At about the same time this morning that BYU AD Tom Holmoe and head football coach Bronco Mendenhall start to address the "State of the Program" at BYU Football Media Day, Cougar hoopster Tyler Haws will be learning the state of his fate at USA Basketball's World University Games Training Camp.
With three practice sessions in the books, a fourth session early Wednesday morning will precede the first round of cuts at the camp in Colorado Springs, with the group of 25 roster hopefuls pared down to 14-16 players.
The group of finalists will work into the weekend, taking part in two daily practice/scrimmage sessions through Sunday. At some point before the team leaves for Kazan, Russia next Monday, another round of cuts will get the team to its official 12-man roster.
As of Tuesday night, Haws appeared to have placed himself in position to survive the first cuts and qualify for the group of finalists. A Haws family source reports that Tyler has felt good about his all-around performance in the first two days of workouts at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. Haws' second Tuesday session made a particularly good impression on Sports Illustrated writer Andy Glockner, who included notes on the BYU standout in his training camp report late Tuesday night.
Of Haws, Glockner wrote:
"BYU's Tyler Haws knocked down a couple of shots and looks pretty comfortable at (international three-point) depth. In starting to eyeball the team's composition, you'd have to think the coaches will have to strongly consider taking both Haws and Louisville's Luke Hancock as they are really shy on good perimeter shooters at the guard spots. It may turn out that those two and Creighton's Doug McDermott are the best 3-point shooters on the team."
"If I were putting the team together, I'd probably start with the following guys (in alphabetical order): Spencer Dinwiddie, Yogi Ferrell, Luke Hancock, Tyler Haws, Rodney Hood, Sean Kilpatrick, Alex Kirk, Doug McDermott, Adreian Payne and Chasson Randle."
To this point, the news is good for Tyler Haws in his bid to qualify for Team USA and become the first Cougar to wear the national team uniform since Devin Durrant in 1983. After this morning, the atmosphere will intensify as 12 roster spots become even more prized.
It's reasonable to believe that Haws' conditioning and comfort with altitude training will see him strengthen as the week progresses, and in turn, so should his chances to make the final 12-man roster.
Stay with Cougar Tracks as we follow Haws on "The Road to Russia."
Photo: Courtesy USA Basketball