Los Angeles • BYU’s game at Loyola Marymount on Thursday, a 9 p.m. MST tipoff, was not the first late tip for the Cougars this season, and it won’t be the last.
Blame it on TV, which sets the tipoff times. BYU coach Dave Rose said he’s not a big fan of the late starts, but he’s learned to live with them as the only West Coast Conference team outside of California, Oregon and Washington.
“As a coach you would really like consistency of the times,” he said. “I would much rather play early, personally, than late. Here at BYU, with the coverage we have with BYUtv, it doesn’t matter really when we are going to play, we are going to play on a station that basically everybody can watch if they want.”
Saturday’s rematch of BYU’s upset of No. 1-ranked Gonzaga last season tips off at 8 p.m. MST and will be televised by ESPN2.
“I will probably get [in trouble for saying this], but I dunno, we are supposed to yield and be so excited for the ESPN contract, and we are, and I am,” Rose said. “But I think BYUtv does a great job of covering our stuff, too. And the time consistency would be really nice for an old guy like me.”
BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said last week that the exposure ESPN provides outweighs the inconsistent and late tipoff times.
Holmoe conceded that the BYU-Loyola Marymount game in Provo on Jan. 18 that tipped at 9 p.m. local time was rough on fans and teams alike.
“You could notice that there were a number of people that were missing,” Holmoe said. “I think some of our older clientele, fans, just couldn’t make it. … That night, we were behind St. Mary’s and Gonzaga. And we are just not going to bump them. So that was a night where we could either be on ESPN at 9, or not. Some people say not, that we should just be on BYUtv.”
Yoeli’s bench salute
Forward Yoeli Childs entered Thursday’s game with 44 dunks this season, after 34 last season. After some of his dunks, Childs will look to BYU’s bench and tap his head in what looks like a salute of some sort.
“The dudes on the bench always do that, if I get a dunk,” Childs said. “They say, ‘on his head.’ So, I give it back to them every once in a while. Those are my guys.”
Three veteran officials — Bob Staffen, Randy McCall and Larry Spaulding — officiated Thursday’s game. McCall was also the lead official in BYU’s 82-67 win over Loyola Marymount in Provo two weeks ago. … Elijah Bryant hit a 3-pointer two minutes into the game and has made at least one 3-pointer in every game this season.