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Only Ty Can Tell

The Cougars struggle on the road. 

That probably doesn't come as a shock to anyone. A simple look at their conference schedule will show that when traveling to WCC schools, BYU is 3-5, while at the Marriott Center they are a perfect 7-0. So what is so hard about playing away from home? It may be the raucous home crowd or the lack of experience on the roster. But there is one common theme in BYU's road woes, and that's Tyler Haws.

Now hear me out. In seven conference road games (not counting a triple-overtime heart-breaker at Portland where he scored 48) Haws is averaging 17.6 ppg. In seven conference home games, he averages 28.6 ppg. Not only is Haws scoring 11 points less, but BYU is losing the majority of those games. BYU is +11.2 points on their conference opponents this season when Haws has over 25 points. 

Two weeks ago after Haws scored twenty-one of BYU's first twenty-four points in a home win over Pacific, BYU Head Basketball Coach Dave Rose realized that Haws' excellent performances may have the rest of the team watching.  "He's a really good, consistent offensive player," said Rose, "and right now we are relying on him, maybe relying on him too much, and hopefully we can spread this out a little bit."

After four wins on their home court, the Cougars hit the road again last week. Before leaving, Rose commented on how his team needs to be ready to step up in case Haws has an off night. "Coming home we got some really big offensive nights from Tyler. And hopefully we understand the possibilities that Ty can have those kinds of nights, but we don't depend on him." Rose said.          

Am I blaming Haws for BYU's losses? Of course not! How could you blame the nation's third leading scorer with 24.2 points per game? Yes, his team needs to pick up the slack if they want to win when Ty's not on his game. Surely it's harder to get energized away from such an electric home crowd. But if he can figure out how to get hot to finish off the season and the WCC Tourney, BYU's NCAA chances might turn from bubble bustin' to a conference championship in Vegas for an auto-bid. 

From the desk of Alan Miller, who helps produce BYU Sports Nation on BYU Radio.

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