NBA Draft Media Day Video Interviews June 24, 2009
[Read Full Article] NBA Draft Media Day Interview Transcripts (Part Two) June 24, 2009 Reporter: People have a lot of varying opinions on you. How does that affect you?
Hansbrough: I’m not really worried about necessarily what other people think I’m only concerned with the coaches or the team I get picked by.
Reporter: Talk about the Nets work out yesterday.
Hansbrough: Like I said, anything can happen in the draft. I think the workout went well for the Nets but we’ll see what happens.
Reporter: What team would you like to play for?
Hansbrough: It don’t work like that. There are a lot of teams out there where I think I fit in.
Reporter: What was your reaction to the trades that happened yesterday?
Hansbrough: I’ve heard about it and it seems like some teams are already starting to make some moves. But I don’t pay too much attention to it because I don’t want to get caught up in everything. We’ll find out soon where I’ll be headed.
Reporter: What part of your game do you still have to work on?
Hansbrough: I’ve been working on a lot of different things. The NBA three point range is something that everybody kind of works on and like I said once I get to a team it’s just going to be the adjustment of getting to know their plays and things like that.
Reporter: What do you think it will be like tomorrow night waiting to be called?
Hansbrough: It’s kind of nerve wracking just trying to think about where I could end up or what’s going to happen but we’ll find out?
Reporter: Do you think staying in college helped or hurt your draft stock?
Hansbrough: I think it helped mine. I mean playing for Coach Williams, I got my basketball IQ a lot better and I feel like each year I improved my game. If you look at my jump shot, it got better each year and I’m a National Championship regardless of whether it helped my stock or not. I was glad I stayed in school just because the end results were very good for me.
Reporter: You worked out yesterday for the Nets, they were very high on you and there are some people saying you could go as high as eleven. How would you feel about playing in this market with New Jersey?
Hansbrough: It’d be very exciting, I think the Nets have a great organization and it’d be a nice place to play. But it is a draft and a lot of things are possible, we’ll see what happens.
Reporter: Do you still have a chip on your shoulder in regards to people saying what your limitations are or are you pretty much past that?
Hansbrough: I’m past that; people are going to say what they want and everyone has their own opinion, but I’m just trying to come out here and play like I can play regardless of what people say.
Reporter: Has playing that tough ACC schedule gotten you prepared for the NBA?
Hansbrough: Yea definitely playing in the ACC but also playing under Coach Williams. I learned a lot playing for him and I feel like my basketball IQ got a lot better. Each season I got better in some aspect of my game.
DraftExpress: Tyler how nervous are you for tomorrow night?
Hansbrough: I’m a little nervous but I’m also excited to find out where I’m going. I’m happy that it’s right around the corner.
DX: Some of the guys like Eric Maynor and B.J. Mullens decided not to be in the green room for fear of being the last one there, was that a thought that maybe crossed your mind?
Hansbrough: No I wasn’t really thinking of it in that way. I was looking at it as this is something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time and it’s been a dream of mine to be in NBA so I wanted to be there when I got drafted so I could have a picture with the commissioner.
Reporter: As someone who is one the opposite end of the one and done spectrum, what do you think when you always hear people discussing it? Do you think everyone should go to college or should they have options?
Hansbrough: Everyone has their own opinions when it comes to this. I think after high school everyone has to make their own decisions and that’s part of growing up and getting past those years. Also I think you need to do what makes you happy, for me it was staying in school because I enjoyed it so much. Not everyone is as lucky as me where they wind up in such a good situation with the kind of coaches and teammates that I had. A lot of people leave early and I understand that, I was just in a good situation.
DX: New Jersey, Indiana, Chicago and Utah seem to be the four spots that you’ve been mentioned at the most. Is there any other team that could surprise us by taking you?
Hansbrough: I’m not really sure; it is a draft so we’ll see what happens. I worked out for Atlanta about a week ago, so we’ll see what happens.
Reporter: You said you aren’t nervous about where you go, but where do you think your bottom is?
Hansbrough: I’m not sure, there’s a lot of speculation.
Reporter: Why should teams draft you?
