Dick Harmon: BYU basketball: Like father, like sons when it comes to BYU's Haws hoops pipeline
Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News
If you're a father who's played the game and you've got a pair of sons who are definitely making a footprint in basketball as big if not bigger than yours, you'd have to be proud.
Marty Haws, is all that, but he's also humble about it.
He's not a promoter, bragger, capitalizer or media manipulating parent. What he is, however, is a father with great knowledge of the game, and he's one who took the time and effort to imprint in his sons exactly what it takes to play basketball at the highest level.
"I've had my time, this is their time," said the former BYU guard whose lightning quickness stunned many a defender back in the days he played for Roger Reid.
Now his oldest, Tyler Haws, is back from an LDS mission, preparing to rejoin Dave Rose's squad. His other son T.J., just finished an outstanding run in AAU summer basketball with Utah Reign, where he turned a lot of heads with his smart play and skills. Like his father and brother, he plans on playing for BYU with fellow Lone Peak stars Nick Emery and Eric Mika.
T.J. is part of a small army of extremely talented LDS high school basketball players BYU is or has been chasing until they commit, including the country's No. 1 high school player, 6-foot-8 Jabari Parker of Chicago.
Rose recently offered Orem's 6-8 junior Dalton Nixon and 6-9 Brekkott Chapman with the Utah Pump N Run and Utah Hoops. They've also been courting 6-9 Payton Dastrup, who is ranked in the Top 50 nationally. BYU has also offered Wisconsin prep center Luke Worthington.
The Haws boys are known for their work ethic. It isn't unusual to see Tyler spend several sessions a day in practice, including a couple of hours at the crack of dawn. Marty is lucky to have sons who buy into this and love it. The rest just follows.
T.J. is a 6-4 point guard whose ball-handling skills and heady play stand out to college scouts because he plays like a college player right now.
"His game is built for the next level," says Marty.
"He's always had an instinct and a feel for the game. He's a thinking player who has always got his eyes on everything around him, the defense and his teammates."
Marty then said something I haven't heard many people describe about a high school player, let alone many college guards.
"It's a rare thing and hard to describe," Marty said of his younger son, "but he plays ahead (of the present)."
T.J. has great anticipation as he sees defenders and his teammates on the floor. He's very good at making decisions based on what he perceives to be coming at him. Thus he's been labeled a "wizard."
"He makes plays, he's a good teammate. He is a scoring threat but takes what the defense gives him," Marty said.
Back in his day, Marty Haws was a sprinter with a basketball. His explosive speed off the dribble quickly broke down defenders and his go-to move was an attack at the basket off a drive. His quickness surprised opponents.
"He moves like me," Marty said of T.J. "He's really fast and pushes the ball in transition. He keeps his head up and is always a scoring threat. He makes easy passes to his teammates."
T.J. has been groomed to play point guard, shooting guard or small forward. He must get stronger but is wiry strong, long and tough and keeps defenders off balance.
"He has things to work on but you can see it," Marty said. "He's got a good chance to be pretty good."
Eric Daniels, the national recruiting analyst for Foxsports.com, named T.J. Haws and Mika two of the top six players at the 64-team Milwaukee NY2LA Tournament just over a week ago.
Kellon Hassenstab of NBCsports calls Haws "a wizard who can score."
This attention to Haws has come on the heels of similar recognition for teammate Emery, a consensus Top 100 player, who has had eyes on him for several summers of AAU play because of his athleticism and deep range.
Mika, who sat out this past year due to a UHSAA transfer rule from a private school, is also steeped in summer accolades the past month. He's physical, strong, and fearlessly defends the post. Observers watching him play gym ball against BYU varsity players in July said there is no drop off when he's on the floor.
All these BYU-bound prospects will get plenty of opportunities to show their wares at the highest level at Lone Peak this winter. Quincy Lewis' squad will embark on what may one of the toughest high school schedules in state history with trips to national tournaments in Florida, Boston (ESPN) and Milwaukee and will have a rematch with state champion Orem in a December national tournament hosted by the Tigers.
Marty calls this opportunity to go against such highly talented teams from around the nation a tremendous, unique experience. "(T.J.) should be gracious just for the chance."
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