Provo • After the Cougars downed San Diego 74-57 at the Marriott Center on Saturday night, BYU coach Dave Rose was awarded the game ball by athletic director Tom Holmoe in a brief ceremony at center court.
A few seconds later, Rose quickly tossed the ball to another athletic department official, as if to signal that he was ready to move on.
The reason for the celebration was that Rose picked up his 200th career victory in front of 17,281 fans, becoming the second coach at the school to get to that milestone. Stan Watts had 371 career wins.
"I am glad we got it, so we can move on and not have to talk about it for a while," Rose said in his postgame interview.
Of course, his first try for 200 came up just 2.5 seconds short against Saint Mary's on Wednesday when the Gaels snatched the victory with a buzzer-beater.
Senior Brandon Davies, who bounced back with a 17-point effort, along with seven rebounds, after struggling against SMC, said the players didn't talk much about getting Rose the big win, but acknowledged it was something they wanted to make happen as quickly as possible.
"We just try and go get that next win, and get that loss off our backs," Davies said. "In the locker room, we kinda celebrated a little bit. It is a big deal. It is a big deal for coach we are all proud of him. But at the same time, we got a lot more games ahead of us."
Another senior, Brock Zylstra, said Rose could have been down on the players after the Saint Mary's loss, but instead focused on the positives.
"The first day [after the loss], we came in here all a little upset," Zylstra said. "Of course, we were not in the best of spirits. But we really got after it and we practiced hard yesterday, and our shootaround today before the game was great. Everybody was locked in, so we were ready to get this win, get that loss off our backs."
Rose's record is now 200-59, and his winning percentage of .771 is the best in school history.
"There are so many people that are responsible for [the wins]," Rose said. "I guess it is interesting that one guy gets the credit, because I have had so many great coaches here. Like I said, the players are terrific. They are committed and obviously they are really talented guys, and they play for each other and I think way more about the players, who have been here, and the chemistry that has been on these teams, more than we think about the wins."
Getting 201 is going to be "a challenge," Rose said. Next up for the 15-5 Cougars is a game Thursday in Spokane against No. 8 Gonzaga.