Hansbrough: I’m a high energy guy and a proven player. Some guys may take time to develop, but I’ll be able to come in and help a team right away. I’m a very good offensive rebounder and my mid-range game is improving to the point where it’s a scoring option.
Reporter: Having spend four years in college and seeing younger players come out and get drafted based on potential, do you think part of the reason there are questions now is because there has been more time for scouts and the media to find problems in your game?
Hansbrough: I’m not sure; I mean everyone has their opinion of me. I stayed in college for four years and I enjoyed it, so we’ll see what happens.
DX: Let’s say there were no workouts, no interviews, no measurements and the draft was held directly after the Final Four, do you think you would be drafted higher or lower?
Hansbrough: Probably lower, I think I really helped myself in the workouts, with the measurements and during the athletic testing.
Reporter: Are you someone who looks at mock drafts?
Hansbrough: No I don’t really look at those, maybe if GMs did I would be more inclined to.
Reporter: Do your friends or teammates tell you what’s going on with them or do you completely stay away from them?
Hansbrough: I try to stay away from them, I don’t think my friends even really get on there. I think there are so many of them all over the place, some of them had me going high and some had me going low.
DX: How important is it for you to get drafted high?
Hansbrough: It’s important to me because I’m competitive, but also I’m not too concerned about where I go in the draft, it’s more about what I do after. [Read Full Article]
NBA Combine Media Availability Interviews May 29, 2009
[Read Full Article] Situational Statistics: This Year's Power Forward Crop April 23, 2009 What about Tyler Hansbrough you ask? He actually fared quite well, in a number of different categories in fact. For one, he ranked third amongst all PFs in points per possession in terms of finishing around the basket, at 1.39. His field goal percentage was fairly average here—64%, just slightly under the mean—but the fact that he draws fouls on an outstanding 20% of his possessions (easily ranking him first) made him substantially more efficient in that regard. He also managed to keep his turnovers extremely low, and also did a nice job converting on his jump-shot attempts—making a very solid 42% on an admittedly small 2.7 possessions per game. His ability to operate out of isolation situations looks very encouraging (50% FG), while he was the second most efficient PF in post-up situations as well. From a pure statistical standpoint, Hansbrough obviously looks like a solid prospect based on his college data. [Read Full Article]
Top NBA Draft Prospects in the ACC (Part One: #1-5) October 4, 2008 Not since Tim Duncan returned for his senior year at Wake Forest has there been a 4-year college big man as prolific of a scorer as Tyler Hansbrough. The hard-nosed forward has nothing left to prove in his collegiate career aside from winning a national championship and becoming the ACC’s all-time leading scorer. The three time All-American has garnered every other conceivable honor in his time at Chapel Hill, but will give it one more go-around this season. Being an elite player who has spent several years in the national spotlight, Hansbrough has been written about countless times on this site, to the point that it almost feels redundant to discuss his strengths and weaknesses and how he stacks up as an NBA prospect.
The knock against Hansbrough from the moment he became a household name is his lack of size and athleticism for a frontcourt player at the professional level. He will likely give up a couple of inches on most nights in the league, but against college rosters his stature is adequate. He possesses great strength, but more importantly, he has control of that strength and knows how to use it effectively to create space and draw contact on the block. Hansbrough slimmed down a little bit last year, which made him faster in the open court, but his quickness could still be improved in order to more effectively hedge on screens and handle opponents when he steps out on the perimeter.
Very little about Hansbrough’s offensive game has changed in his three years with the Tar Heels; he is a fundamentally sound hustle player. It is obvious that he possesses a well developed post game, but what is most impressive is his natural feel for playing with his back to the basket. So many times we have seen him spin around on his pivot foot, giving head and ball fakes, until he finally gets a look he likes or draws a foul on his defender. There may be no player in the country better at finishing with contact than Hansbrough. While many of his looks are by no means what would be considered “good shots”, he is often able to knock down baskets from extremely difficult angles thanks to his strength, touch, and poise under pressure.
