The Marriott Center named one of the best road trip destinations in college basketball

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The Marriott Center has been nominated as one of the “Best Road Trip Destinations in College Basketball,” an award presented by Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

The Top-10 venues in this competition were nominated based on how fun and unique they are during NCAA basketball games. Other aspects that contributed to determining the finalists were location, energy, atmosphere and more, according to a news release.

Other finalists include the College of Charleston, Creighton University, Harding University, Indiana University, University of Arizona, University of Memphis, West Virginia University, Wichita State University and Xavier University.

Co-sponsor GEICOs, on their Facebook page, also provides pictures, videos and short descriptions for each of the finalists to showcase their venues.

It was not hard for the BYU men’s basketball team to believe the Marriott Center’s great reputation. The team has been to countless venues, and the Marriott Center still sticks out in the players’ minds.

“When this place is full, it’s as tough to play as anywhere in the country,” sophomore guard Tyler Haws said. “Our fans are awesome. I definitely believe it’s one of the top places to play.”

In BYU’s description on GEICO’s Facebook page, the student section, or the ROC (Roar of Cougars), is given credit for a lot of the high energy in the Marriott Center. Dedicated ROC member David Hodges, an international relations major, has seen the effects the students can have on opposing teams.

“The Marriott Center is a loud and crazy place to play,” Hodges said. “I’ve noticed a couple times during the second half where the other team starts off slow because they’re not really prepared for what’s coming.”

The ROC doesn’t want to be just another student section. The second-half impact Hodges mentioned is the effect the ROC wants to have on the game.

“In the student section, we’re a part of the game, a part of the team,” Hodges said. “I like the impact that we have on games.”

Senior forward Brandon Davies said the fans are not only there to be obnoxious to the other team. He recognizes the edge the students give him and his teammates.

“They’re behind us offensively and defensively,” Davies said. “We love them. We build off of their energy.”

BYU men’s basketball Head Coach Dave Rose has many reasons to love the Marriott Center. The Cougars have won 93 percent of the games at home since Rose has been the head coach, and he says the fans share in that success.

“I think that the fans here are just so involved,” Rose said. “Our students are 100 percent supportive of the team. If you can get some excitement and energy into the building, it’s a tough place to play.”

Dedicated students feel accomplished when they hear Rose and the players speak fondly of the efforts of the ROC.

“We’re trying to help the team,” Hodges said.

People are encouraged to vote once a day for their favorite destination on Facebook.com/BestofCollegeBasketball every day until Jan 25. The winner will be determined solely through votes.

The winner of the best road trip destination contest will be featured during the Best of College Basketball television special on April 6 on CBS.

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