Another Week, Another Big Game

Last Saturday's game against UNLV was not only impressive because of the dominant performance of the Cougars, but also because of the huge crowd at the Marriott Center and the excitement surrounding the game. Now, with Utah coming to town, there will be a similarly charged atmosphere, and - Cougar fans hope - a similarly dominant showing by the home team.

Total Blue Sports recently caught up with Coach Rose after a practice session and picked his brain. Here's what he had to share:

- Saturday's game against UNLV featured the biggest home crowd of the season, and the atmosphere and excitement in the building was not lost on Coach Rose. "I think that the environment is as good as anywhere in the country, as far as college basketball is concerned, and that's a great part about playing here at BYU and coaching here at BYU. You have the great fan support and you have people who really care about their sports program, [as does] the administration."

- On what effect huge fan support like that has on the team: "We've had quite a few sellouts [during my years here], and I think the most important thing is as a coach and as players is that when you do get an atmosphere like that, you want to play well."

- Despite his admiration of the atmosphere at games like the UNLV game, Coach Rose sadly has no plans to follow the lead of Louisville coach Rick Pitino and wear an all-white suit the next time the school organizes a white-out.

- When asked if there were several particular arenas around the country that have impressed Rose more than any others, Rose gave props to his conference neighbors. He commented on how great most of the Mountain West Conference's arenas can be, having been in them when they are full and loud. He said that those are the arenas that the team worries about the most, as they are the ones that they experience the most.

- BYU has done a good job of shutting down some of the top scorers in the conference, and in nearly every recent matchup they have managed to virtually take each team's leading scorer out of the game. But, when asked about which player on Utah's squad might be the one that the Cougars will need to focus most on, Coach Rose said there wasn't just one. "They've got a lot of different weapons, and they are not necessarily a one-dimensional team. They've got a lot of different ways they can score: from the perimeter, from the inside, [and] they're good free-throw shooters … The bottom line is that we have to play well, because they're playing real well."

- On the job Coach Boylen has done thus far with the Utes: "I think what they're really doing well right now is they're playing really well together, not only on the offensive end but on the defensive end, and I think they've got a lot of confidence in each other and their ability to make plays … They're a very consistent team defensively. I mean, there's not very many possessions during the game where you get free looks."


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