I think Ainge and Jimmer had an edge in mental toughness for several reasons( not valid in all cases). 1. they had older brothers that helped them develop 2.they had a football background. Ainge demonstated MT many times the best against ND. Jimmer when he lit up unlv’s defensive specialist( i think wiggins was his name), for 40+ in a mwc tournament game. Tell me if i am wrong. Hopefully, Haw’s will grow from his lost moment.
Ainge and Jimmer are the two greatest players in byu basketball history. bradley is a close third as his NBA career adds to his legacy, but those two were by far the most exciting players to watch while playing for byu. It may be 20 years before we see another great, we average an exciting player about one every 10 years or so, but 20 years between great players. Hopefully my grandkids enjoy our next one as much as I enjoyed Ainge and Jimmer in my lifetime.
Haws has come a long way in mental toughness in the second half of the WCC season. He is not as physically big in body size as the Jimmer and Ainge. Haws gets his quiet 20 to 30 points a game, except for the last Gonzaga game. He had a not so great night against GU in Spokane this year. But I am looking forward to seeing him play in the WCC tourney. But has a tough game in the WCC right out of the bat vs. St. Mary’s, a team that has something to prove. BYU has to get to the WCC tourney final to maybe get into the big dance and play a decent game against GU. Beating the Zags twice in two weeks is nearly impossible. But we shall see, that’s why they play 'em. First we have to win our first two games to get to the WCC final. DEFENSE! DEFENSE!
I believe Ainge was the best athlete of the three, Jimmer had the best range of the three, and Haws was the best all-around shooter of the bunch:)
Ummm…you don’t become the all-time scoring leader and be just average and ordinary. Haws is a great player. He’s earned that right to be called such.
You keep people keep putting Jimmer and Bradley up their as BYU greats because they are in the NBA. Bradley was horrible in the NBA. Jimmer hasn’t done anything great. Just a bench warmer like Greg Kite and others have been.
I’ll tell you a few others that were BYU “greats.” Devin Durrant, Cosic, Fred Roberts, Michael Smith.,And, who can’t forget Mel Hutchins
Haws will fit into that list as very good players for BYU, but the greats are Ainge, Jimmer and Bradley, in that order.
Cosic was as good as any of them. I saw him play a number of times and he was probably the greatest showman of any BYU player ever. He played in the early 70s and a lot of people here probably never saw him play and there is almost no video footage left of his games. He had offers to play in the NBA but chose not to play in the NBA. He was 2nd only to BIll Walton as a college center during his college career. They were contemporaries. His offensive skills were equal to Walton’s but he was thin and couldn’t rebound as well as Walton, although he was a good rebounder. He was OK defensively. He blocked quite a few shots but would get pushed around a little by bulkier centers. He would have played both small and power forward in the NBA. He chose to play in Europe and coached in his native Yugoslavia and his work in building the Kingdom of God behind the Iron Curtain was his calling and not the NBA.
He was 6’11" could handle the ball like a guard and often led the fast break, he could shoot from the outside, and was a great passer. Those of us who saw him play will attest to the fact he was as good as Jimmer and Ainge and that is not hyperbole.
Cosic came into the program in 1969-70 when freshmen couldn’t play varsity, Ainge came in 77-78, and Fredette in 2007-2008 so I guess it averages about 20 years between great players. I wouldn’t put Bradley into the class of Cosic, Ainge & Fredette. He only played one year at BYU and his college career was nowhere close to the other 3. I don’t believe he was any better as a 10 year NBA veteran than he was as a college freshman. He was a career back-up just slightly better than Fred Roberts as an NBA player and he never really improved his skills much as a player.
Judging players based solely on their college careers Cosic is one of the top 3. Mel Hutchins had a very good NBA career and was a great college player. He is probably the only BYU player other than Ainge who had a real good NBA career.
At one time only Ainge and Cosic’s jerseys had been retired. Maybe Fredette’s has been as well. The reason for this is that those who saw Cosic play understood how great he was. I probably saw him play 10-12 times and he was a great college player. There is a good Wikipedia article on his career accomplishments, Some consider him the greatest Yugoslavian player ever and that is saying something considering a few of the Yugoslavs who have played in the NBA. His is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame.
You are right-saw Cosic shoot hook shots from the top of the key-special player and individual-I wouldn’t put Bradley up there either. If he would have returned to BYU he probably would have been one of the top 3 to ever play at BYU and possibly a better NBA career, but that’s entirely subjective. Hard to beat Ainge, though, he could do it all and suceed in the NBA on great Celtic teams.
And, I think if we are judging the greatest BYU players, then the NBA really isn’t part of the equation. If we are judging great BYU players that went on to the NBA and had good careers, there would have to be other criteria involved with what “good” careers actually means. Roberts, Bradley and a few others had long careers in the NBA as backups and bench warmers, but good enough to be in the league 10 years or longer. There are reasons why a guy like Roberts never played really great. It’s called playing time. Jimmer is in that conversation now.
Haws is a great college player. NBA is down the road if he can make it there or in Europe. Time will tell.
Good point about some of the early players and that freshman were excluded from varsity ball. Walton and others. Wooden finally broke the rule with Marcus Johnson.
I never saw him played because I was still in HS in California. Anyone remember or saw Cosic driving a VW? Paul James on KSL showed a clip of him driving in the VW and he also played like a guard from coast to coast for a 6’ 11" which is too funny and sound fun to watch. I thought he was drafted by the Lakers but he opt to go back Yugoslavia. Too bad he passed some two years ago with some form of cancer and such a good guy.
Bradley could have been great but he only played one year. That removes him from the list. Haws the all time scoring leader puts him in with the greats group.
Good points Sr_Burton on the Jimmer, Ainge and Haws. I truly believe that the Jimmer has been discriminated against thus far in his NBA career, with the little playing time that he has had. We shall see if Haws gets a chance in the NBA. My thinking on Haws is that if he gets a chance in the NBA and gets sufficient playing time that he will make it. If he doesn’t get an NBA chance then he needs to go to Europe to play. Knowing Haws, he is training well and has a great attitude, especially considering that he wasn’t invited to the NBA combine. I don’t know who makes the decisions on who gets invited to the NBA combine. But with Haw’s record, I truly believe that he was slighted on the NBA Combine invite. We shall see when the NBA draft comes and/or if Hwas is signed as an undrafted free-agent. Heavven knows, he has had enough tryouts with NBA teams.