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Men's Basketball Blog

Haws and the USA WUG team arrive in Russia

Jul 03, 2013 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 3:10 pm | Permalink

Tyler Haws and the USA Basketball Men's World University Games team arrived in Kazan, Russia, on Wednesday. Haws, his teammates and coaches departed Denver on Monday and had layovers in Washington D.C. and Istanbul, Turkey, before arriving at their final destination. See below for some videos and photos from Haws.

A Hawsome week in Colorado Springs

Jun 29, 2013 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 11:12 am | Updated: June 29, 2013 11:45 am | Permalink

Watching Tyler Haws compete for and eventually earn a spot on the USA Men’s Basketball World University Games Team is easily ranked among the top moments in my time while working with the BYU men’s basketball team.

BYU’s double-overtime win over Florida in the 2010 NCAA Tournament, advancing to the 2011 Sweet 16, collecting trophy after trophy with Jimmer Fredette in Houston, the comeback win over Iona in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, seeing Craig Cusick hit the game-winner against Utah State despite learning earlier that day that his father was diagnosed with cancer, the run to the NIT semifinals in Madison Square Garden earlier this Spring… this ranks right up there with all of those great moments and the many others I’ve witnessed.

This experience began Wednesday evening around 11 p.m. when I jumped in the car with KSL’s Greg Wrubell and Dave Noriega. The three of us had worked all that day at BYU’s Football Media Day. When the last tweets were sent and blogs posted about what should be an exciting 2013 football season, we quickly turned our attention to Haws and his journey to make this team. I also coached my son’s little league team to a tournament win in between Media Day and our departure (sorry for the shameless plug).

The original plan was to leave Thursday around 4 a.m. but we were eager to be there for as many practices as possible. Original is a term I should use fairly loosely. KSL posted a video on YouTube from the first practice Tuesday morning. I texted Greg asking if KSL was in Colorado and he said they'd hired the local affiliate. We both expressed our desired to go but inititally it wasn't much more than a pipe dream. Thanks to cooperation from our bosses and families, it quickly became a reality, although I wasn't 100 percent going until Wednesday around lunch time.

We arrived at the U.S. Olympic Training Center Thursday morning around 9:30 a.m., in time for the team’s first practice that day but not in time to stop for breakfast. The drive was a fairly smooth 10-hour ride (heavy Denver traffic excluded) that went straight through the night and included maybe an hour or two of interrupted sleep.

That first practice was very encouraging. Tyler looked great and definitely seemed to be in the top half of the players on the court. The second practice was more nerve-wracking. Tyler played fine but certainly wasn’t put in a position to shine.

After a good night’s sleep, we were back in the gym for our third practice and Tyler’s eighth in five days. This practice was much more encouraging. The team was split into groups of five and the groups went at each other in spirited drills. Each drill had a winner and Tyler’s group won or tied for the win in almost every drill. Tyler made several plays to help his team – some that would show up on the stat sheet and many that would not.

Friday night was even more encouraging. No one played extensive minutes as McKillop mixed and matched, no doubt in an effort to see how players would respond to different situations. Tyler played about 11 minutes, and did a little of everything, scoring five points and adding five rebounds, four assists and two steals. He gave maximum effort on every play and left it all out on the court.

We were hopeful – the players likely even more so – that we would receive word of who made the team Friday night. After hours of waiting, it became apparent no announcement was forthcoming and I surrendered to a few hours of restless sleep.

Saturday morning Greg learned from a reliable source that Tyler made the team but we waited until we were in the gym and had official word from USA Basketball to make an announcement.

As an observer, this has been exciting yet nerve wracking. The competition has been intense. All 15 players (the original cut was down to 16 but ultra-talented Rodney Hood of Duke unfortunately suffered an injury and was forced to withdraw) were there because they were talented and brought something to the table that could help the team win games.

Tyler has competed as hard as anyone. He has given it his all on every play and done whatever has been asked of him by the coaches. Despite all that, I never felt completely comfortable that he would make the team because I obviously didn’t know what the coaches and the USA committee were thinking. Tyler wasn’t being given the opportunities to shine offensively like he does at BYU so I kept wondering if they knew how good he really is.

Obviously, the coaches saw what Cougar Nation sees every time Tyler takes the floor as a Cougar, and they rewarded him with a spot on the team.

Whenever BYU plays a game, at home, on the road or a neutral floor, in an NCAA Tournament game or in a home game against a team we are highly favored to beat, I get nervous. I obviously have no way of impacting the outcome of a game – a blessing to the coaches and the players – but I always desire for the players to perform their best because I know how hard they’ve worked to prepare for every game.

