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Scott D. Pierce: Does BYU’s Dave Rose have a future on TV?

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Dave Rose

By Scott D. Pierce

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Mar 25 2012 03:48PM
Updated Mar 26, 2012 09:02AM

It’s not like Dave Rose is looking for a job. He has, after all, won 78 percent of his games as BYU’s basketball coach over the past seven seasons. He’s won 25 games or more six years in a row.

But if he were looking for something outside the coaching business, how about TV? For the second time in three years, Rose stepped in as an analyst for the CBS Sports Network, and he turned in an admirable performance on Thursday and Friday.

He was cool. He was smooth. He was articulate. And, when asked, he had something to say.

People who do this for a living should be so good.

Not surprisingly, the folks at CBS were interested in Rose’s take on the Cougars’ record-setting, come-from-behind win over Iona in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

"People ask me about that game a lot," he said. "They ask how much fun it was. It wasn’t that much fun getting behind 25, I can promise you that."

That was an indication of what was to come from Rose: plain talking and straight shooting that was a breath of fresh air.

In the midst of CBS’ various experts offering detailed analysis of what teams had to do to pull off wins, Rose tossed in, "It’s all about one thing. You’re just trying to figure out a way to advance."

Like every other TV analyst, Rose’s crystal ball sometimes malfunctioned. Looking ahead to the Ohio-North Carolina game, he called Ohio guard D.J. Cooper "phenomenal. He’s a guy who can take big shots, who can make big shots."

Cooper, the Bobcats’ top scorer this season, was 3 of 20 from the field and 1 of 10 from 3-point range. He had 10 points in the overtime loss to the Tar Heels.

But Rose also hit it exactly right at times.

"How amazing is this tournament?" he said. "You take the Big Ten champion [Michigan State] — scores 44 last night. The Big Ten runner-up [Ohio State] scores 81. If they get 81 again tomorrow, I think Syracuse is in trouble."

Ohio State didn’t quite get to 81, but the Buckeyes did score 77. And beat the Orange by seven.

The other thing Rose brought to CBS Sports Network was perspective and experience, both as a coach and as a player. He was part of the 1983 Houston team that finished as runner-up in the NCAA Tournament.

"As a player, that stays with you forever," he said. "That’s a lifelong memory. And I’ll always remember where I was, how we felt."

If Rose ever decides he wants to be a TV analyst, he’s not necessarily a slam dunk, however. We live in a world where Dick Vitale’s histrionics are considered good TV. Where Steve Lappas seems incapable of speaking in a normal tone and shouts at the camera.

I’d much rather listen to Rose.

But only if he decides he’s done coaching.

Email Scott D. Pierce at spierce@sltrib.com.

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