Prep basketball • BYU-bound junior considered early graduation.
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For a moment there, it looked like there was a chance Lone Peak coach Quincy Lewis would lose his entire starting five to the collegiate ranks.
After the Lone Peak Knights won their third straight Class 5A state championship in March, finishing the season 26-1 and earning national championship honors from MaxPreps.com, junior guard T.J. Haws entertained the idea of reclassifying himself to the Class of 2013 and graduating early to enroll at Brigham Young University, where he's committed to play basketball.
"I think if you're a guy like T.J., you have to weigh all your options and see what's best for you," Lewis said. "At the end of the day, staying at Lone Peak was his decision."
Lone Peak guard Nick Emery graduated early and is scheduled to depart on a church mission to Germany on May 1. Senior center Eric Mika will play at BYU this fall as a freshman, while forward Talon Shumway will play at BYU, but as a receiver on the Cougar football team. Shooting guard Conner Toolson is scheduled to serve a mission in San Antonio in the coming months.
When asked what his thoughts were when he heard Haws was looking into possibly reclassifying himself, Lewis said he supported whatever decision Haws and his family would make.
"As a coach, selfishly, you don't want to lose a guy like that, but truthfully you always want what's best for him," Lewis said. "Only he can decide what that's going to be best for him."
One of the more notable high school reclassifications was Andre Drummond, who at one point was considered the top high school big man in the country in the Class of 2012 at St. Thomas More, a prep school in Oakdale, Conn. Drummoned reclassified himself to the Class of 2011 and enrolled at UConn. Drummond now is a center for the Detroit Pistons.
Lewis said if Haws had decided to reclassify himself, he would have had a lot of coursework with school packets this spring and summer to graduate on time and enroll at BYU.
"It would have required a lot," he said, "but nowadays kids seem to be getting ahead in school more often, so things like that are doable."
Lastly, Lewis said one of the main appeals to reclassfiying for T.J. would have been the opportunity to play with older brother Tyler, who will be a junior at BYU next season.