Individual BYU basketball players predicted to thrive, according to Sports Illustrated

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According to a new model by Sports Illustrated‘s David Gardner and Luke Winn, the Cougars are in good hands this season.

Tyler Haws sinks a three-point shot in a game last season. Haws is projected to be the nation's leading scorer this season. (Natalie Stoker)
Tyler Haws sinks a three-point shot in a game last season. Haws is projected to be the nation’s leading scorer this season. (Natalie Stoker)

Their model simulates the college basketball season 10,000 times, predicting each player and team performance in the nation. And now the results are in.

Tyler Haws will be the nation’s leading scorer this year.

“Our model likes the fact that BYU plays at a fast pace, that Tyler Haws is a pretty efficient, volume shooter,” Winn said in an interview by Sports Illustrated. “The model looks at him to be a 24 points scorer, and that’s ahead of anyone else in the country.”

Haws has increased his scoring output in each of his three seasons at BYU. He was the sixth best scorer in the nation last season at 23.4 points per game on 46.6 percent shooting, and scored a career-high 48 points against Portland on Jan. 23 in a triple-overtime loss.

Stanford’s Chasson Randle is projected to be the No. 2 scorer this season. Randle averaged 18.8 points per game last season, and SI projects him to increase his scoring average to 20 a game this year. BYU defeated Stanford on the road last season in a game where Haws scored 31 and Randle dropped 33. BYU plays Stanford this season on Dec. 20 in Provo.

“I don’t think Tyler Haws is really that famous yet,” Winn said. “I don’t think he’s in the national player of the year conversation, he really looks like the guy that would be the nation’s top scorer.”

Haws and Randle are the only two players in the nation projected to score at least 20. Haws is also projected to be the eighth-most efficient scorer this season too.

Sports Illustrated also projects BYU center Nate Austin to be the second best rebounder in the nation this season, behind only Cady Lalanne of Massachusetts. Austin averaged 7.9 rebounds per game last season, and SI projects him to increase his output to 9.1 this season. With freshman sensation Eric Mika gone on a mission and fellow big man Isaac Neilson as an outside threat, there will be plenty of rebounds for Austin to grab this season.

Former BYU guard Matt Carlino, now with Marquette, is projected to be the fourth-leading assist man in the nation this season at 5.7 per game.

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