It's not often a teenager from Utah has coaches from the ACC and Pac-10 flying in to watch high school basketball games in Utah County.
Then again, Tyler Haws isn't your ordinary player.
The son of Marty Haws, a great player in his day, the Lone Peak junior guard is exactly the type of player college coaches dream about. Not only is the younger Haws blessed athletically, but he's also passionate about winning and works his tail off to achieve it.
His high school coach, Quincy Lewis, first got a glimpse of that passion following a loss in a spring game during Haws' freshman year. In what amounted to a meaningless game, Haws was distraught and in tears afterward, and Lewis knew instantly a unique talent was coming up the ranks.
A year after being named 5A MVP for leading Lone Peak to the state championship, Haws is the 2008 recipient of the Deseret Morning News Mr. Basketball award for once again leading the Knights to a state title.
What can he possibly do for an encore? Plenty. No 5A team has ever won three straight state championships, and Murray's Jeff Johnsen is the only player to be named Mr. Basketball twice in the 22-year history of the award. Haws is right on line to achieve both, and perhaps go down as one of the greatest players in state history.
"I don't know that there's any way you could possibly, legitimately compare kids and teams," said Lewis. "I think what you can see is, in the last five or 10 years, he's one of the better ones who's come through. I think that's as good as you can do."
Haws already has scholarship offers on the table from BYU, Utah, Stanford and Pepperdine, and Lewis said Wake Forest has essentially offered as well. Schools like Marquette and Gonzaga are interested also, and why not? Haws averaged 20.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.5 steals this year, in addition to shooting 56 percent from the field and 83 percent from the line. All of this while playing against gimmick defenses like triangle-and-twos and box-and-ones, not to mention numerous defenders trying the aggressive approach.
With so much success and recognition, Lewis is still impressed with how maturely Haws continues to carry himself.
"He really is such a good kid. He's got his feet on the ground; his parents have done a great job keeping things well grounded," said Lewis.
The process for ultimately determining which college to sign with is pretty simple, yet complicated at the same time. The three most important things to Haws are attending a good academic institution, feeling comfortable with the head coach and coaching staff and playing more of an up-tempo style of game. Finding the perfect balance between the three is ultimately what Haws is looking for.
"I have a lot of confidence in him he can make a good decision for himself," said Marty Haws. "Having said that, I'm involved in the process enough when he has questions we can talk through things. I want him to go through the whole process and figure it out on his own and come to his own conclusion."
Consistency was the name of the game for Haws this past season, as he averaged nearly 21 points, never once scoring more than 29 points. He was also the go-to guy on the rare occasion when Lone Peak was challenged this year.
One such occasion was in double-overtime of the state semifinals against Davis. Haws finished with 25 points, seven of which came in overtime, including the game-winning jumper in the waning seconds.Haws' next challenge during his senior year is defense. He's already a good defender, but becoming a great defender is the next step.
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