Tyler Haws reaches Ainge benchmark

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He backs up on his opponent, turns around and hits his specialty: a fadeaway jumper.

Tyler Haws entered Thursday night’s game against St. Mary’s only nine points under 1,000 points. He scored his first eight points in the first half and finally reached his 1,000th point at the 15:36 mark in the second half.

“It’s a great accomplishment,” Haws told the Salt Lake Tribune. “I have to give a lot of credit to my teammates and coaches. … I wish we could have done that and come out with a win. It hurts losing.”

Haws has reached 1,003 career points in his sophomore season, and it hasn’t even ended yet.

Tyler Haws goes for the layup against Santa Clara. (Photo by Whitnie Soelberg)

Haws is one of 45 players to reach such a feat at BYU, but he is only the second basketball player in BYU history to score 1,000 points in his sophomore season, joining BYU legend Danny Ainge. While Ainge played four uninterrupted seasons, Haws took two years off from basketball to go on an LDS mission to the Philippines and hasn’t missed a beat.

“(Tyler) worked as hard as anybody we’ve had as far as returning from a mission to get himself in shape,” BYU coach Dave Rose said.

Haws averaged 11.3 points per game as a freshman and is now averaging 20.9 points per game following his return from the Philippines.

His game-highs in points may often go unnoticed because of his ability to shoot so consistently and efficiently. It’s no surprise when Haws finishes a game scoring the team-high or even the game-high.

“Tyler is really efficient,” BYU assistant coach Terry Nashif said. “He’s a great player, and we need to help him.”

His offensive prowess carries the team on a nightly basis, but it doesn’t come without dedication. It was no easy task to get back into playing shape after two years of not playing competitive basketball. Haws eased his way back in the summer, looking to gain 10 to 15 pounds and stayed away from playing in games.

“I wanted to take it one step at a time, not do too much too soon,” Haws said. “I worked hard in the summer to get my legs back. The coaches and I mapped out a plan that I wasn’t going to do anything for a couple of months as far as pickup games. I’m glad I did.”

Haws doesn’t just score from pulling up from mid-range or beyond the arc. Of his 1,003 points, 252 have come from the charity stripe, including 50 consecutive free throws starting from the end of his freshman year to his sophomore season. Haws is also currently ranked 10th in scoring according to espn.com.

Haws may be one of the nicest guys off the court, but on the court, he is in another world. When Haws praised Craig Cusick, who made the game-winning shot against Utah State, Haws said Cusick had “ice in his veins,” and was never afraid of taking big shots. Cusick didn’t hesitate to correct Haws.

“Ty’s just nice, he’s the one that has ‘ice in his veins,'” Cusick said immediately.

Cusick’s words were not a give-and-take compliment, but more truth than anything else. His team knows it and so does the rest of his opponents.

“He’s a great offensive talent,” Rose said. “He’s obviously the number-one target on the scouting report as far as other teams trying to take away what he does well.”

With a sophomore season that is yet to end, Haws isn’t done scoring and has yet to prove the best he is to become.

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