That’s how I’ve felt since arriving in Colorado Springs, that same nervous energy I feel before and during games. I have a pretty good sense for how hard Tyler works to become the best player he can be and I have felt all along that he earned and deserved this opportunity.

It’s moments like this that make me proud to work with such great student-athletes and coaches and proud to be a part of BYU basketball.

Go Cougars!

Friday night scrimmage recap

Jun 28, 2013 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 9:16 pm | Permalink

COLORADO Springs, Colo. – BYU’s Tyler Haws did a little of everything in Friday’s scrimmage against a group of local Division II players at the USA World University Games training camp.

Haws scored five points, grabbed five rebounds, dished out four assists and had two steals as the USA World University Games (WUG) hopefuls won 114-61.

Coach Bob McKillop utilized all 15 players and had different lineups on the floor in each quarter. Haws first entered the contest in the second quarter and helped WUG to its most dominant period of the night. He hit a jumper and two free throws and had three assists as WUG out-scored the opposition 36-9.

Haws re-entered the game in the fourth quarter and on his first possession grabbed an offensive rebound and passed to Cory Jefferson for an easy bucket. He added two more rebounds and a steal in the fourth.

The final roster of 12 players is likely to be announced tonight.

Coach Bob McKillop

“We’re looking for guys who can fight through fatigue, guys who are unselfish, who want to be part of a team. We’re looking for guys who are tough, who’ll get long rebounds and 50-50 balls and of course skill. You need skill but they’re here because of their skill.”

“There were butterflies clearly tonight because of the pressure of the cut and because they’re playing in front of a number of people and playing a different opponent.”

“You’re trying to find out who can help us win games and who can fight through the temptation of being selfish and the temptation of being tired or the temptation of making a mistake. I think we saw that tonight. I think we got exposed from the standpoint of we made a lot of mistakes but I also liked the way we responded to those mistakes.”

“He (Tyler) continued to get better and better. He’s tough as nails, he gets those loose balls and he helps you win games.”

Tyler Haws

“We played against some D2 guys, some big, physical guys and I felt like our guys played really well.”

“I thought I was able to show some good things in my game and I think the coaches are going to make a decision tonight so we’ll see what happens.”

Goal coming into tonight:
“To be able to show that I can help the team win and to make winning plays. I think that’s what the coaches were looking for and hopefully I showed that. I feel like I had a few good assists, I knocked down a jumper and ran the floor well and tried to leave everything out there. Hopefully I can still be here tomorrow.”

Tyler Haws at the World University games

Jun 27, 2013 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 3:33 pm | Updated: June 28, 2013 9:00 am | Permalink

Training camp for the 2013 USA Basketball Men’s World University Games continued Thursday morning at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., and Tyler Haws had time to catch up with BYUcougars.com to talk about his experience so far.

The team is coached by Bob McKillop from Davidson and he is assisted by Frank Martin (South Carolina) and John Beillein (Michigan). See what Haws had to say after practice this morning.

Thursday's morning practice included numerous defensive drills and several halfcourt offensive drills. Haws helped his team win several drills by making key defensive stops, passes and shots. He'll be back at it today at 4:25 p.m. MT.

Tyler Haws

“It’s been intense. There are so many good players out here. It’s been a really good experience so far. I’ve learned a lot. Hopefully we can continue to play a few more days."

“Obviously I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable. The first day you knew names but you’d never really played against them before. It was fun to see where my game stood against those guys. I feel very comfortable out here and I feel I can play with anyone.”

“I love the coaches that are out here. You can tell they’ve been around the game a long time and have a lot of experience. I’ve learned, probably most importantly, to understand your game and make sure you don’t go outside of that. The guys here are so good that when you go outside of your game it doesn’t work. I’m a shooter so I’ve got to look for opportunities to get my shot and then just compete and work hard every play.”

“Every time you put the (USA) jersey on it is definitely special and something that I’ll never forget.”

“Everyone out here is a leader and they’re leaders on their teams. I feel like I’m learning a lot of leadership skills from them. I can also take away a lot of confidence after coming to something like this because you feel like you can play against anyone. These guys are the best in the country.”

