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TJ Haws is BYU basketball’s new iron man

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) BYU basketball player TJ Haws in Provo on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020.

Provo • Since arriving at BYU in 2016, TJ Haws has never missed a game. In fact, he's started in every game since his freshman season.

Last Saturday, Haws actually took over BYU’s record for consecutive games started at 123 — a record previously held by former Cougar Jeff Chatman — in the loss at San Francisco.

However, there's a slight possibility Haws breaks his current streak. It doesn't have anything to do with injury or sickness, but rather for a joyous reason: Haws and his wife Lauren are expecting their first child.

The plan as of right now is for Lauren to be induced on Sunday, but if their baby boy has any other plans, it could mean Haws has to miss out on either Thursday's game against Pepperdine or Saturday's rematch against Saint Mary's.

At least it’s good both games are at home this week, Haws said. But if his wife goes into labor early, he doesn’t know what will happen.

“I'm not even thinking about that,” Haws said. “I'm just praying he comes on Sunday and we don't have to cross that bridge.”

TJ HAWS AT A GLANCE


Vitals • 6-foot-4, 170 pounds, senior

Hometown • Alpine

Of Note • Son of former Cougar great Marty Haws, who played for BYU 1986-1990 and brother of BYU’s all-time leading scorer, Tyler Haws (2009-10, 2012-15). ... Has played and started in all 123 games since joining BYU in 2016. ... Has career averages of 14.3 points and 4.3 assists. ... Haws is now 10th all-time in scoring, fourth in 3-pointers, tied for fourth in assist and is eighth in steals.

If everything goes to plan, however, and Haws remains healthy throughout the remainder of the season, the 6-foot-4 senior guard is looking at playing — and starting — in every single game throughout his four-year career, a feat very few college players accomplish in this era.

Haws said a lot of people have contributed to his iron-man status, like the team’s trainers, strength coaches and doctor.

Only once throughout his four years did Haws think he might not make it. Before a game during his freshman season, Haws wasn’t feeling that great. Although feeling sick, Haws still expected to play in some capacity. He ended up still starting.

Even though there have been other times when he hasn’t felt 100%, Haws continued to start — working through any hardships in the process.

Throughout his four seasons, Haws is averaging 14.3 points and 4.3 assists. Last weekend, Haws also moved up to 10th all-time in scoring (1,753) and ninth in steals (142). He's also fourth in 3-point field goals made and fifth in assists.

For Haws, it feels like it's all been going by too fast.

“It feel like I just got home from my mission and I was getting ready, trying to get in shape and getting ready to play,” Haws said. “Now, having a kid, it’s my senior year — I can’t believe it. It’s been a huge blessing and I’ve grown so much these last four years.”

As a 2014 graduate from Lone Peak High School, Haws was part of the “Lone Peak Three” — a group of commits that included Eric Mika and Nick Emery. The trio led Lone Peak to the mythical high school national championship in the 2012-13 season.

Mika went straight to BYU after high school, went on his church mission after one season and then returned for one more year before choosing to pursue a professional career overseas. Emery and Haws both went on their respective church missions before immediately after high school, before coming to Provo.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Brigham Young Cougars guard TJ Haws (30) takes the ball up the middle, as San Francisco Dons guard Jordan Ratinho (25), in WCC basketball action at the Marriott Center, Thursday, February 21, 2018.

Mike wound up turning pro following his sophomore season. Emery announced he was retiring from basketball last July, forgoing his senior season. That left Haws as the final member of the group and will be the only one to graduate from BYU.

Haws never would have imagined for things to have played out this way.

“Obviously because I’m younger, I would be the last one, but to have it all gone how it has, I didn’t really think that would really happen,” Haws said. “It’s a crazy thing — we all committed together and had high expectations for what we could accomplish as a team because we were very successful in high school To have it all play out, everything happens for a reason and everything happened the way it was supposed to, I guess, but it definitely is interesting that I’m kind of the last one here.”

While Haws has accomplished some of his favorite memories alongside his former teammates (beating Gonzaga in Spokane his freshman season) and some without them (beating Houston earlier this season), Haws still feels he has plenty to accomplish before closing out his BYU career.

At the top of the list is making the NCAA Tournament, which the Cougars haven't been to since 2015.

Haws believes this year’s team can get there, despite a series of injuries and the transition from longtime BYU coach Dave Rose to newcomer Mark Pope.

“Every year has been a lot of change for me, but you just have to adapt and keep moving and adjust,” Haws said. “Something I've learned this year, we've had so much adversity, but we've never made excuses for ourselves. … Just some things that were hard to swallow a little bit, you can't make excuses for yourself. You've just got to come to work every single day and try to do better.”

Now, juggling his final season in a Cougar uniform and getting ready to welcome his son, Haws has experienced a mixture of emotions. Some of them he still hasn’t even started to process.

For now, Haws only has nine more games left in the regular season. After that, whether the Cougars make a postseason run or not, Haws will look to continue his basketball career any way he can.

But for now he's focused on making the best of his time left at BYU.

“It does kind of seem like one chapter is ending and another is beginning,” Haws said. “I keep telling myself I need to stay in the moment and enjoy this time because this year has been so fun and there’s been so many great memories that we’ve built as a team. I feel like I have such great and lasting relationships with the guys on this team. I’m just trying to relish in every moment and not take anything for granted really.”

PEPPERDINE AT BYU

At the Marriott Center, Provo


Tipoff » Thursday, 6:30 p.m.

TV » CBS Sports Network

Radio » BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143/89.1 FM HD2; BYU Sports Network; KSL 102.7 FM/1160 AM

Records » BYU 15-7; Pepperdine 11-10

All-time series » BYU leads 14/12-9 (wins in 2016 and 2017 vacated by NCAA)

Last meeting » BYU 87, Pepperdine 76 (Jan. 17, 2019)


About BYU » BYU is 9-1 at home and has won its last eight games in the Marriott Center. … The Cougars’ all-time on-court record in the Marriott Center is 581-143, good for a win percentage of 80.2. … BYU made 15 3-pointers at San Francisco, it’s 10th game this season with 10-plus 3s. Only four teams in program history have made double-digit 3s in 10-plus games: 2015-26 (13), 2010-11 (12), 2014-15 (12) and 2007-08 (11).

About Pepperdine » The Waves have won four of its their five games, climbing into a tie for third place in the WCC. … The Waves have not won at the Marriott Center since 2015. … The trio of Colbey Ross, Kameron Edwards and Kessler Edwards has scored 63.6% of the Waves’ points this season. … Pepperdine ranks first nationally in free throw percentage (81.4%).

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