Well, He Got His Title

April 7, 2009 – 1:41 am by Ryan Phillips

Now that Tyler Hansbrough and his North Carolina Tar Heels won the NCAA Championship last night, an interesting discussion is about to ensue. Just where does Hansbrough fall in the history of all-time great college basketball players?

I think I’ve got a pretty good handle on the situation.

Love him or hate him, you can’t argue with the kid’s production. While his playing style isn’t exactly viewer-friendly, when you look at the achievements (titles, awards, stats, etc.) over the course of his four-year career you come to realize that he’s the most accomplished college basketball player since Christian Laettner.

For those who don’t agree with me, let’s just take a gander at what he’s done since he arrived in Chapel Hill.

- 2006 numbers: 18.9 points, 7.8 rebounds per game, 57.0 percent from the field. First freshman to be unanimous First Team All-ACC. Second Team All-American.

- 2007 numbers: 18.4 points, 7.9 rebounds per game, 52.5 percent from the field. Unanimous First Team All-ACC, First Team All-American.

-2008 numbers: 22.6 points, 10.2 rebounds per game, 54.0 percent from the field. Unanimous First Team All-ACC, FIrst Team All-American, ACC Tournament Most Valuable Player and NCAA Tournament Regional MVP.

-2009 numbers: 20.8 points, 8.2 rebounds per game, 51.7 percent from the field. Unanimous First Team All-ACC, First Team All-American.

- Career averages of 20.2 points, 8.6 rebounds per game.

- 2006 ACC Freshman of the Year.

- 2008 ACC Conference Player of the Year.

- 2008 Consensus National Player of the Year.

- ACC’s All-Time Leading Scorer (2,872) points.

- NCAA’s All-Time free throw makes leader (982).

- North Carolina’s career rebounds leader (1,219).

- UNC’s career field goals leader (939).

- One of only eight players in ACC history to compile 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career.

- First player to be selected First-Team All-ACC player unanimously four times.

- Four time All-American (three first team selections, one second team).

- Career record of 124-22.

- Part of winningest class in UNC history.

- Three regular season ACC titles.

- Two ACC Tournament titles.

- Two Final Fours.

- One National Championship.

Again, like him or not, you can’t argue that Hansbrough has had a remarkable career. Last night’s title immediately puts him into the discussion as one of the greatest college basketball players of all-time. Remember, when you consider something like that, I’m saying he’s in the discussion, he’s not the best. Also, that type of distinction has nothing to do with the player’s talent level or how he performs as a professional.

Hansbrough will likely never be a regular starter in the NBA, but who cares? We’ll always remember his name and he’ll always have that title to keep him warm.

So, respect to Tyler Hansbrough. It’s been a hell of a ride for four years watching him play. Congrats to him on staying all four years and getting his title. He certainly earned it.

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  1. 2 Responses to “Well, He Got His Title”

  2. I should preface all of this by saying I’ve been a UNC fan since I was old enough to follow college basketball, so some may see some bias here. But whatever, vai tomar no cu.
    I just think it gets lost on too many people that college basketball is in fact, college basketball.
    While everyone wants to pick out each NBA prospect’s flaws and figure out where the top college players will go or won’t go in the draft, something’s always being forgotten – it’s college basketball.
    While technically both the NBA and the NCAA play the same sport, college basketball, in a way, is a completely different sport than the NBA in itself. I think too many people waste too much time trying to figure out what a college player is going to do at the next level.
    Isn’t it possible to enjoy what players are doing in college basketball? This is really the last time athletes are playing a sport they love and are good at for the love of the game, before a lot of them are shipped off to the lovely and much less-intriguing world of being a high-payed NBA employee.
    I can’t agree with this post more.
    Say what you will about Psycho-T. Hate him if you must. Yes I know he doesn’t come off as the smartest, most well-spoken or eloquent guy in the world. And I’m well aware he likely won’t be anywhere near an NBA star. But how can’t you appreciate what he’s done as a college basketball player?
    The numbers and results speak for themselves. And he did all of this for four years against the much more gifted players who will in fact become upper-echelon pro ballers.
    How many pieces of ish players are there on an NBA bench that everyone raved about as a college freshman or sophomore, leading that guy to jump early and enter the draft. Maybe he’s been lucky enough to have been on the bench for an NBA team that’s won a title or accomplished something significant. But did he do anything to help? Likely not.
    Regardless of what anyone wants to say about Hansbrough, no one will be able to take away the fact that he’s accomplished more in four years of college than a lot of more athletically talented early-entry NBA scrubs will in their entire life of playing basketball.
    Though UNC never has a problem getting a top-notch recruiting class, it’s going to be impossible for Roy Williams to ever really replace Hansbrough. And as a Heels fan, I’m going to miss him a ton. He was great to watch, easy to appreciate with how physical and hard-working he was, and he was the center piece of the most successful four years of UNC basketball ever.
    If you’re a Hansbrough Hater (or just incredibly jealous of his success) then so be it. But those of you who are should really ask yourself why.

    By AK-47 on Apr 8, 2009

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