After a pair of underwhelming performances against Boston College and Wake Forest, North Carolina’s Tyler Hansborough is in the words of Sports On My Mind’s D.K. Wilson, “watching his pro stock drop like a boulder bounding down a seven degree slope.”. dwil’s explanation for Psycho T’s slump? “Tyler Hansbrough is not the brightest bulb in the pack.”
Think about this one for a moment: the one compliment you have never heard tossed Hansbrough™s way is how smart he is.
Willing to give his body up for the most insignificant loose ball? Sure.
Adding new pieces to his game every season? Definitely.
But never, ever have you heard the 23-year old senior, who was already known as one of theose, œkept back a year kids, be called anything resembling œintelligent.
Not even by œMr. Hyperbole, Dick Vitale; not even by his own coach, Roy Williams.
And when was the last time a white player who has garnered the accolades Hansbrough has, not be called smart?
Listen to a postgame interview with Hansbrough today will sound the same as it did four years ago; same monosyllabic reponses, same glazed look – not of shyness, but of œduh-ness.
During the game he plays much as he did four years ago. Sure, he now possesses a fairly reliable elbow jumper and is a much better free throw shooter than in his freshman year, but his inside game has failed to progress one iota. If Hansbrough puts the ball on the floor once, he is going to attempt a shot and if he his double or triple-teamed he will either muscle up an awkward-looking heave toward the rim or the game will look suddenly resemble the constant scrumming of 10 eight-year olds in the midst of a game that will render a 15-13 final score.
By the end of the season we will see a North Carolina Tar Heel team that is increasingly disgruntled, increasingly edgy, and just as likely to come apart at the seams as it is to embark on a lightning-quick 10-0 run.This will happen because Hansbrough will continue to leave open shooters with their hands out and palms empty. He will continue to be forced into scrums as guards creep away from the player they are guarding to swipe at the ball as Hansbrough™s attempts another foray to the hoop using moves only Tom Gola could enjoy.