Way back in 2011, Braiden Shaw joined Nick Emery and TJ Haws in committing to Coach Rose and BYU Basketball. A product of Eagle, Idaho (yes, he went to the same Eagle High School that Tanner Mangum did), Shaw always wanted to play for BYU like his father Kelly, who played for the junior varsity squad in the 1980s. But Shaw wasn’t on the school’s radar until he sent a highlight reel to Coach Rose and was invited to attend a camp that summer, where he was named MVP. Shaw committed to the Y at the end of his official recruiting visit. His senior year at Eagle, he averaged 15 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and two blocks, and was named the top recruit in Idaho by ESPN.com.
After graduating from high school and serving a mission in Sacramento, California, Shaw played in 19 games for the Cougars last season as a freshman. In limited minutes, he contributed 12 points on 50% shooting, 15 rebounds, three assists, three steals, and one block for the season. His defensive toughness in the paint gave the Cougars a lift when key players were injured or in foul trouble.
Perhaps Shaw’s biggest offensive contribution to date were his two made free throws at the end of the first half against Gonzaga in Spokane last year. The Cougars needed every point they could get in that game, and although Shaw only played one minute, he made it count by sinking both shots from the stripe in a high-pressure game. The Cougars edged out the Zags by one point, 69-68.
Playing for the blue team during the Cougar Tipoff last Wednesday, Shaw played 26 minutes and grabbed eight rebounds, and had three assists and one steal to go along with his five points. In the first exhibition game against Seattle Pacific University, he pulled down four rebounds and scored two points in 10 minutes.
Coach Rose has compared Braiden Shaw to Josh Sharp, in that he’s an athletic player who can fill a lot of different roles on the team when needed. With a loaded frontcourt, Shaw may not see a ton of minutes again this season, but he can be expected to aggressively make the most of his time on the floor as a tough defender and rebounder.