This feel for the post also lends itself to Hansbrough getting a tremendous number of trips to the foul line. He led the nation in free throws attempted and free throws made last season, connecting on 304 of his 377 attempts, good for an 80.6% clip. In all, a whopping 34.5% of his points last year came on free throws; in addition, only one other player who averaged 8 free throw attempts last year shot better than 80% from the line, and that was lottery pick Eric Gordon. While coaches and scouts love how aggressive Hansbrough is, he does force the issue sometimes, attempting poor shots rather than kicking to an open teammate. This tends to happen against bigger or more athletic frontcourts (i.e.: Kansas and Washington State in last year’s NCAA Tournament). There will always be the question mark about whether he is simply a man amongst boys at the collegiate level, and whether his production will stagnate once he is no longer able to beat up on largely mediocre post players and starts going up against the Dwight Howards and Tim Duncans of the world.
While still very much a post player, Hansbrough has continued to add other facets to his offensive skill set. His jump shot, though awkward and slow in its form, has proven to be relatively effective if he is given room to get it off. His slimmer frame has also allowed him to be more of a threat running the floor and finishing in transition. Where Hansbrough still struggles, though, is with his ball handling skills. Even at this point, he can only attack the basket in a straight line, and when he is forced to change directions by a defender, he almost exclusively goes to a spin move. His first step is only average for the college game, only really effective against slower big men who venture out to the perimeter.
Hansbrough’s hard-nosed style of play translates well to the defensive side of the ball. He is tough to back down and rarely leaves his feet on ball fakes. He is an excellent rebounder who relies on tenacity and positioning to hall in loose balls at a high rate. While he has improved his defense on the perimeter, he still struggles to stay in front of more athletic big men and guards he is forced to cover when hedging on screens. In order to be an effective player in the NBA it will be vital that Hansbrough become a better defender when he is forced to step away from the paint. Considering his lack of size, there will already be question marks about his ability to defend his position at the NBA level.
There is no reason to think that Hansbrough can’t be a first-round pick after he finishes his career with North Carolina. How high he goes though, depends on a lot of factors. He needs to start showing that he can step away from the paint on a more regular basis on both ends of the floor. Improving on his .42 assist to turnover ratio certainly would help his cause as well. Ultimately though, Hansbrough is everything that is right about college basketball; a phenomenal player who has the best work ethic of anyone in the country and plays every game to his absolute fullest abilities. His skill set and style of play lead us to believe he will be the consummate hustle player at the next level and be an effective contributor with whatever team decides to draft him, even if there will undoubtedly be many who question him along the way. [Read Full Article] NCAA Weekly Performers, 12/06/2007 -- Part Two December 6, 2007 Tyler Hansbrough has jumped out to a fast start in his first eight games this season. The preseason All-American has seen significant increases in both his scoring and rebounding averages, while having already posted five double-doubles. As always though, the stellar numbers don’t do justice to how hard Hansbrough works on the floor and how smart of a player he is.
One thing that jumps out right away about Hansbrough this season is he seems to have slimmed down and toned up a little bit in the off-season. This weight loss has added more speed to his game, particularly in the open court in transition. While this has made Hansbrough more effective at guarding the pick and roll, he still is a bit slow closing out on perimeter shooters and guarding quicker players in isolation situations. At just 6’9” and not a phenomenal athlete, Hansbrough will definitely need to continue to get quicker in order to continue his success at the next level.
Offensively Hansbrough has stuck with his bread and butter so far this season; hard nosed play in the paint. Not only is he one of the strongest players pound for pound in the country, but Hansbrough is so smart when he gets the ball inside. He keeps his pivot foot better than maybe any post player in the college game, and uses a flurry of head and ball fakes to get himself good looks inside. His most dangerous weapon this season though, as it has always been is his ability to draw contact and go to the free throw line. Hansbrough is attempting a whopping 10.3 free throws per game this season, and with a free throw percent of 77% he is doing a lot of easy scoring. In total, Hansbrough has scored 37% of his points this season from the charity stripe. While his ability to get to the line is phenomenal, there have been points this season where Hansbrough has missed out on easy baskets as a result of giving head fakes rather than going right to the basket.
Hansbrough’s physical shortcomings have stuck out at a few points this season. In North Carolina’s games against BYU and Ohio State, while Hansbrough had solid stat lines, it was clear to see he was having a hard time against athletic big men like Trent Plaisted, Kosta Koufos and Othello Hunter. All three players are longer and more athletic than Hansbrough, and often he found himself taking very difficult, contested shots. Hansbrough’s great touch and feel for the post game allowed him to still be fairly effective.
