He is just kind of the perfect program guy at BYU. He's a great example of dedication and hard work on the floor and off the floor. He's a guy who is really just a selfless individual that will help anybody at any time. —BYU coach Dave Rose
PROVO — His career was prolific. He was prolific. But it ended too soon on the plains of Ohio where Tyler Haws took off his BYU uniform for the last time.
In a world that’s fair, the BYU senior should have played one or more games in the NCAA Tournament this week. Just a few more launches of his patented mid-range jumper, rising above a defender and with a lightning release, snapping the bottom of the net with the orange orb.
Like Sir Thomas More, the persona of Tyler Haws is that of a man for all seasons.
Instead, his college career ended in a track meet with Mississippi in the University of Dayton Arena Tuesday, some 2,000 miles from home. His 33 points were not enough to overcome BYU’s turnovers on a 94-90 loss.
There is nothing unique about ending a career and a season with a loss. Every team, player and coach in the NCAA Tournament will do that, except the eventual champion. Still, you’d have thought Haws would get a few more bounces on the court in March.
“I've said this before about Tyler,” said BYU coach Dave Rose. “He is just kind of the perfect program guy at BYU. He's a great example of dedication and hard work on the floor and off the floor. He's a guy who is really just a selfless individual that will help anybody at any time.’’
Haws ends his BYU career as the school’s all-time leading scorer. He finished three points short of passing Hank Gathers as the No. 19 scorer in NCAA history with 2,723 points, and was within striking distance of passing the No. 18 leading scorer, J.J. Redick from Duke.
Haws passed Byron Larkin, Daren Queenan and Reggie Lewis for 20th in career scoring. At BYU Haws finished No. 5 for most points in a season with 776 and finished with the fourth (780 points), fifth (770 points) and sixth (767 points) highest scoring seasons in BYU history over his sophomore, junior and senior years.
He ends his BYU career as the school’s all-time leader in free-throw makes (724), free-throw percentage (.883), minutes played (4,427), starts (137), 20-point games and double-figure scoring games (74).
His final game against the Rebels was a microcosm of his BYU career — breaking new ground. His 19 points in the first half were the most for a half this season. His 33 points are the third most in an opening-round game in NCAA history. His 13 field goals are tied for the second most and his 23 attempts are tied for the fourth most. His 5 of 9 from 3-point range was the third best 3-point shooting percentage in an NCAA opening round game.
BYU bookkeepers were busy after his final game, making notations. Haws became the first BYU player to score 2,700 points. He needed 139 games to reach 2,700 points and finished with 2,720 career points. It was his 122nd career double figure scoring game and 15th career 30-point game. It was also his 24th 20-point game of the season, tying Danny Ainge for the fifth most in a season.
He tied Jimmer Fredette with 139 career games played, trailing only Charles Abouo's 141 career games.
Haws tied Devin Durrant for the top spot at BYU in career free-throw attempts with 820 career free throws. His five 3-pointers Tuesday moved him all alone to sixth in career 3-pointers made with 162. He moved into a tie with Abouo for 13th in career offensive rebounds with 178.
Rose felt inclined to tell Haws in the locker room he was his man, his guy.
“And whatever he needs from me he's got, because he's a special guy.”
We could break it down a hundred ways but the bottom line is this kid was a torrid scoring machine the likes of which Provo has never seen.
I’ve been fortunate to sit courtside and witness in action the scorers Haws passed this season: the dramatic showman Jimmer Fredette, the amazing Ainge, the smooth Mike Smith and the silky Durrant.
All of them had their own style of getting it done.
All were consistent, driven, confident, dependable. All of them knew their roles but didn’t flaunt it. They were teammates and leaders and eager to have the ball when it counted.
Haws had his own aura. He was humble, a man without guile, a tireless worker with an engine that never stopped.
He is the best mid-range shooter I’ve ever seen at BYU. That he finished 5 of 9 from the 3-point line against Ole Miss, proved he had extended his range, a goal he made at the start of the season.
It is sad to see Haws hang it up, but, fortunately, it isn’t the last time folks in this state will see HAWS on the back of a BYU jersey.
Those in the know say Tyler's younger brother TJ, now a missionary in France, is a better scorer than his older brother because he has longer range and more speed, and, like his sibling, is a relentless worker on and off the court.
So perhaps that's the consolation in seeing the end of Tyler Haws’ college career:
There's a postscript coming in 2016.
Dick Harmon, Deseret News sports columnist, can be found on Twitter as Harmonwrites and can be contacted at [email protected].