena a more intimidating place to play — think about the idea of fans wearing purple and blending in with the court. Right now, Welsh-Ryan sometimes feels like an oversized high school gym, especially for games against smaller opponents. Painting the court purple would have made every Northwestern basketball game interesting. And perhaps more importantly it would have developed even further Northwestern's brand of purple as an athletic selling point. While I do think the new design is very cool, I think the purple court was a great idea and somewhat of a missed opportunity.

    Kimberly Alters: Stan, I know some hesitations about the purple court arose simply due to logistics — some thought the three-point line was not visible enough, others mentioned that purple can appear blue on TV. While I think it would have been amazing to have opponents walk in to a gym that is literally purple, I think practicality got in the way.

    Kit Fox: Not having a purple court is an outrage. In the era of Northwestern marketing schemes, like Persa Strong and "Chicago's Big Ten Team," why not do something to get a little more media attention? I'll be the first one holding a picket sign outside the arena that says #ocuupywelshryan. You know what? We should have gone even crazier. Why not have some tie-dye or LED lights or something to spruce up the place?

    Stanley Kay: Northwestern wouldn't be the first school to institute an unusual athletic facility design. Everyone knows about Boise State's famous blue turf, but don't forget about Oregon's basketball court, which features pine trees as part of the hardwood. It looks about as weird as it sounds. Maybe Northwestern should just feature wildcat claw marks on its court, like Oregon features trees on its hardwood. Well, maybe that wouldn't be such a great idea. But purple would have worked nicely in my opinion.

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