Extending his range was a major area of emphasis this summer for Hansbrough. While his touch from as far out as 15-feet has improved, this still isn’t a shot that he takes often, preferring to handle the ball nearer to the basket. Hansbrough still isn’t much of a threat to drive to the basket. Occasionally he will attack the basket from the foul line if guarded by a slower post player, but his slashing skills are limited to straight lines to the hoop.
On the defensive end Hansbrough has continued to be a solid post presence. What he lacks in leaping ability and length, he makes up for with his strength and basketball IQ. Hansbrough is very tough to back down on the block, and his constant hustle makes him a pesky defender, leading to 1.5 steals per game so far this season. He does a nice job on help defense, often reading opponents’ next moves before they make them; he picks up a fair number of charges in the process.
As a college post player Hansbrough is in an elite class, possessing the strength, smarts and touch necessary to be an All-American. As a pro prospect, he lacks great size, length and athleticism, and he needs to become more of a threat with his mid-range jump shot. Hansbrough does have tremendous work ethic though, and his constant hustle makes him a coach’s dream. There’s a reason he is on everyone’s short list for national player of the year honors; he has tremendous post skills and a great feel for the game. Hansbrough is going to be a very nice addition to an NBA roster one day soon. [Read Full Article]
Top NBA Draft Prospects in the ACC (Part One: #1-#5) September 26, 2007 After quickly deciding to return to school following his sophomore year, without deliberating much publicly over the temptations of the NBA, Hansbrough should pick up right where he left off for UNC, punishing opponents in the paint and out-hustling with his energetic style of play. Hansbrough is a more complete player now than he was a year ago, improving noticeably with both his perimeter defense and his mid-range jump shot, and this extra year in school will give him time to make some more strides in those areas. The questions still remain about Hansbrough’s physical limitations, though, not being the greatest athlete and not making up for it in the height or length departments.
Hansbrough’s at his best when he’s operating with his back to the basket in the painted area, possessing a full repertoire of moves, excellent footwork, and good decision-making skills. He often is able to overpower the opposition at this level, but he can get things done by using finesse as well, as his mini jump hook is his most effective move. He also takes contact very well with his strong frame, getting him to the free-throw line very often. Hansbrough’s main concern in regards to his post play is how his game will translate to the NBA, where his defender will be longer and more athletic than him pretty much all the time.
To prepare for the issue posed above, Hansbrough improved his mid-range jumper last season, as he looks more comfortable from the 10-15 foot range, hitting the shot more consistently and adjusting his shooting motion slightly, giving it more of a natural, upward release. He could still continue to add some range to his shot, as his effectiveness dwindles as he goes deeper than 15 feet out, and that’s something he should focus on doing this season. Hansbrough doesn’t have much of a face-up game to complement his jump shot, not possessing the greatest athleticism, but he can take advantage of defenders when they bite for a fake, putting the ball on the ground for one or two dribbles.
Hansbrough also really excels on the boards, where his relentless motor and strength allow him to outmuscle the opposition. He’s always in the mix trying to get his hands on loose balls, and he establishes good position down low to do so, being fundamentally sound and consistent boxing out.
On the defensive end, Hansbrough is a solid post defender, possessing good fundamentals and lower body strength to maintain good position his man, but he can be susceptible to longer, more athletic opponent shooting over his head, as he is lacking in vertical lift. Hansbrough often will outsmart his man in the post, though, using footwork to force him into a traveling violation or drawing an offensive foul. On the perimeter, Hansbrough made very nice strides last season improving on his fundamentals, specifically by keeping his center of gravity low to the ground, and really putting in the effort stepping out on his man on the perimeter. His lateral quickness isn’t the greatest, but he has good instincts to compensate, and he really puts in the effort, making this part of his game respectable.
