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BYU basketball: Sophomore Tyler Haws shows leadership in loss to Notre Dame

BYU basketball: Sophomore Tyler Haws shows leadership in loss to Notre Dame

Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

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BYU fell to Notre Dame 78-68 in the consolation game of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, unable to overcome Brandon Davies’ foul trouble against the physical Fighting Irish.

For the second game in a row, Davies drew two early fouls and was relegated to the bench for most of the first half.

With Davies riding the pine, BYU had to find another way to get the ball in the basket, something the team struggled with greatly against Florida State on Friday night.

Again, for the second game in a row, the Cougars were carried by sophomore guard Tyler Haws, who finished with 21 points, six rebounds and two assists while operating as the focal point on the offensive end.

Despite shooting 38 percent on field-goal attempts and failing to convert a 3-point shot in three attempts, this was the day when Haws began to make his case as being the best offensive player on the BYU roster — for sure when Davies is on the bench.

While the team’s production significantly drops off when Davies sits, this is more a result of Davies’ role in the offense. Head coach Dave Rose has implemented a system where the offense goes inside-out, with the ball being fed into the post where Davies has worked for position. He can then pass the ball outside for dribble drives and perimeter shots.

When Davies is on the floor, Haws’ ability to shoot at a high percentage from behind the arc as well as earn foul-shot attempts on drives to the rim gives BYU a reliable shooter who can convert touches into points.

When Davies has been off the floor early this season, teams have switched to a zone defense to push the Cougars toward the perimeter and limit opportunities at the rim. Against Florida State and Notre Dame, coach Rose puts Haws at the top of the key — allowing Haws to break down the zone with his passing ability and shooting touch.

Against Notre Dame, Haws found himself working against Irish star Jack Cooley near the free-throw line. Cooley is no scrub on defense, but Haws repeatedly went after him and was able to get open looks. Whether it was a step-back jumper from the elbow or using his quickness to draw a foul shot, Haws was able to keep BYU in the game with timely baskets and sharp passes to open teammates.

While Haws missed 13 shots, he showed an ability to lead the offense in the absence of the senior Davies. BYU's senior center may be the most important player on the roster, as evidenced by these two losses in the last two days when he played limited minutes. But Haws, who registered 44 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists and four steals in the last two days, is becoming the protagonist of the BYU offensive act.

While his consecutive free-throw streak will have to start over again — Haws finished 5-6 from the charity stripe Saturday — he will look to continue his four-game streak of 20 or more points Wednesday against University of Texas-San Antonio back in the friendly confines of the Marriott Center.

Be sure to check for all your BYU Cougars coverage.

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Dan Lewis


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