BYU basketball: Coach Dave Rose leads BYU to tournament with a cause
"Those national tournaments are really hard to get into. There's a lot of them," Rose said. "For BYU, we're not eligible to participate in so many of them because their championship games are on Sunday. So you go through those national tournaments and try to find the ones that don't have Sunday play. Your players want to play on a national stage, in these types of tournaments."
This marks the first season that the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, which started in 1995, has been played at the brand-new Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
"This tournament has always been played in Madison Square Garden," Rose said. "I think you're going to see a lot of games that traditionally were played in Madison Square Garden, Brooklyn's going to try to steal away those games. With those two arenas so close together, I think people here are wondering how they'll host all those events. I think our guys are really excited to play at Barclays Center. We would have been excited about the tradition of Madison Square Garden, too."
Like Rose, Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton has a strong connection to cancer, having lost two brothers to the disease.
A few years after his battle with cancer, Rose is "back to normal," Holmoe said. "There is one characteristic that has changed about him, and that is his patience. He is a lot more patient. I think that helps him as a coach."
When he hired Rose eight years ago, Holmoe couldn't have imagined the Cougars achieving an impressive string of 25-win seasons and NCAA Tournament berths.
"What I did know was that he would be successful. He's a basketball guy that has passion," Holmoe said. "He's extremely competitive. There are a lot of those coaches in a lot of sports, but he gets it. He's a great fit at BYU. How did I know that when we hired him? You don't really know that until they become the coach and carry that mantle. But I saw him with the players. All of the players, from the stars to the redshirts, had a great respect for him. You could see that he had a serious side and a light side. And he also has a spiritual side. He doesn't wear it on his sleeve, but the players all know what he's all about. There are no secrets. They know who he is and he doesn't try to stand out too much. He lets the team and players do the talking."
Now, Rose's team has a chance to make a statement at the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
"I feel really privileged that the NABC and the National Cancer Society would allow us to play in the tournament," Rose said. "It's a really prestigious tournament with great history. It's a chance for our players to go back East and play in Brooklyn. I couldn't be happier for our guys and for our staff Obviously, the cause for the tournament is really special to me and our family. Hopefully we can continue to raise funds, bring awareness, and someday we'll have a cure for this thing." Cougars and Seminoles on the air
BYU (2-0) vs. Florida State (1-1) Friday, 5 p.m., M
Coaches vs. Cancer Classic
Radio: 1160 AM, 102.7 FM
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