Hansbrough will likely be a top-20 pick or better if he finally decides to come out after this year, and there doesn’t seem to be much more he could add to his game at the college level by staying another year—besides more experience and wins. He is a multi-skilled player with great intangibles, though his physical limitations may seriously diminish his effectiveness in the NBA, something we’ll only know for sure when he decides to make the leap. [Read Full Article] NCAA Tournament: NBA Draft Stock Watch (Elite Eight, Sunday games) March 27, 2007 If there’s one player North Carolina fans can’t question for the effort he put in, it’s Tyler Hansbrough. He was really the only one who showed up for them in this game, doing yeomen’s work down low and making sure that Roy Hibbert spent as much time as possible on the bench in foul trouble.
Hansbrough was the reason this game looked so comfortable for the Heels to start out with. He scored 10 points in the first 4 minutes, getting to the free throw line at will and pulling down offensive rebounds by the bushel. He hit a baseline jumper from about 15 feet out, but then missed his next three attempts from mid-range, once of which did not even draw iron. It was pretty clear that Roy Williams wanted to force Hibbert to guard Hansbrough out on the perimeter to open up room for his slashers to operate, but that plan backfired as Georgetown’s team defense rotated well and the shots just didn’t fall for the Heels at all, from anywhere on the court.
With that plan obviously scrapped, Hansbrough went back to what he does best—scoring with his back to the basket. He hit a couple of nice shots and continued to get to the free throw line and knock down his shots, but Hibbert’s size and length really began to take a toll on him down the stretch, forcing him into some difficult shots that he probably would have preferred not to have taken.
The last 15 minutes of this game were pretty forgettable for Hansbrough as they were for the entire North Carolina squad, but it wasn’t because of a lack of effort on his part. [Read Full Article]
NCAA Tournament: Stock Watch (Sweet 16, Friday )--Stock Down/Neutral March 24, 2007 This clearly wasn’t Tyler Hansbrough’s night, as foul trouble limited his minutes and the sophomore never really made an impact until late in the game when he drew a critical fourth foul on USC freshman big Taj Gibson. But Hansbrough never came close to making the same impact he did against Michigan State in the 2nd round, displaying little of the energy and toughness we have come to expect from “Psycho T.”
Hansbrough was thoroughly outplayed on both ends by Gibson, who appeared to have stolen a bit of his physical aggression. Gibson kept Hansbrough from getting good position inside, and forced him to step away from the basket for lower percentage shots than we are used to seeing from the sophomore. He didn’t get the ball as much as he should have, but still appeared to force the issue at times when he did.
USC’s focus on Hansbrough did allow Brandan Wright to put in one of the best games of his career, but we expect a lot more from Tyler Hansbrough in the energy and aggression departments. When he isn’t his normal self as far as energy in the lane, Hansbrough suddenly looks a lot more pedestrian than when he is sending bodies flying in the lane. [Read Full Article] NCAA Tournament: Stock Watch (round of 32, Saturday games)--Stock Up March 17, 2007 The top performance of day one of the round of 32 was easily claimed by North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough. Unleashed from the shackles of the facemask that had so clearly bothered him over the last few games, Hansbrough stormed out of the gates and put together a dominant performance that confirmed what we thought and have written about him so many times over the past two years.
Hansbrough was his old scrappy self again, fighting and clawing in the paint with Michigan State’s overmatched big men and attacking relentlessly with and without the ball. He established position time after time deep in the post, and let his phenomenal strength, footwork and touch do the job in converting efficiently and getting to the free throw line 17 times. Even when it seemed like he had no chance at making a play, he somehow found a way, getting his hands on rebounds he had no business coming down with and running the floor like a man possessed in North Carolina’s high-octane offense.
He finished with 19 points in 18 minutes in the first half, and went onto grab 9 rebounds for the game, being an unstoppable force that willed his team to victory over a very well-coached team that just would not give up. Everything he did was within 12-14 feet of the basket, but with the way things worked out for him, it was hard to argue with the results. He really didn’t show us anything we hadn’t seen many times before over the past two years, but it was nice to see him translate his incredible energy over to such a demanding setting. [Read Full Article]
NCAA Weekly Performers, 2/20/07-- Part One February 21, 2007 Many people already came to a conclusion about Tyler Hansbrough’s pro potential last season: “He’s a tremendous college player, but he’ll never be more than an average pro.” If you’re one of the many who subscribed to this notion, citing Hansbrough’s lack of top-flight athleticism and reliance on brute strength and hard work to get by in college, do yourself a favor and think about reevaluating that position. While Hansbrough will almost certainly be drafted a few spots lower because he decided to stay an extra year in college (due solely to the tremendous strength of this year’s class in comparison with last), his extra time spent on campus will go a long way in easing his transition to the NBA, and likely making him a much better player in the long-term.
