LAS VEGAS — Before joining the West Coast Conference, BYU spent plenty of time playing basketball in Sin City, competing in the Mountain West Conference tournament at UNLV's Thomas & Mack Center.
Now, the Cougars are members of the WCC, playing tournament games at the Orleans Arena.
There have been rumors that BYU could return to the MWC, and coach Dave Rose was asked about that speculation this week.
"I haven't heard anything," Rose told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "It's a football decision, and usually when you're the basketball coach, you're the last to know. But no one has talked to me."
Rose added that the school, and its fan base, have found a home in the WCC.
"I haven't heard anyone complain (about the WCC)," Rose said. "The fans appear happy. The excitement and energy level has been good. We had huge crowds for Saint Mary's and for Gonzaga. It's a good fit for us."
LIONS STILL ROARING: Loyola Marymount, the No. 9 seed and the team that won only one WCC regular-season game, has strung together three consecutive wins in this tournament.
The Lions, who defeated No. 4 seed Santa Clara, 60-58, Friday, meet top-seed and No. 1-ranked Gonzaga on Saturday night in the semifinals.
The last team to beat LMU? BYU. The Cougars downed the Lions, 73-70, in the regular-season finale last Saturday.
THREE'S COMPANY: For the second year in a row, BYU earned a No. 3 seed in the WCC tournament.
Going into Friday's games, the No. 3 seed was a perfect 10-0 in the quarterfinals over the last decade of the WCC tournament.
Meanwhile, the No. 3 seed has posted a 1-9 record against the No. 2 seed during that span.
M-V-P: BYU women's basketball coach Jeff Judkins, who guided the Cougars to a 69-57 quarterfinals victory over Loyola Marymount Friday in the WCC tournament, made his case that BYU senior point guard Haley Steed is the conference's most valuable player.
Though Steed made only 1 of 6 shots against the Lions, she recorded five assists and five steals.
"She's the MVP of this league in my book," Judkins said. "If you went and said who would you take on anybody's team, she'd be the first one. (LMU) tried to take her out of the game. They full-court pressed her; they switched everything and didn't let her get shots. The nice thing about Haley is, she let the game come to her."
Gonzaga's Taelor Karr received WCC player of the year honors.
NOTES: Former BYU coach Steve Cleveland (now a broadcaster) and former Utah coach Ray Giacoletti (now a Gonzaga assistant) sat next to each other during the LMU-Santa Clara game. Going into the week, the BYU men's team had compiled an all-time conference tournament record of 28-25. The Cougars haven't won a conference tournament title since 2001. The BYU women's team is a perfect 3-0 all-time in WCC tournament games, dating back to last year's championship run in its inaugural season in the league.
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