BYU players struggle to break NBA scene

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03 12:54:25
Tyler Haws drives toward the hoop during a 2014–2015 game against San Francisco. Haws is BYU’s next NBA hopeful. (Elliott Miller)

College graduates love to watch athletes from their alma mater turn professional. As an athlete leaves the university’s nest, a nation of fans watches every move, hoping the athlete will survive the world of professional sports.

The most recent star from the Cougar basketball program has been Tyler Haws. The all-time BYU scoring leader wasn’t invited to the pre-draft combine and wasn’t ranked in the top 100 prospects coming into the draft. Although the absence of an invite to the pre-draft combine might have been hard news, Haws has still been working out in California and is now in the midst of workouts with several NBA teams.

“I feel ready for it; my body feels great. I am two years older, but I feel like I’m in the best shape of my life and ready to take this challenge on,” Haws said after a workout with the Phoenix Suns.

The Dallas Mavericks were the first to offer Haws a workout, followed by the Phoenix Suns, the Utah Jazz and the L.A. Lakers.

As the June 25 draft day approaches, Haws may or may not get the call. If he doesn’t get the chance to compete at the world’s highest level, Europe will be waiting with open arms.

“He’s got a couple of offers already overseas,” BYU head coach Dave Rose told the Desert News in April

Other BYU Cougars have had trouble finding a home in the NBA, even after stellar collegiate careers and fantastic resumes.

Provo won’t forget the “Jimmer-mania” that swept the nation during Jimmer Fredette’s senior season. Fredette won a slew of awards, including the Naismith Player of the Year, the Oscar Robertson Trophy and the John R. Wooden Award.

BYU fans nationwide looked to the future with hope as Jimmer was selected 10th overall in the 2011 NBA Draft. But Fredette has struggled to find a consistent role in the NBA. Jimmer didn’t log a minute in the 2015 playoffs with the New Orleans Pelicans and only averaged 10.2 minutes per game during the 2014–2015 season.

Brandon Davies was another NBA hopeful from BYU. Davies was the captain of the team his senior season and averaged 17.7 points and eight rebounds per game. He settled with the 76ers in the 2013–2014 season and played in 51 games. The 2014–2015 season saw Davies get a few starts and his minutes double to 19 minutes a game. The 76ers traded Davies in December 2014 to the Brooklyn Nets, who would waive Davies, resulting in a change of scenery to Europe. He found a home with the French team Elan Chalon for the rest of the 2014–2015 LNB Pro A season.

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