FILE — The Marriott Center on the Brigham Young University campus in Provo is pictured on Wednesday March 11, 2020.

The Marriott Center on the Brigham Young University campus in Provo is pictured on Wednesday March 11, 2020. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the Cougars have been playing home games in front of small groups of family and close friends.

From a young age, Caleb Lohner began attending BYU basketball games at the Marriott Center with thousands of rabid fans cheering and screaming.

But due to the ongoing pandemic, during his freshman season the 6-foot-8 forward has been playing home games in front of small groups of family and close friends. It’s been that way for almost all the road games as the traditional “home court advantage” around the country has been neutralized.

So what was Lohner’s reaction when the school announced Monday that “a limited number of spectators” would be allowed to attend this weekend’s games Thursday against San Francisco and Saturday against Saint Mary’s?

“I was stoked, man. I grew up going to BYU games. So this year, playing for BYU, there’s no one in the stands. It’s quiet,” he said. “It’s not the same energy in the gym. I know it’s only 2,000 people but from what we’ve played with all year, it’s going to feel like the gym’s full. It’s going to be really exciting. I’m super pumped. Everyone’s really excited.”

Coach Mark Pope revealed that 1,750 fans will be permitted to attend these two games — including Senior Night on Saturday — marking the Cougars’ final two home contests, and the final two regular-season games.

Senior grad transfer Matt Haarms came to BYU last spring hoping to play in front of huge crowds at the Marriott Center. That hasn’t happened, of course. Haarms said he and his teammates are looking forward to receiving a boost of energy from those …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

      

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