If I’m a coach, I wouldn’t let him touch the ball. I’d make sure I’d put two guys on him to take him out of his rhythm and make him pass the ball to slow him down. —Jackson Emery, former BYU guard
PROVO — Former BYU star Jackson Emery is known as one of the best defensive players in Cougar basketball history.
Emery is the school’s all-time leader in steals and played a big role in BYU's Sweet 16 run in 2011.
Current BYU star Tyler Haws, the West Coast Conference Player of the Year, is No. 3 in the country in scoring, averaging 23.5 points per game. He’s No. 6 all time at BYU in scoring.
So, if given the chance, how would Emery defend Haws?
“There’s a couple of things I would do. I would not let him catch the ball,” Emery said. “The hardest thing about defending Jimmer (Fredette) was he was a point guard. He always had the ball in his hands. You had to deny him the whole court. With Tyler, he depends on someone to give him the ball. If I’m a coach, I wouldn’t let him touch the ball. Tyler’s a great scorer, a decent passer. I’d make sure I’d put two guys on him to take him out of his rhythm and make him pass the ball to slow him down.”
There are some who have criticized Haws because while he’s scored 678 points, he has dished out only 43 assists.
KSL color commentator, and former Cougar, Mark Durrant said that such criticism is nonsense.
“If anything, I want Tyler to shoot more. He doesn’t shoot enough in my opinion,” Durrant said. “He shoots such a high percentage, he needs to shoot more. If my entire offense is working to get Tyler the ball, the last thing I want is when I get him the ball is for him to pass it. If he was shooting 30 shots a game, it would be different. But he’s not taking away from what other players are doing — he’s helping them because he draws such a focus on him. Everyone else is getting their shots.
"When you have one of the best shooters and scorers in the country, and you’re running him off 10 screens in a possession to get him the ball, the last thing you want him to do is pass it. If he has five assists in a game, that’s a bigger concern for me because he’s passing it too much. He needs to shoot it as much as he possibly can.”
NEW HOOPS FACILITY?: Athletic director Tom Holmoe told reporters last week that there is an effort behind the scenes to build a new basketball practice facility.
Why would such a building be important for the program?
“Mainly just for the improvement of the players,” said coach Dave Rose. “Players all have separate routines that they go through. At one time, you played when your team practiced. We’re far past those days. Kids love to have a place to work on their own, around their schedule. That’s probably the most important thing.”
PLAYER OF THE YEAR HONORS: Haws was not only named the WCC’s Player of the Year, but he was also named to the All-WCC team for the second consecutive season.
Haws is the fourth BYU player to earn player of the year accolades under Rose.
Keena Young was the Mountain West Conference Player of the Year in 2007, Lee Cummard was the MWC’s Player of the Year in 2008 and Fredette was the MWC Player of the Year in 2011.