In the ramp up to the 2008-09 basketball season, I will be profiling key Tar Heels who will likely be major contributors this season. Today’s profile looks at senior C Tyler Hansbrough
Weight: 250 lbs
2007-08 Stats: 39 gms, 22.6 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 1.5 spg, 54% FG%
Career: 108 gms, 20.0 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 1.2 spg, 54% FG%
What Happened Last Season
Not much really. Besides leading UNC with 22.6 ppg and 10.2 rpg, Tyler Hansbrough was named consensus national player of the year, All-American, unanimous first team All-ACC for the third straight season, ACC Player of the Year and also beat a member of an Ivy League ping pong team or so it was rumored. It was one of the best seasons ever played by a Tar Heel augmented by the fact UNC went 36-3, won the ACC and went to the Final Four.
Outlook For This Season
Whenever Hansbrough returns from the shin injury I expect more of the same with better perimeter shooting and better defense. Other than that I am not sure how much more improvement he could make in his game though I imagine he has something in mind since this constitutes the first time since he has been at UNC he has taken more than three days off in a row.
The only nagging question is whether the injury heals and allows Hansbrough to play at full strength for most of the season. If it is handled properly, Hansbrough comes out of the gates in a week or two and plays with the same maddening consistency we have seen the past three years. If not, it is trouble for sure.
It seems a foregone conclusion Hansbrough will break Phil Ford's school scoring mark. Next in line is the ACC mark held by Duke's JJ Redick. That would, in many ways, be the ultimate cap off for Hansbrough's career which began when he ruined Redick's senior night in 2006 and would end with Hansbrough wiping Redick's ACC scoring record off the books. In other words, Hansbrough owns Redick.
Also on the list: 4-0 at Cameron, an NCAA title and another NPOY award just for the heck of it.