Eugene, OR – It was an electric atmosphere in Eugene Saturday night as the biggest crowd of the season (8,035) greeted the BYU Cougars as they faced the host Oregon Ducks. Oregon battled back from a late seven-point deficit to tie the game at 84 on a jumper from Mike Moser, then after a Tyler Haws miss, Elgin Cook was fouled with 1.8 seconds left. Cook missed both foul shots and the game headed to overtime.
BYU played the overtime without both their bigs, Nate Austin (12 rebounds) and Eric Mika (13 points, eight rebounds) who both fouled out in regulation. They played the OT with four guards and a 6’7 post. Oregon’s Joseph Young tied the game at 92 with a three-pointer. Haws came back on a drive to put the Cougars up two with 1:17 left. Cook tied it for Oregon off an offensive rebound. After a Frank Bartley charge, Damyean Dotson scored on a drive to put the Ducks back up. BYU’s Kyle Collinsworth was fouled but only made one of two. Young then scored quickly on transition and after BYU couldn’t convert on their end it was Oregon’s game after Moser made both free throws. The Ducks escaped, still undefeated, with a 100-96 win.
BYU’s Haws hit 6-of-7 shots early and had 18 at the half as BYU took a 47-41 lead. Jason Calliste tried to match him for the Ducks scoring 15 points, with three 3-pointers, in 12 minutes of action.
Calliste continued his efforts in the second half to try to will the Ducks to the win. He scored on three-pointers, on drives and was fouled repeatedly driving to the hoop or on ball-fakes off jump shots. Calliste ended the game with 31 points, made all 13 of his free throws and 4-of-7 three-pointers. He also played excellent defense on Haws after Haws had his hot start. Haws led BYU with 32 points on 13-of-21 shooting.
Haws is an interesting player. He can definitely put the ball in the hoop and is able to score from any distance with a quick release. Much of BYU’s offense revolves around finding space in transition or in half-court sets so Haws doesn’t operate 1-on-1 much. But he does make quick decisions with the ball and does release quickly from mid or long range. Several times in this game Haws did not look good trying to create his shot off the dribble. Haws came into the game averaging 22.3 points, shooting 45.4 per cent from the field, 42.4 per cent on three-pointers and 85.5 per cent from the charity stripe. He has pretty good anticipation off the glass, pulling in 5.2 rebounds per contest. Last season Haws put up similar numbers at 21.7 ppg and 4.6 rpg.
Since he’s from BYU and can score, Haws will get inevitable comparisons to Jimmer Fredette but they are much different players. Fredette did most of his damage off isolation and pick and rolls while Haws generally scores within the offense without much isolation or individual action. Haws plays better defense although one would question his ability to guard an athletic NBA 2-guard. He’s also about three inches taller than Fredette and does have the ability to finish inside.
Haws is 6’5 and has decent size as a potential NBA 2-guard. Although his athleticism and speed are a step below NBA levels his scoring ability will cause him to get looks from NBA teams. Coming off a two-year mission last season, Haws will be older than the typical college senior if he stays at BYU for the balance of his eligibility.