The rivalry between BYU and Gonzaga has been an intense one. And although the Gonzaga men’s basketball team has owned a 22-7 record over the Cougars overall during their time in the West Coast Conference, there have been plenty of times BYU has gotten the better of one of the perennial NCAA Tournament teams.
But this season, the Cougars and Bulldogs will meet for the final two times before BYU heads to the Big 12. Thursday is the first of those games, and it’ll be in front of a likely full-to-the-brim Marriott Center crowd.
Gonzaga star Drew Timme recently gave his thoughts on playing BYU for the last time at the Marriott Center, and his words did not disappoint on multiple levels.
“The ROC is awesome, man. It’s one of the best places to play,” Timme told a local reporter, referring to BYU’s student section called The Roar of the Cougar and ROC for short. “All their fans are psycho and crazy. It’s great. It’s a special place.”
Timme added that even though BYU is leaving the conference, he hopes home-and-home matchups will continue “just because it is so fun to play in.”
Timme also gave a glimpse into what the on-court dynamic might be on Thursday.
“There’s going to be no love lost between the two, and that’s what makes it so special,” he said.
The ROC is known around the country for its raucous behavior. The students keep track of missed opponent free throws when players face their section, and they also hold up various signs and memes to distract them. They also have two large, blue inflatable arm dancers nicknamed the “Blues Brothers.”
Timme is expecting the heckles to rain down on him and his teammates, but did seem pleased about one thing Gonzaga may not hear due to BYU’s affiliation with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“At least there won’t be any cuss words from them, so that’ll be nice,” Timme said with a chuckle.