FJM: Tyler Hansbrough

Bob Ryan, the old dude from Boston who periodically appears on Around the Horn and PTI wrote a column about the how Tyler Hansbrough is progressing in the NBA. Most people, including everyone on this blog minus Cubsfan, didn't project Hansbrough's college game to transfer to the NBA, but lets allow Bob Ryan to tell all of us why we are wrong wrong wrong.
A full-blown, four-year college star, and not just any star but the player logically anointed College Player of the Decade by the Sporting News.
Yep, he was arguably the best college player of the decade(Jay Williams, JJ Reddick, Shane Battier) who was not good enough to go to the NBA before graduation. No good player stays in college 4 years. If Lebron, Dwight, or Amare spent even 1 year in college, people wouldnt even know who Hansbrough was. I'm willing to bet the 1 season Carmelo, Durant, and Beasley spent in college will be glorified in history more than Tyler's 4.
Was there another choice, really? What college player’s résumé in the 2000s came even remotely close to the dazzling portfolio submitted by North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough, by far the most decorated collegian of the decade, and one of the most award-laden players of all-time?
The title of this column is Hansbrough elbowing into role in NBA and so far no mention of the NBA. Better title so far would have been Hansbrough was good in college and won many awards. But i'm no professional so what do I know about newspaper business. BTW, Joakim Noah won more championships than Hansbrough. Just sayin'
The numbers tell us he can play in the NBA. He has been coming off Jim O’Brien’s bench for an average of 18 minutes a game, collecting 9.1 points and 4.6 rebounds a game. You easily could project that into double-double territory with sufficient playing time.
I broke this paragraph into 2 specifically to show the dichotomy. The paragraph starts telling us that Hansbrough can play in the NBA. The second part of the paragraphs has stats that completely contradict this assertion. Oh, and you cant simply extrapolate NBA stats. If Tyler could average 20-10 playing 40 minutes, he would be playing 40 minutes. There is a reason he's only getting 18 minutes.
But critics have something to hang their hat on, too, citing his field goal percentage (.380) and the inordinate amount of his shots that get blocked. He has not yet demonstrated he can hit the mid-range jumper that was a major part of his repertoire as a Carolina senior. There are predictable defensive nit-picks.
So basically he's a worse shooter than John Salmons. Can't make more than a layup. And can't play defense, which somehow is expected. Also, i've never heard anyone get "his shot blocked" too often. That has never been said about an NBA player. Guess there's a first for everything.
“For a guy who missed training camp and then wasn’t able to practice much he’s doing fine,’’ declares his ultimate boss, Indiana team president Larry Bird (remember him?). “I think he can be a very good player. He’ll be in the league for a long time.’’
So him missing training camp is the reason he can't shoot and gets his shot block an "inordinate amount"? What about all those other basketball stats. Like him averaging less than 1 assist, block, and steal per game. Derrick Rose averages more blocks per game, and he's 8 inches shorter.

List of guys who have been in the league a long time: Lindsey Hunter, Eric Dampier, Jannero Pargo, Eddie Curry, Tyson Chandler, Kevin Ollie, Bobby Simmons, Tim Thomas, Kareem Rush, Malik Allen. Yeah, I dont know who any of them are either
Said Jackson, “Wrong sport . . . his skill level is not there for basketball. He’s a bruiser. He needs to be playing rugby, or something.’’
Agreed. Elbowing people in the face does not make you good at basketball. If he goes to play rugby, nobody will notice. Would you have noticed or cared that Rashad McCants, Gerald Green, and Salim Staudemire were no longer on an NBA roster if I didn't just state it? I didn't think so.
“They don’t like to get hit with elbows, they don’t like to box out - none of that stuff. When a guy is going all-out on every play, things are going to happen. [Hansbrough’s] not going to back down. He brings it every day.’’
Yeah, they don't like it because it's against the rules. Shaq has been called for a thousand offensive fouls for elbowing. Yeah, when a guy goes all out things are going to happen. He's gonna get ejected for excessive elbowing. Every day.
“Oh, yeah,’’ Bird offers, “he can hit that 15- to 17-footer. We see it in practice, when he gets his rhythm going.’’
I've heard rumors for 20 years that Shaq is actually an 80% free throw shooter in practice, but has been a carer 50% shooter his entire life in real games. I should never be correcting Larry Bird, but the point of defenses is to disrupt rhythm, hence Hansbrough will never get into rhythm in a real game
“He’s just tough,’’ Bird says. “He gets his hands on a lot of loose balls.’’
That's why they wear jock straps.
And, of course, you knew the critics would zero in on his defense. There are better athletes in the NBA; no one will argue with that... there’s a lot worse guys out there trying to do that than Tyler.
Wait, you're telling me a white guy with no hops or lateral movement can't guard Carmelo and Durant? But there are worse players out there than Tyler Hansbrough. Just like there are worse pitchers out there than Jason Marquis.
“Hustle is part of ability.’’
Shooting, passing, rebounding, and defending are also a part of ability. They tend to be important in the NBA.


Cubsfan4evr said...

I told you he would be good. Keep in mine he is still a rookie and needs time to develop. His field goal percentage and other stats will get better with more playing time.

Anonymous said...

Good job calling out the writer of the story. When you are grasping at strays like he was and trying to toss out valid criticisms by calling them nit-picky, then your case is very weak.