Who is the better player – Utah’s Delon Wright or BYU’s Tyler Haws?

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Both Delon Wright of Utah and Tyler Haws of BYU have received heaps of national attention in the offseason, providing more ammo to the avid Utah-BYU debaters. To settle the argument, we sat down with Alex Clark of The Daily Universe to find out who the better player is.
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Wright has the all-around talent to surpass Haws


By Griffin Adams

Let me preface my argument by saying I recognize the talent the Cougars have in Provo with Tyler Haws. He was a fantastic player last season, and I’m sure he will only improve in 2014.
However, when comparing Haws with Utah’s Delon Wright, it’s not even close — Wright is a much better and more complete basketball player than Haws.
First, I’ll address the elephant in the room by pointing out the obvious — Wright can’t shoot anywhere outside of the paint. The point guard shot a dismal 22 percent from three-point range in 2013 for the Runnin’ Utes, a number that most college defenses won’t respect.
On the flip side, Haws is an excellent shooter. The shooting guard shot over 40 percent from deep last season and has made some Jimmer-esque shots in his reign over the Marriott Center.
But that’s it. That is literally the only advantage Haws has over his Utah counterpart. Wright is more athletic, a better passer, a better defender and just has the uncanny ability to finish pretty much any layup.
Looking back at Wright’s shooting statistics, there’s no excuse for him shooting so poorly from behind the arc last season, but the guy still finished with a field goal percentage just over 56 percent. This means the California native was nothing short of spectacular inside the arc, especially finishing at the rim.
While we are crunching the numbers, I’m going to throw out a few more for good measure — 15.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.3 blocks. Those are the per game numbers Wright registered last season. According to Mark Titus of popular blog Grantland, Wright was the only player in the country last year to average at least 15 points, five rebounds, five assists, two steals and one block. I’m usually not a fan of these types of statistics, but that is pretty impressive.
Wright is a stat-sheet stuffer. He literally does a little bit of everything out there on the floor, and he has been working on his only negative, outside shooting. Since the conclusion of last season, Wright has been chucking shots in the gym to improve his jump shot. I don’t think he will come into this season shooting at a blistering rate from three-point range, but with Wright’s work ethic, I believe he can improve upon his 22 percent clip and become a shooter defenders respect.
Now, my final point. It’s the most cliché argument between Utah and BYU fans, but in this case, it’s especially right — the competition Utah and Wright has to go against is way better than what Haws and the Cougars see. I could point out the fact the Pac-12 contains some of the best programs in the country, but let me just list a few players whom Wright had to go against last season: Zach LaVine, Jordan Adams, Kyle Anderson and Nick Johnson. All of those guys are now in the NBA, and I haven’t even mentioned players like C.J. Wilcox and Jahii Carson, who are definitely better than any player Haws might see all season.
I’m not bashing Haws — he’s an excellent player and an above-average shooter. However, after breaking it down, Wright is not only the better college basketball player, but the better pro prospect as well.
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Haws’ scoring prowess makes him more valuable than Wright

— Chris Ayers

By Alex Clark
The BYU-Utah rivalry is quickly slipping out of our reach, which is why this year’s increasingly rare matchup between the Cougars and Utes serves as a special treat to fans starved of the endangered rivalry. Adding extra sizzle to the game is two of the nation’s top senior guards in BYU’s Tyler Haws and the Utes’ Delon Wright.
But who really has the patience to wait until Dec. 10 to find out which team is better? Why not start off the rivalry hype by comparing the state’s two best guards?
I’ll start by admitting that Wright is far and away the better NBA draft prospect. He’s a legit late-first-round player that DraftExpress.com currently has going 30th overall in their very early 2015 NBA mock draft. Wright beats out Haws with future NBA potential. However, if you compare their careers from the NCAA level, Haws is clearly the better guard. And it’s not even close.
Haws has made his name by scoring. Lots and lots of scoring. Sports Illustrated recently predicted that Haws will be the nation’s number one scorer entering the 2014-15 season. He will eventually dethrone Jimmer Freddette as BYU’s all-time leading scorer if he continues at last year’s rate of 23.2 points per game, a pace at which he’ll also surpass Utah’s all-time leading scorer, Keith Van Horn, by mid-February. He’s always a threat to put up the kind of numbers you’re only used to seeing when playing NBA Live’s “career mode,” like when he averaged an amazing 34 points per game Jan. 23 to Feb. 6 of last year.
Consistency is the reason Haws will go down as one of BYU’s greatest-ever players. He’s been an impact player since day one, averaging 11.3 points as a freshman in 2009-10. His scoring numbers jumped to 21.7 points per game after he returned from his LDS mission in 2012 and followed that up by the 23.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game line he put up on his way to being named the 2013-14 West Coast Conference Player of the Year.
I won’t argue that Wright has been anything less than an immense addition to a talented Utah team. The junior transfer from City College of San Francisco proved he could fill up a stat sheet when he averaged 15.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.3 blocks in his first season as a Ute. Wright was very much the spark instrumental in turning Utah’s 15-18 2012-13 record into a 21-win team in 2013-14.
Though Wright does a lot of solid things overall for the Utes, Haws’ scoring is a much more valuable commodity to his team. He has proven his ability to put up 20-plus points night-in and night-out against defenses with entire gameplans centered on shutting him down. Points are ultimately the deciding factor in winning and losing, and the Cougars’ 47 wins over the last two seasons are in large part because of Haws, who accounted for over a quarter of BYU’s points scored during that span.
Haws and Wright are both extremely talented players worthy of all the accolades and national attention they’ve been receiving. It’ll be exciting to see how Wright’s draft stock rises in his second year as a Ute while Haws’ begins toppling scoring records in his fourth year in coach Dave Rose’s system. The best part will be getting to see the two go against each other in the Marriott Center. Is it Dec. 10 yet?
Alex Clark
The Daily Universe[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]