Provo • Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated noticed what blossoming BYU basketball star Tyler Haws did Saturday afternoon, and so did ESPN's Andy Katz.
A couple of days after Haws scored a career-high 42 points at EnergySolutions Arena in a 97-71 win over Virginia Tech the best individual scoring performance in Division I college basketball this season he was named the national player of the week by websites directed by NBC Sports and Sports Illustrated, among others, and Katz surmised that the sophomore returned missionary "must be in pretty good shape to light up Virginia Tech for 42 points."
The previous high was 41 points by Minnesota's Andre Hollins against Memphis in November, and the inevitable comparisons to the top scorer in BYU history, Jimmer Fredette, popped up seemingly everywhere.
"The 6-foot-5 sophomore guard has been flying under the radar for too long," noted SI's Davis. "He broke through in Jimmerific fashion on Saturday. ... The game was exceptional but not an aberration."
Haws was also picked as the West Coast Conference player of the week after averaging 28.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in wins last week over Northern Arizona and the Hokies.
Perhaps most satisfying to Haws was that he surpassed the biggest scoring output of his father, Marty, a former Cougar who once dumped 40 on Sienna.
"For sure. Someone told me that," Tyler Haws said. "That is a cool thing."
Sharp on point
Sophomore forward Josh Sharp's dunk in the second half against Virginia Tech was one of the plays of the day on ESPN's SportsCenter, but lost in the hoopla over that highlight was the fact that Sharp scored 10 points and played an excellent floor game.
"Josh Sharp had one of his better nights for us," coach Dave Rose said.
Starting lineuptaking shape
Rose has gone with the starting lineup of Haws, Sharp, Brandon Davies, Matt Carlino and Brock Zylstra the last two games after starting the season with that grouping and then tinkering with it for most of December. For now, it appears the coach has settled on that as his starting five heading into Thursday's West Coast Conference opener in the Marriott Center against Loyola Marymount.
"We will stay with this until ... the one thing I thing I think you all know is that we are a pretty competitive group, and our practices are pretty competitive," he said. "But right now, we feel good with this group."
Rose pointed out that Carlino has bounced back well from his early-season benching.
"I think Matt is doing a great job," he said. "One of the real points of improvement for our team was to get consistent point guard play, and I think we are doing that."
The Cougars enter league play with 10 or more wins for the seventh straight season. ... After Thursday night's home game, the Cougars hit the road for a game at San Francisco on Saturday night.
Loyola Marymount at BYU
O Thursday, 7 p.m.
TV • BYUtv