Hansbrough’s strength, energy, and relentless motor still define much of who he is as a player, but everything one could have reasonably asked him to improve upon this season, he’s done. A year ago you may have gotten away with saying Hansbrough can’t play outside of the paint on either end of the floor, and that he wouldn’t be able to simply overpower the opposition at the next level as he does against his collegiate foes. But now with a more confident and effective mid-range jumper and a new committal to perimeter defense, Hansbrough is more than just a rugged, low-post bruiser, and he no longer needs to rely on just his post game to be effective.
Hansbrough is still a force to be reckoned with in the paint, possessing an incredibly polished skill set, excellent wherewithal, and a pension for drawing contact and not being phased by it. His go-to move is his mini jump hook, which he is nearly automatic with out to five feet, and still comfortable with out to 10. With his improved confidence in his jump shot, Hansbrough also is using his face-up and turnaround jumpers more often within the paint, making his repertoire that much more dangerous. When he’s not in the mood for finesse, Hansbrough will opt for using a fake or combination of fakes to get his man off balance so he can power to the hole and finish with authority, contact or not. Hansbrough is frequently double and triple-teamed, but with his man-child status, he occasionally can go through them all to draw the foul or even put the ball in the basket. At the next level, Hansbrough will not have the ease he does now scoring in the paint, and he will certainly need to work on looking to pass out of double teams more often, as overpowering the opposition won’t work too well when most players possess close to, if not just as much power as you do.
Because his post game won’t be as effective at the next level, Hansbrough did himself a great service by putting more work into his mid-range game, and while he showed flashes of a spot-up jumper from out to 15 feet last season, it’s now become a more consistent staple of his game, and he’s even starting to show range out to 18 feet now. He’s definitely most comfortable between 10 and 15 feet, and his shot possesses a quick release and a decently high release point, as he’s seemed to cut down on the forward motion in his shot a bit, altering it to a more upward shooting motion. This is a skill that will definitely translate to the next level, and having his shot blocked by bigger, longer, more athletic opponents will be less of a concern on the perimeter than in the paint.
Defensively, Hansbrough has always been a good post defender, but he’s really improved his perimeter defense this season, which was a very wise move considering he projects to be a power forward at the next level, where most power forwards are of the face-up, perimeter variety. Lateral quickness will always be somewhat of a concern for Hansbrough, but his committal in both fundamentals and effort this season should be enough to make him at least an average perimeter defender at the next level, relative to other frontcourt players. Hansbrough is tenacious at getting up on his man, lowering his center of gravity, keeping his hands out, and shifting his feet laterally to follow his man’s every step. I wouldn’t bet on him to shut down Chris Bosh or Jermaine O’Neal, but Hansbrough should be able to hold his own at the next level with his recent development. Hansbrough is also a very fundamentally sound defender in the post, fighting hard for position, staying in front of his man, and using his intelligence to draw offensive fouls and force opponents into traveling violations. Due to his height and lack of vertical lift, Hansbrough has problems contesting shots over his head, and many big men in the NBA will be threats to shoot over him in the painted area.
Despite playing with much more talent on his team this season, Hansbrough’s stats haven’t gone down much at all. He’s still scoring the same amount of points and pulling in the same amount of rebounds. The only area that has significantly changed is his FG%, down from .570 to .524. This may be concerning at first glance, and it certainly makes him a less efficient college player, but much of it is due to him shifting some of his game out of the painted area, which should help him a lot at the next level. His free-throw percentage is also up from .739 to .768, a testament to his improved confidence in his mid-range shot.
