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BYU basketball team experiences earthquake on 1st out-of-state road trip in more than a month

SAN FRANCISCO — This week marks BYU’s first games outside of the state of Utah since the end of November, when the Cougars played a pair of non-conference teams in Brooklyn, New York — and this road trip to the West Coast coincided with a magnitude-4.4 earthquake that hit the Bay Area.

At 2:39 Thursday morning, hours before BYU’s game against San Francisco at War Memorial Gym, an earthquake was felt by an estimated 9.8 million people who could reported “weak, light or moderate shaking,” according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Only minor damages were reported.

BYU basketball spokesman Kyle Chilton said the quake woke him at 2:40 a.m., saying it shook his bed at the hotel where the Cougars stayed, the JW Marriott Union Square in San Francisco.

“I figured it was an earthquake but checked Twitter to make sure,” Chilton said. “I don’t know that any of (the players or coaches) woke up. Most I’ve talked to said they slept through it.”

Did coach Dave Rose look forward to getting back on the road after not leaving the state for more than a month?

“I don’t know if it’s that you look forward to it. But the next eight weeks, we’re going to be out there four or five of them. We have to go out there and win,” Rose said. “Usually, if you play well, you win. The most important thing for this group of guys right now is to see how we respond to last weekend and continually improve and get better. I think our team is much improved from when we started in November. We improved all through December, and, hopefully, we continue to improve all through January.”

‘WEIRD’ STUFF AT WAR MEMORIAL GYM: BYU forward Yoeli Childs, who scored 23 points in his first game at USF last year, said War Memorial Gym is different from other places he’s played.

“It’s interesting. One of the things I remember is a lounge box area upstairs. It was funny before the game seeing guys up there drinking,” Childs said. “It’s not your typical basketball environment, but it’s definitely a fun place to play.

“There’s one weird thing about that place. The weirdest thing ever,” Childs added. “After the game, we have the same shower as the other team. That can make a headline. It’s really weird. We were all in there last time.”

When a reporter said he had never heard of two teams sharing a shower area, Childs replied, “Me neither.”