ESPN does a lot of games, every night of the week. Anytime we can be on ESPN, in front of a national audience, we’re going to take that game. —BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe
LOS ANGELES — By now, BYU is used to late-night tipoffs.
The Cougars played at 9 p.m., MST, for the fifth time this season, Thursday night at Gersten Pavilion against Loyola Marymount.
BYU is scheduled to play twice more at 9 p.m. in the regular season on Feb. 8 against Santa Clara in Provo and on Feb. 22 at Portland.
Last week, athletic director Tom Holmoe acknowledged that late tipoffs are “a tough thing,” particularly for some fans.
But Holmoe said it’s a trade-off.
“ESPN does a lot of games, every night of the week,” he said. “Anytime we can be on ESPN, in front of a national audience, we’re going to take that game.”
Thursday's game wasn't on an ESPN platform, but the Cougars end up in their share of late-night contests.
For coach Dave Rose, the issue is the inconsistency of the tipoff times.
“I would much rather play early, personally, than late. Here at BYU, with the coverage that we have with BYUtv, it doesn’t really matter when we’re going to play, we’re going to be on a station that basically everybody can watch,” Rose said. “For us, we deal with (being) the only one (in the West Coast Conference) out of the time zone. The whole league is in the Pacific (Time) Zone and we’re in the Mountain We’re supposed to be so excited for the ESPN contract. We are and I am. But I think BYUtv does a great job of covering us, too.”
ROSE’S FUTURE: During an hour-long interview session with Holmoe last week, he was asked about his relationship with Rose.
“Dave Rose and I have a very unique relationship in that I trust him. I trust him so much that I’m not the sport administrator over basketball. (Associate AD) Brian Santiago is,” Holmoe said. “It works. For 13 years, it has worked that I don’t do day-to-day with Dave. But on any given day, we can start to talk.”
Three years ago, Rose signed a five-year deal that will keep him with the Cougars through the 2019-20 season.
For now, Holmoe said he is not concerned about Rose’s contract situation.
“I think that I’m well aware of where he’s at,” Holmoe said. “This has been a very good, resurging year. Dave is in a position where, between the two of us, we’ll discuss that time when the time comes. But it’s not now.”
NIXON’S RETURN: BYU sophomore Dalton Nixon has returned to action after sitting out 11 games with a foot injury.
“His energy and physical presence are good, his ability to actually make plays when they’re there,” Rose said. “He’s missing some stuff but it has nothing to do with his heart or his mind. It just has to do with the feel of the game. He hadn’t played for a long time. He just needs more minutes and more reps. But he’s helping our team. We’re really glad to have him back.”