It’s tough to project a player like Hansbrough at the next level. While certainly a tremendous college player, many of his skills just don’t seem to translate well to the next level given his physical attributes, and there aren’t many similar players whom he compares favorably to currently in the NBA. That said, counting out a player with Hansbrough’s work ethic and talent would simply be foolish, and there’s a very good chance he could go on to be a very effective pro, especially with the work he’s put in over the past year. Even with the doubts surrounding his athleticism and size, Hansbrough should be a sure-fire first-round pick if he declares this season, and he has an outside chance of creeping into the lottery, especially if he impresses in private workouts after the season. [Read Full Article] Top NBA Draft Prospects in the ACC (Part One: #1-#5) October 11, 2006 Hansbrough, entering his sophomore season, is more polished than most seniors in the NCAA. Amazingly, you could’ve said when he was entering his freshman season, too. Whether you’re talking about his on-court abilities or his demeanor and leadership abilities, he’s way ahead of his class.
Hansbrough’s greatest asset as a player is his highly developed post game, which possesses pretty much every move in the book, and also the knowledge and wherewithal to know when to use them. He can drop-step proficiently going to his left or right, he has an excellent hook in the lane, he can turn into his defender and shoot the jumper in his face, can use fakes and spins to get openings for his shot, can take contact, isn’t afraid to go strong into his man, and just flat out knows how to create high-percentage shots. With his strength, he gets good position down low, but he doesn’t completely rely on it to score, possessing finesse moves as well. The biggest question is how this post game will translate to the NBA against bigger, more athletic defenders night in and night out. Hansbrough’s 27 points against Shelden Williams, the #5 pick in this past draft, is a good start for him in answering that question.
Hansbrough’s diverse post game is only part of what makes him who he is, and equally as important is his constant tenacity and effort on the basketball court, specifically when attacking the glass. Hansbrough has fantastic hands and is therefore an excellent rebounder, especially on the offensive end, where he goes for pretty much every one of his own missed shot attempts. Oftentimes when you’re watching him, you start to wonder if he ever doesn’t get his own rebound. On both ends of the court, especially defense, Hansbrough is adept at getting position on the block and effectively boxing out his man, keeping him away from the ball. Hansbrough never lets up on the boards, and by the time all’s said and done, the ball is usually in his hands.
The vast, vast majority of Hansbrough’s offensive shot attempts come in the paint, but he does have a semblance of a mid-range game, showing some proficiency shooting the ball from 10-15 feet. In a 23-game sample from his 31 games this year, Hansbrough completed 19 of 45 mid-range, spot-up jumpers for a 42% field goal percentage. Given Hansbrough’s intelligence and work ethic, it’s almost a certainty that this is something he works on this season, as it will greatly facilitate his transition to the NBA. I’d expect his range to start to increase to about 18 feet, and for him to improve his efficiency from inside 15 as well. His form is pretty solid, but one thing he should look to work on before stepping into the NBA is not pushing forward with his shot. It’s something he has a tendency to do at times, and with him lacking an incredibly high release point for a PF/C, this could lead to a lot of blocked shots in the NBA if not addressed.
Hansbrough also has shown brief flashes of a dribble-drive game, mostly by using the threat of his shot, as his first step is nothing spectacular. Improving this could only help his game, but given his physical attributes, it’s not something I’d expect to become a consistent staple of his game. His game will likely be a versatile back-to-the-basket game complemented with a spot-up jumper hopefully going up to 18 feet in time.
It’s tough to say how Hansbrough will translate to the NBA. His intangibles are a coach’s dream, he’s going to be a good rebounder in the NBA, and he’s probably going to have a solid mid-range shot. Whether he’ll be able to score in the post with the same proficiency he does now, or anything close to it, is still up in the air. He may have trouble with the bigger, more athletic frontcourt players in the NBA. He’ll especially have this problem going up against centers, and against power forwards, an even greater concern could amount with his perimeter defense, which will definitely be in question if he plays most of his time at PF as expected. He is a pretty good weakside defender, though, which should help his case some. Turning 21 in just a few weeks, he’s also a bit older than your typical college sophomore. Regardless of all his doubts, he has so many positives that it’s hard to see him not being a lottery pick if he picks up where he left off last season. [Read Full Article]
NCAA Tournament: NBA Draft Stock Watch (round of 64, Friday games) March 18, 2006 Tyler Hansbrough played extremely well in his first NCAA tournament game considering he is a freshman, receiving little help on offense with the exception of fellow first year player Danny Green. As Kansas found out, it’s hard to advance in the tournament when you are lead by freshman, but Hansbrough and North Carolina were able to fight their way through the game and advance to the second round.
