4.07.2009

Hansbrough Goes Out In Fitting Fashion


Last night’s NCAA National Championship game was somewhat of a disappointment, but in the end I was glad to see Tyler Hansbrough wrap up his college career with a national title.

Don’t get me wrong. With as much national media coverage as “Psycho T” has gotten over the last four years, it seems like he’s been at North Carolina since the late 90s, and I’m as ready for him to move on as everyone else.

However, it has lately become the trendy thing to do to talk about how overrated Hansbrough is as a player, and I think that’s largely unfair.

Certainly, he’s not the ideal NBA prospect. He’s not big enough to really play the 4 or 5 position in the NBA, and he doesn’t have the outside game or athleticism to play the 3. In fact, many NBA scouts have suggested that if it wasn’t for the fact that Hansbrough always plays harder than anyone else on the court, he wouldn’t really be an NBA prospect at all.

But none of that has anything to do with his abilities as a college player, and as a college player, he is absolutely in no way overrated. In fact, he’s probably one of the top 5-10 college players of all time, and belongs in the same category as guys like Oscar Robertson, Lew Alcindor, Bill Walton and Christian Laettner.

It was annoying to always see him on SportsCenter and to hear Dick Vitale talking about him all the time. It was annoying to see him try to take 12 charges every game, and to watch him shoot the most awkward shots imaginable and have them go in time and time again. But, as a 4-time All-American and the ACC’s all-time scoring leader, he deserved all the attention he got.

Hansbrough may never find success in the NBA, and he’ll almost certainly not find anywhere near the level of success he found in college, but when considering him as a North Carolina Tarheel, it really doesn’t matter.

He was one of the all-time college greats, and going out with a National Championship was the appropriate ending for him.

2 comments:

ecarson 4/7/09, 7:39 PM  

I think he will be very good; I am sick of the comparisons between him and Kevin Love -- who is doing well in the NBA. I guess it is b/c he is white. But I always pull for Duke, I am not sure why seeing that I did not attend there and they rejected me.

Luke 4/8/09, 9:07 AM  

Carson,

Hansbrough plays incredibly hard, and that will benefit him in the NBA as well, where a lot of guys will “take possessions off.”

The Love comparisons seem off base to me as well, because they're really not the same kind of players. Love is more of a traditional low post player, and besides, would it be the worst thing in the world if he did play like Love? As you pointed out, he's doing well, averaging a near double-double as a rookie.

I can't help you with the Duke thing…I've never been a big fan, even though Coach K is about as good as it gets.

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