Audio from Haws courtesy KSL

Audio from Bob McKillop

Audio from Frank Martin

More photos available on Facebook.com/BYUbasketball

Brandon Davies interview at NBA Draft Combine

May 17, 2013 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 12:11 pm | Permalink

Brandon Davies has been running through drills and strength and agility tests the last two days at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago. Davies' official measurements are listed below and his results from the strength and agility testing will be posted when they are made available. The interview below was taped and posted by @SLCDunk

Davies' measurements from the NBA Combine

  • Height w/o shoes: 6-8.5
  • Height w/shoes: 6-10.25
  • Weight: 241.8
  • Wingspan: 7-1.5
  • Reach: 9-0.5
  • Body fat: 8.6
  • Hand length: 9
  • Hand width: 11

Rose and Haws on BYUtv's True Blue

Apr 16, 2013 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 9:09 am | Updated: April 23, 2013 10:27 pm | Permalink

BYU coach Dave Rose and sophomore All-WCC guard Tyler Haws were on BYUtv's True Blue yesterday. The pair discussed this past season's NIT run and looked to the future with Haws, who set several BYU sophomore scoring records in 2012-13, coming back for his junior season and the return of Kyle Collinsworth from a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Russia. As a freshman in 2010-11, Collinsworth averaged 5.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.1 steals while shooting .481 from the field. That season he helped the Cougars to a program-record 32 wins and a trip to the Sweet 16 in the 2011 NCAA Tournament.

Day one in New York

Apr 01, 2013 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 8:20 pm | Permalink

These photos are a day late but not a dollar short. Check out some of the action from BYU's travel day on Easter Sunday to New York for the 2013 National Invitational Tournament semifinals. These great photos were taken by Jaren Wilkey of BYU Photo.

BYU basketball in the media before Tuesday

Apr 01, 2013 - Posted by Whitney Craft Jordan at 2:08 pm | Updated: April 1, 2013 2:11 pm | Permalink

The BYU basketball team is all set to play Baylor in the semifinals of the 2013 National Invitational Tournament in Madison Square Garden on Tuesday at 7 p.m. EDT live on ESPN2.

Fans can tune into BYUtv at 6 p.m. EDT on Tuesday before the game to catch a special edition of "Countdown to Tip-off" with live coverage from Madison Square Garden.

Read up on what the Cougars have been doing in New York before the game in the local media, and see what the coaches and players are saying about the matchup.

Deseret News:
Cougars thrilled to be playing in NIT semifinals
C
ougars have impressive history with NIT
Cougars have found new life in NIT experience
BYU getting taste of the Big Apple

Salt Lake Tribune:
Video: BYU captains get a look at Times Square
Basketball season can be called success, players say
BYU deserves credit for motivated NIT play
Cougars stoked for return to NYC

Daily Herald:
BYU's Rose on late-season perspective

KSL.com:
No April Fool's joke, BYU still playing basketball
Cougars take Manhattan

BYU vs. Washington media attention

Mar 20, 2013 - Posted by Whitney Craft Jordan at 2:04 pm | Updated: March 20, 2013 3:25 pm | Permalink

The BYU basketball team defeated Washington 90-79 in the first round of the 2013 National Invitational Tournament. Tyler Haws led all players with 37 points, his third game this season with 30-plus points, and added 6 rebounds and 3 assists.

Brandon Davies and Matt Carlino also contributed double-figure points with 22 and 20, respectively. The Cougars downed the Huskies, in part, thanks to 57 points in the second half – tied for the most points BYU has scored in a half this season – and 58 percent shooting from the field. BYU advances to host a second round game in the Marriott Center against the winner of No. 2 seed Tennessee and No. 7 seed Mercer. The date, time and broadcast information will be announced in the coming days.

After the win, the team earned some well-deserved media attention. Below is a list of local and national media outlets that highlighted the Cougars.

KSL.com: BYU handles Huskies, live to play another day

ESPN video: Scott Suggs rejected by Brandon Davies
ESPN.com: BYU 90, Washington 79

Deseret News: Cougars advance in NIT with 90-79 win over Washington
Deseret News: BYU wins, Twitter reacts

Salt Lake Tribune: Cougars run past Washington in NIT opener

The Washington Daily: BYU outguns UW in NIT first round

Daily Herald: Haws put on shooting clinic in NIT victory
D
aily Herald: BYU's "Big Three" gets rolling as Cougars start NIT with romp
Daily Herald video: New energy gives BYU boost over Washington 

The Seattle Times: BYU ends Huskies' season 
The Seattle Times blog: Washington falls to BYU

Former Cougar Gary Hill passed away on March 9, 2013

Mar 13, 2013 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 4:45 pm | Updated: March 13, 2013 5:12 pm | Permalink

Former BYU basketball player Gary Hill passed away on March 9, 2013. Hill played for the Cougars from 1964 to 1967 and was a member of the 1965-66 NIT Championship team. For his career, Hill averaged 8.8 points and 3.9 rebounds in 64 career games. During BYU's run to the 1966 NIT title, Hill contributed 7.7 points and 5.0 boards. As a senior in 1966-67 he increased his scoring average to 10.1 points per game.

For more on Hill, visit his obituary on Legacy.com.