Hundreds of Aggie students camp out in anticipation for rivalry game

LOGAN – There has been no shortage of excitement for Tuesday night’s Aggie basketball game against BYU. Even though tipoff isn’t scheduled until 7 p.m. Tuesday night, students started filling the Wayne Estes Center Monday afternoon to wait for a chance at the best seats.

“We were told we could hold up to 1,200 in here so we’re still climbing to that mark,” USU Student Association Athletics and Campus Director Dallin Laird said.

By 10 p.m. Monday night, 665 students had checked in for the campout. More showed up throughout the night.

Those that spent the night received wristbands and will be let into the arena before those who didn’t. The Aggie students made the most of their overnight stay in the volleyball arena. Some studied, some ordered pizzas, some played video games and others watched movies on the Estes Center’s scoreboard screen.

“We’re trying to build the atmosphere and excitement for tomorrow’s game,” Laird said. “Just letting people camp out today up until tomorrow afternoon, hang out have a good time, watch some movies.”

The spectating students aren’t the only ones anticipating the game. All but four of the players on USU’s roster are experiencing the rivalry for the first time. The last time BYU visited Logan was November 2011, before any current member of Aggie basketball team was on the roster.

“The environment will be new to a lot of our guys,” head coach Stew Morrill said.

“Great crowd, great in-state rivalry. The rivalry has been around forever. Go enjoy yourself and play hard and do everything you can to try and get a ‘W’.”

The game is the oldest basketball rivalry in the state. Tuesday’s matchup will be 231st meeting between the two teams. BYU has won the last two games but Utah State has won the last six played in Logan.

“I’ve played them for a long, long time,” Morrill said. “They’re always scary. They’re always really talented offensively.”

Morrill described the Cougars as being “well coached” and said they have a lot of high-profile recruits playing.

“They fly up and down the court and it’s hard to simulate, cause it’s not the way we play,” he said. “It’s hard to simulate in your preparation how fast they’re going to run the ball at us.”

Laird was confident Utah State’s student section the HURD will be ready to go.

“The great thing about the HURD and this student section is we’re just so creative and in sync at the same time,” he said. “Something comes up and everybody gets behind it and cheers it. I’m sure there will be a lot of that. Hopefully it’s all kept on a somewhat clean basis.”

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