Following a big win over Weber State, the BYU men’s basketball team will head north to Salt Lake City to face off against the rival Utah Utes, their third game against an in-state opponent this season.
“I think you just get excited about an emotional rivalry game even if the two teams aren’t in the same conference,” BYU head coach Dave Rose said. “The preparation for this game feels pretty similar to previous years and we are excited to go up and play.”
As a former member of the Utah basketball program, junior guard Craig Cusick will bring extra emotion into the game. Cusick is coming off a season best game in which he dished out a career-best eight assists vs. Weber State.
“I think going back to your old school to play against some of your old buddies and coaches really gives you an added energy,” Cusick said. “I had a great opportunity and a great time at Utah but I am here now and am very excited for Saturday’s game.”
Although Cusick will be returning to his former school, he will not see many familiar faces on the court. There have been several changes in the Utah program since Cusick transferred, but he is familiar with at least one member of his former team.
“David Foster was my roommate when I was at Utah,” Cusick said. “Unfortunately, I think he is injured right now, so he won’t get to play. But I will still go into this game with a little extra emotion and will be ready to play.”
BYU will face the Utes Saturday at the Huntsman Center, with tipoff scheduled for 12 p.m. MST. The tipoff is the earliest of the season for the Cougars, who will be looking for their fourth-straight win.