Jimmer Fredette was a truly transcendent college basketball player. As an underclassman he gave us glimpses of what his potential was, but the college basketball world truly had no idea how big he would become as a senior. He had a great moniker, Jimmer, which by the end of his career as a Cougar had gone from just a noun to a verb, adverb, and adjective. People all over the country were saying things like, "You got jimmered!" when someone was shown up by another person.
As sports fans we are all eager to find the next big thing, who will be the next Jimmer? And while that is not fair to the coaching staff and players (a la Matt Carlino), we simply can't help ourselves and wonder/hope that Tyler Haws is the next Jimmer. Although the two former teammates are so different in terms of how they play the game, the way they built up to their senior seasons makes it easy to draw comparisons. Vanquish the Foe has already done that and if you want to see how the two match up, and it is some ways uncanny, check out Josh Cann's article. The fact of the matter is that every BYU fan should be excited for Tyler Haws's senior season.
Every college player's last season should be his best. After his junior season Haws is now the 5th all-time scoring leader at BYU with 1,944 points, and he only needs 656 points to become the all-time leading scorer at BYU. If he can match his junior season points per game as a senior, then he will become the all-time leading scorer during game 28 of the season. As Haws has shown an ability to improve with each season, it is a reasonable expectation for him to reach that point earlier than the 28th game.
One thing that made Jimmer such a good player is that he had good players around him that could be relied upon for consistent play game in and game out. Haws sophomore and junior years lacked that. After scoring a career high 48 points at Portland in a double overtime loss, he said that it didn't matter how many points he scored if the team didn't win the game. He needs his team mates to play better and they likely will this next season. Although they've lost Carlino and Mika for next season, guys like Winder, Bartley, Austin, Worthington, and Sharp will improve in this off season. A full recovery from Collinsworth will add tremendously to the skill and depth of the team. Then, figure in the additions and expectations of Aytes, Fischer, and Chatman and the Cougars look much better off, in terms of depth if nothing else, for Haws senior season than they were for his junior season.
Haws mid-range jumper and ability to get to the free throw line are probably his two greatest strengths. In close games, BYU should run plays to get the ball in his hands going down the stretch. No one else on the team is as reliable in shooting from the field or from the free throw line as is Haws. If he can get to the free throw line more often at the end of games, he can stifle rallies of opposing teams and help ensure a win for the team.
Expect big things from Tyler Haws, just don't expect a breakout senior season. After all, it is very difficult to take a huge leap forward when you are already performing at such a high level. Besides, he had a breakout season as a post-mission sophomore in which he was 7th in the country in points per game. Then, as a junior he rose to 6th in the country in points per game. Instead, expect him to continue to quietly improve on the last two seasons, dominate inside the arc, and put in the types of performances we have learned to expect out of him. But while Haws is quietly improving his game, brace yourselves for a big reaction from fans. Cougar nation has been itching for a reason to rise and shout in the Marriott Center since jimmermania left for the NBA. Hawsteria is now on its way.