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For BYU's Haws, scoring ability, mid-range game started at church gym with his dad

Published: Monday, March 3 2014 6:30 p.m. MST

“We’ve chuckled over the years because our church has a ‘mid-range’ gym,” Marty said. “That’s what we call it. So many churches have small courts. The corners don’t go out to 3-point range. I don’t know how much that has played into it, but that’s where we practiced a lot.”

Former BYU player Mark Durrant, a color commentator on KSL Radio, compares Tyler to his older brother, Devin Durrant, who is No. 4 all-time in scoring at BYU.

“They’re both kind of mid-range guys,” Durrant said. “They’re at their best at about 15 feet. That’s their sweet spot. They make very difficult things look effortless. Just their ability to create space and get a shot off where no one else can, then make the shot, is really amazing to watch.”

During a five-game stretch from late January to early February, beginning with a career-high 48-point outburst at Portland, Haws poured in 170 points, an average of 34 points per game.

“Many times, you get to the end of a game and you don’t notice he has 20 points, or he has a ‘quiet’ 30,” Marty said.

Cougar guard Kyle Collinsworth has learned a lot from Tyler’s approach to the game. “He watches game film, he takes care of his body,” he said. “He’s just really good at doing the little things. That’s what separates him from everybody else.”

Haws has scored in double figures in 44 consecutive games, which is sixth-best in BYU history.

Last month, BYU coach Dave Rose hinted that some people might be taking for granted Haws’ scoring ability.

“The reason we take him for granted is because of Jimmer Fredette, and what we saw a few years ago,” said former Cougar Jeff Chatman, who was Marty Haws’ teammate at BYU in the 1980s. “Jimmer was really flashy. He shot a lot of NBA threes. He carried the team to a Sweet 16. Following Jimmer, it’s a tough act to follow. But when all things are said and done, they’re going to see that Tyler is one of the greatest players ever to play (at BYU). If he stays healthy, and continues on the pace that he’s on, I’ll put him in the top 3 with Jimmer and (Danny) Ainge.”

Ainge was BYU’s top all-time leading scorer until Fredette came along.

“Ainge’s record lasted for so long, and Jimmer came 30 years later,” Chatman said. “You think that the next time you’d see it would be a long time from now. That’s pretty incredible that we could have two players like that in one generation.”

Of course, the way Haws scores differs from Fredette’s style.

“Most of his game is based on the mid-range. He doesn’t shoot a lot of threes, but his 3-point percentage is really good,” Chatman said. “He gets to the free-throw line a lot, and he shoots a very high percentage. The mid-range game, and free throws, is where he gets most of his points.”

When games are close in the waning moments, there’s nobody BYU would rather have at the line than Haws, who is an 87 percent free-throw shooter.

“He’s always been really good for us in closing out games,” Rose said.

Besides his willingness to work, what impresses observers about Haws is the way he fights through screens, double teams and physical defense to get open for his shot.

“What he does on the court is fun for me to watch,” said BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe. “Watch him while you can, and enjoy every move he makes. Most of the time, I just watch him trying to rub people off and seeing people grab him and claw him and bump him and give him a hip check and all of those things. And he just keeps going like the Energizer Bunny. He just keeps going. It’s a physical war for that kid to play a full game.”

It’s enough to drive a mother crazy.

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