For several new Cougars, it was their first official practice since joining Coach Rose’s program. One such new Cougar was freshman Tyler Haws. And while Haws may be a new sight out on the Marriott Center court, he’s certainly not an unfamiliar face to anyone that’s followed Utah prep basketball in recent years.
Prior to coming to BYU, Haws helped lead his Lone Peak High School team to two state titles, and became only the second player ever to be named Mr. Basketball in the state of Utah twice. Those certainly seem like the credentials of someone that can have an impact at the Division I level, a level that Haws is currently adjusting to.
“I think it’s just bigger, faster, stronger,” said Haws when asked about the difference between playing in high school and at the college level. “I was able to go to a few camps back east before my senior year, and it is, it’s just a fast-paced type of play. And I think that’s one of the biggest differences from high school is just bigger athletes, and there’s stuff you can get away with in high school [that] you can’t get away with here. You really have to know your game and know the ways you can contribute.”
Making Haws’ first official practice at BYU all the more unique was the fact that his parents were on hand to watch him play.
“It’s really cool having them here. I’m kinda used to having my dad in the stands wherever I go, so it was kind of neat to have him up there and look up at him every once in a while.”
Haws’ dad, of course, was one of those familiar faces among the Cougar basketball alumni grouped together on Friday. Marty Haws was a basketball star at BYU in the 80s and beginning of the 90s, and now Tyler has the opportunity to follow in his sneakers.
“With my dad playing here I’ve grown up coming to games ever since I was little, and so it’s nice being so close to home and kind of having that connection and being able to have my family come to games,” said Haws. “But I didn’t really come here ‘cause my dad came here. I mean, there’s so many things I love about this university, and so it’s been cool.”
With Cougar star Lee Cummard having moved on, other players will have an increased opportunity to contribute at the three spot this season. Haws is among those players, and expressed optimism when asked if he felt good about his chances to contribute as a true freshman.
“Yeah, I think so. I mean, you just gotta come in every day with the right mentality, ready to compete and just learn every day from the guys that have been here. I think if I learn every day a little bit, and try and get better every day, I think I have a good chance.”
Not lost on Haws as he was being recruited was the fact that, under Coach Rose, a number of players have had the opportunity to contribute as true freshmen. That includes Lee Cummard, Jackson Emery, Jonathan Tavernari, Chris Collinsworth, Jimmer Fredette and Charles Abouo, among others.
“Yeah, that was kind of interesting to me, seeing that Coach Rose gives you chances, and so I’m ready to help any way I can.”