According to Andrew Jones at Buster Sports he just might.
But Hansbrough just isn’t the same player he was a year ago. He is not a worse player like some idiots in this profession have said and written. He is just not as affective. And the reason: Shin splints.
The very injury that caused the reigning national player of the year to miss four of UNC’s first seven games has flared up again in recent weeks, and it has reduced Hansbrough’s overall effectiveness to “around 80 percent,” a source close to the UNC program said.
That is one reason Hansbrough has been playing away from the basket more frequently of late. Posting on the lower blocks puts more pressure on the shins, so to save some strain and keep him on the court, Carolina coach Roy Williams is moving his all-everything star around.
Andrew Jones is a former sports writer for the Wilmington Star. He was the first person I saw broach the possibility of Alex Stepheson's transfer so his information tends to be reliable.
Roy Williams indicated a few weeks back that Tyler Hansbrough's play was not related to the previous shin injury and at the time this may have been the case. That appears to no longer be the case. This would explain a great many things about Hansbrough in the past few games though I still think Miami's zone and then the blows to his head had more to do with what happened on Sunday night than possible shin splints.
If Hansbrough is at 80% then Tyler Zeller returning is huge. Some depth on the bench will allow Roy to reduce Hansbrough's minutes, at least through the rest of the regular season. If UNC an win their next three games(NCSU, at MD, GT) they ensure at least a tie for first and if Wake Forest loses once more they ensure a win outright regardless of what happens at VT and versus Duke. The season has reached a point where Roy can opt to reduce some of Hansbrough's minutes and practice time so he is fully available come March/April. With Zeller back doing that just got easier.
Hat tip: wb3