Tyler Haws came to BYU with some big shoes to fill at the small forward position. Heading into the 2009-10 season, the Cougars were going to have a tough time replacing Lee Cummard, a gifted and versatile offensive player. Cummard shot over 53% from the field and 43% from beyond the arc in his career while averaging over 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and leading the team in scoring during his junior and senior seasons. In addition to suceeding a BYU all-time great in Cummard, Haws had to live up to the reputation his father had as a very good BYU basketball player in the late 1980s, scoring over 1,300 points in his career.
Dec 20, 2014; Provo, UT, USA; Brigham Young Cougars guard Tyler Haws (3) goes to the basket against the Stanford Cardinal during the second half at Marriott Center. Brigham Young Cougars won the game 79-70. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports
For the first two games of his career, Haws came off the bench behind Charles Abouo, but was inserted into the starting lineup by the 3rd game of his freshman season. He flourished in a sidekick role next to Jimmer Fredette and Jackson Emery on a top 15 team, showing a remarkable ability to hit mid range jump shots while remaining calm and composed in some very hostile Mountain West Conference road arenas. Despite following in Cummard’s footsteps by shooting well over 50% from the field for most of the season, Haws hit the typical freshman wall in early February. In a 10 game stretch from February 2nd to March 11th, he shot just 33.8% from the field. Luckily, he was able to cap off his season with two efficient double figure scoring games in the NCAA Tournament despite being overshadowed by Jimmer Fredette and Michael Loyd. For the season, Haws finished with an impressive 11.3 points per game average on 49.8% from the field and 91.7% at the free throw line.
Haws left on his two year LDS mission in April 2010, missing out on “Jimmermania” and BYU’s legendary 2010-11 season. When Haws came back to BYU in the summer of 2012, the Cougars were in a new conference and were largely a different team from the Jimmer Fredette era. While an uptick in scoring production from his freshman season was expected, the 21-year old sophomore went beyond expectations by handling a huge load offensively without losing the accuracy on his jump shot and expanding his range. While the team went through some struggles, lacking any consistent scoring outside of Haws and Brandon Davies, Haws was very consistent, and had only one blemish on the entire season. A 1 point, 0/9 shooting effort in a blowout at Gonzaga, that came less than a month after scoring 42 points against Virginia Tech was the only game where Haws struggled on offense. Even though the team did not have the best season defensively, the Cougars still made a run to the NIT semi-finals at Madison Square Garden, and Haws was the major contributor on that run, averaging 27.8 PPG on 55% from the field in the postseason tournament. For the season Haws averaged 21.7 points per game on 48.3% from the field, an outstanding campaign that put him on track to become one of BYU’s all-time greats.
During his junior season, one notable improvement in Haws’ game was his ability to attack the basket and draw fouls. He averaged 7.7 free throw attempts per game, which was more than Jimmer Fredette did in any season during his BYU career. As a result, Tyler’s scoring average bumped up to 23.2 PPG. While he did have some shooting struggles in the early season in losses to Iowa State, Wichita State, Utah, LMU, and Pepperdine, Haws saved his best performances for the month of January, highlighted by a career high 48 points in a triple overtime loss at Portland (thanks Bobby Sharp). In a five game stretch starting with that Portland game, Haws had the best offensive stretch of his career, averaging 33.8 points per game on over 56% from the field. While he cooled off a little bit towards the end of the season, he was still regularly around 20 points, and led BYU to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since Haws returned from his mission as the focal point of the offense. While Kyle Collinsworth’s ACL injury prevented a BYU tournament run, Haws and the Cougars still had a solid end to the season.
While the 2014-15 BYU season had it’s ups and downs to to the lack of a post presence, the same cannot be said for Tyler Haws, who had one of the most consistent seasons of his career. While shooting a higher volume of three pointers than he ever had before, Haws still shot 48% from the floor and had a streak of 10 consecutive 20+ point games, the longest of his career. He may have never had the huge games that allowed Jimmer Fredette to reach national stardom, but Haws got the job done for BYU. He managed to fight through a mid-December ankle sprain against Weber State and only had one bad game as a result. While the Cougars made a similar run in the second half of league play as they had the year before, Haws stayed confident in his game regardless of how the team was doing. Despite an unfortunate second half comeback by Ole Miss in the NCAA tournament first four loss, Haws had a gem in his career finale, scoring 33 points on 13/23 shooting and 5/9 from beyond the arc. He finished the season averaging 22.2 points per game, which was down a point from the year before only because he sacraficed a few minutes per game in BYU’s amazingly deep guard rotation in 2014-15.
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While his quickness and athleticism might be questioned by NBA scouts as he goes through team workouts in the pre-draft process, there is no doubting the success he had in college as a part of a dying breed: mid range jump shooters. But he wasn’t just a shooter, as he shot double-digit free throws in 28 games during his career at BYU. To finish as the all time leading scorer at the school ahead of Fredette and Danny Ainge is a very impressive accomplishment for Haws, who will go down as one of the greats in Cougar history. While he never won an NCAA tournament game in his three years as leading scorer, he did an admirable job even leading BYU to the tournament in years where they had less defensive talent than what Jimmer had during his dominant years. No one is a harder worker than Haws, who will have success in professional basketball wherever he lands. It’s been a long six years since he first donned a Cougar uniform, but every moment where he was on the Marriott Center floor was more than worth watching.