According to N&O’s Luke DeCock, new NC State head coach Kevin Keatts is planning to hold more practices in the PNC than usual.
NC State coach Kevin Keatts tells Centennial Authority his team will practice in PNC Arena more often than in the past.
— Luke DeCock (@LukeDeCock) October 5, 2017
Now, this might not seem like huge news, but NC State is one of the few schools out there who don’t routinely practice on their home floor. Home court advantage is not just about the crowd, it’s about familiarity with the rims, familiarity with the backdrop and depth perception of your home court.
NC State practices in the Dail Center on campus. While it’s a beautiful facility and a lot more convenient, it couldn’t be more different than the court at the PNC. For one, the PNC court is the movable squares that get locked together. If you’ve ever played on this type of floor you will realize you get a bit of a different bounce of the ball and a tiny little give on impact. At the Dail Center the hardwoods are permanent and have a harder, sturdier feel.
At the Dail Center you have a wall only about 10 feet behind the basket. At the PNC you have a backdrop of fans. If you have played in both types of facilities you’ll know that shooting with a wall as your backdrop is a little easier. It takes a little less focus, thanks to much less noise or depth in the background.
This seem like small things, but they aren’t. They are the intricacies that give home teams their advantage. NC State has to do a whole lot more planning around hockey and concerts and likely pay a whole lot more money to get the floor in place for practices as well as games, but if State wants to really make sure they are maxing out their home court advantage, it’s something they will need to do and something Keatts is seemingly putting a premium on.