The majority of Tyler’s points from the field came in the painted area, where he was able to dominate. His persistence and wide array of post moves lead to 10 attempts from the free throw line, where he converted 80%. On the defensive end, Hansbrough altered some shots and held his position in the paint. He scored 13 of his points in the second half, and made some key plays down the stretch including a steal, and a tie breaking layup with less than a minute remaining.
The leadership that Tyler Hansbrough has displayed as a freshman is very rare in college basketball. Few first year players are able to lead a team into the tournament, much less win a game, and it makes it more impressive that he was able to do it in one of the toughest conferences in college basketball. If he can improve his help defense a little bit and become more dominant on the glass while leading his team to the Sweet 16, we could see Tyler’s draft stock rise even higher. As it stands, he is knocking on the door of the NBA lottery whenever he decides to declare. [Read Full Article] NCAA Tournament: Washington Bracket NBA Draft Prospects March 12, 2006 I've gushed enough about Hansbrough this season. His position as one of the top big men in the country is secure, and he is going to be a first round pick someday. As a freshman, all he has left to do is lead his team to NCAA Tournament success. Very few freshmen do, but Hansbrough has defied conventional wisdom all season. If you think you know Hansbrough's game already, watch for signs of a perimeter game. There have been flashes lately. If you haven't seen Hansbrough yet, make sure you check him out this March. He's a big-time player in every sense of the word, and I can promise that you won't be disappointed. [Read Full Article]
In Case You Missed It...the NCAA's Weekly Performers, 3/1-3/6 March 7, 2006 After a stellar high school career in which he was consistently ranked amongst the top 5 players in his class, there was little doubt that Tyler Hansbrough was going to make an immediate impact for the experience and frontcourt deprived North Carolina Tar Heels. However, nobody really could have expected Hansbrough to be this good this early in his career.
Making an immediate, double-double type of impact, Hansbrough had national freshman of the year honors wrapped up by midseason. After a 40 point, 10 rebound outing against Georgia Tech, heads really began to turn. But on Saturday night, Tyler Hansbrough took things to an entire different level. He dominated Shelden Williams to the tune of 27 points and 10 rebounds, leading the Tar Heels to a shocking upset win on Duke's court.
Very soon, the search for next great college basketball player, the successor to Adam Morrison and JJ Redick, will begin. And Saturday night, Tyler Hansbrough made a fairly convincing case for being that guy.
Hansbrough doesn't have spectacular physical tools, but there is very little he can't do at the college level. His fundamental understanding of how to operate in the post is unparalleled for a freshman in college, and he feeds off of physical play like few other big men I have ever seen. Hansbrough is able to brush off contact and finish at an almost unnatural level, and would be plenty productive simply with blue-collar efforts around the basket.
Of course, Hansbrough actually displays quite a bit of skill as well. He will score with his back to the basket with ease when he isn't double-teamed, and showed a nice faceup game on Saturday night. Hansbrough nailed a face up jumper over Josh McRoberts in the first half, drove past Shelden Williams from the perimeter for an easy score, and hit a crucial second half 3-pointer from NBA range with the shot clock winding down.
Hansbrough is now averaging 19 points and 7.6 rebounds on the season, while shooting 58% from the floor. He is the undisputed star of a team that has won seven ACC games in a row and is now in line for a 2 seed, despite having lost its top seven contributors from a season ago. Forget Freshman of the Year. Tyler Hansbrough is a First Team All-American.
So where does all of this college-level dominance leave Hansbrough in regards to his professional future? He isn't ideally sized for the PF position, but he is already as proven as almost any player in the draft. Hansbrough is old for a freshman, and his frame is thick enough where he could compete in the paint at the next level. However, he doesn't have have the type of explosive potential that usually gets a freshman into the top half of the first round. The question is, would scouts prefer to see a player in his mold average 8 points and 4 rebounds per game like the more highly regarded Josh McRoberts, or will they be foolish enough to penalize him for being this good, this early in his career? While it is likely that Hansbrough will stick around for at least one more season, it is hard to see him slipping out of the first round whenever he decides to declare. [Read Full Article]