Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
BYU assistant coach Mark Pope looks out at the crowd during a time-out as the Cougars play San Francisco Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013.

NEW YORK — BYU assistant coach Mark Pope is right at home in the Big Apple.

Pope spent the 2002-03 season on injured reserve with the New York Knicks, and knows New York City well.

So much so that he's been the unofficial tour guide for the Cougars during their two trips here this season.

"Pope loves this place," said BYU forward Brandon Davies. "It's crazy how much he knows about this place. He's kind of been our tour guide here. He and his wife love it here and they've told us the best places to eat, giving us directions."

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BYU faces Baylor on Tuesday in the semifinals of the National Invitation Tournament at Madison Square Garden.

"He can't wait to step foot in that gym again," Davies said.

"He's talked to us a little bit about (Madison Square Garden)," said guard Tyler Haws. "He always tells us New York Knicks stories and talks about NBA players. All the guys know the history of that place and we're excited to play there."

"He's talked about it to us a little bit, but he said it's something you have to experience for yourself," Davies said.