Tyler Haws and the mid-range game

Three years ago Tyler Haws was a freshman guard starting alongside Jimmer Fredette. He impressed by averaging over 11 per game and making 37% of his 3s.  But then he went to the Philippines on his mission for two years. It’s always tough to predict how players who have left the game will respond.

Well, Haws hasn’t exactly been causing Dave Rose to miss sleep. The kid can ball.

Haws plays more minutes than any other BYU player, and when he’s on the floor he takes 30% of their shots which is more than every WCC player besides Kevin Foster and Anthony Ireland. The difference between Haws and the other two is that he’s really really efficient with the ball. His turnover% is the 5th lowest in the conference, and he makes 51% of his 2s, 42% of his 3s and 92% of his free throws.

While he’s an excellent 3-point shooter, that’s not necessarily his game. 77% of his shots are 2s, and that’s where he causes so much trouble for opponents. Defenses don't get much experience defending the mid-range game, because it's not a big part of modern basketball. Part of that is because is isn't practiced by youth, and part of it is that coaches are moving away from what is often an inefficient shot. Haws flips that narrative on its head. He's worked diligently to perfect his shot, and he's good enough that it is as efficient as going to the rim or taking a 3-pointer.

At 6-5 he has great size for a 2-guard. And while he’s not as quick as many of the guys he goes up against, he uses his body well and gets a lot of help from his teammates. That help comes in the form of screens, and whoever is guarding Haws has to be prepared to fight through screens all night. There has to be great communication and anticipation.

This first play is what not to do. Augustin Ambrosino sets a screen (hexagon) for Haws (arrow), but the ball handler isn’t yet in a position to deliver the pass. The timing is off. Note that the shot clock (circle) is at 30 seconds.

When Haws is finally ready to make his break (hex) the shot clock is at 27 seconds, so the Florida State defender was being screened for 3 seconds and didn’t react. Because of the poor anticipation, Haws is able to step out and knock down the jumper.

The video:

So the lessen is anticipate the screen and move before it, right? It’s not that simple.

Dave Rose is a really good offensive mind. Here, Haws (hex) is in the corner and Nate Austin (arrow) comes down to free him to pop to the elbow off of a screen. Based on the last video, the defender needs to be cheating that direction so that he can match Haws’ movement past the screen.

But this is a screen option play. In reality, he cutting baseline and gets a screen from Matt Carlino who has dove down from the elbow, and then 2nd screen to curl around. Easy two.

The video:

Here’s the exact same play only with Haws accepting the down screen (hex) for another easy shot. The lesson is that if you get caught cheating to try and beat screens, you’re done.

The video:

Here’s another play that has a lot going on, and it’s all designed to free up Haws for a short jumper. Carlino (long dashed line) is cutting to the basket and gets the screen (short dashed line) from Josh Sharp. With the ball on the strong side elbow extended, this looks like a curl move (arrow) for Carlino, but in reality he is getting a screen so that he can go set a screen for Carlino without the help defense being able to jump it.

Haws (hex) gets the ball but fumbles it and misses the opportunity for a quick shot. But at 6-5 he is easily able to recover and get off a shot.

The video:

Here’s another type of screen the staff uses to get him an open shot. The timing on these plays is just excellent.

Haws (blue arrow) dives to the elbow and gets a screen from Brandon Davies (red line). If Davies’ defender steps out to bump the cut, it’s an easy roll to the basket for Davies. And if he doesn’t, it’s an easy jumper for Haws.

This is where communication comes in. The pass is going from 33 (Austin) to the point guard (Carlino 10) before it gets dumped in to Haws. Carlino’s man needs to go with Haws on the cut and Haws man needs to rotate to Carlino. But they don’t.

The video:

Finally, this is BYU after all. Dave Rose loves to punish teams for not getting back on defense. The Cougars run the 19th fastest tempo in the nation, and Rose likes to pick his spots after made baskets to steal an easy two. And who better to do that than a 6-5 guard who can score from anywhere.

Here is a play in which one second (arrow) has elapsed off the shot clock. Haws has beat his man down the court, and Brandon Davies (hex) has raced ahead and sealed his man so that Haws can drive. If a team falls asleep after a made basket, these are the types of buckets they’ll be watching on the other end.

The video: