Talk hoops all year long in Luke Winn's blog, a journal of commentary, news and reader-driven discussions about the college game.
8/30/2006 10:27:00 AM
Blog Q&A With ... UNC's Tyler Hansbrough
Tyler Hansbrough was a freshman All-America pick after leading the Heels to a No. 3 seed in the 2006 NCAA tournament.
For the fourth in a series of summer blog Q&As, I checked in on UNC sophomore Tyler Hansbrough, who powered the Tar Heels to a surprise second-place finish in the ACC in 2005-06 as well as a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament. After averaging 18.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per game as a freshman, he'll enter this year as a likely preseason All-America pick.
SI: Since this is a blog thing, I have to start with a Web-related question. You're probably the college player -- now that Darius Washington has left -- with the most elaborate personal Web site, Tyler50.com. How much of a role do you have in it?
Tyler Hansbrough: I have a little bit of a role in it. One of my dad's friends back in Poplar Bluff [Mo.] runs the site, and he pretty much asks me a bunch of questions about it. He started it back when I was a senior in high school, and a lot of people back home, they like to know what I'm up to, so it's cool.
SI: Even your high school senior pictures are on there. Do you approve of that?
TH: I approve. Some of my friends have joked around about it, but it's fine.
SI: So, this summer, how much time did you have to go back home to Missouri and what did you do while you were there?
TH: I went home for a month, mostly after summer school was over. I went fishing, played pool and ping-pong with my friends, and caught up with my family.
SI: I actually remember calling your house in April 2005, when you were still in high school, and all the stars of the UNC title team had just announced they were turning pro ... and you were out fishing. Seems like that's a big thing for you.
TH: Yeah. I fish a lot. Mostly for catfish and bass. We have a lot of private lakes that I like to go to [near Poplar Bluff] -- places where I know where all the fish are. My favorite is a friend's lake; it's mostly like an overblown pond. Sometimes I'll wade in, other times I'll just fish from the shore.
SI: Who's your favorite pro fisherman -- assuming you watch it on TV?
SI: Fine. Let's move on to basketball. I've read that your favorite experience from last season was beating Duke at Cameron Indoor [83-76 on March 4]. Can you explain what that experience felt like, for a freshman coming there his first time?
TH: It was a great feeling. With all the hype that goes into that game, and for how long people talk about it, it just builds up. When [the Blue Devils] came in here [to the Smith Center] and beat us, it got us ready. It maybe gave us a little advantage [for the rematch]. ... It's hard to tell you what it really felt like. But to go into that atmosphere, and win, it was special.
SI: What was the worst thing you heard from the Cameron Crazies that night?
TH: You know, I can't really remember exactly what they said. But they did all have my senior pictures printed out.
SI: And I bet they got them from your Web site. It came back to haunt you ...
TH: Yeah, it was the picture of me laying down with the basketball. But I just laughed, man. I knew everybody else would laugh, so there was nothing else I could really do about it.
SI: So 'Psycho T' could laugh it off. Can you give the full story on how you got that nickname?
TH: My strength coach [Jonas Sahratian] at UNC gave it to me while we were lifting in the weight room. I was pushing up some heavy weights -- doing bicep curls -- and he just started screaming. I got into it with him, and he called me "Psycho T." Ever since then, it's stuck.
SI: You've become somewhat of a celebrity in North Carolina. What's the craziest celebrity request you've received?
TH: Well, this summer, a guy sent an e-mail that [sophomore guard] Bobby [Frasor] showed to me. The guy wanted us to be in a movie he was making -- he was going to ask his girlfriend to marry him, and he was making this tape that, I guess, had a whole bunch of people in it saying things to her. We aren't going to do it, though -- I think we're going to be gone when he wanted to film us.
SI: You have an extremely talented group of freshmen coming in this year. Top-five guys such as Brandan Wright and Tywon Lawson, just to start. How much did you get to play with them this summer, and what were your impressions?
TH: We played together for about a month, total. Brandan is a really long player who can get a lot of tough rebounds and can block shots. Lawson brings us a lot of speed, and that's going to be really useful. But at the same time, no one knows what their roles are yet. Coach [Roy Williams] will determine that later. And I think everyone is going to have to work hard to achieve what we want.
SI: You were able to have a lot of success right from the start at UNC. What is it about Williams' system that allows a freshman to get acclimated to the college game so quickly?
TH: Well, with the kind of team we had last year -- with all the guys that left -- we were kind of shorthanded. So I had to come in and make an impact right away. And with coach Williams' system, the way he likes to go up and down a lot, it worked well with my style.
SI: Last question. At the Final Four last year in Indy, it seemed like everyone was on the George Mason bandwagon, and was caught up in the mid-major Cinderella story. Was it possible for you to root for them after what happened, losing to Mason in the second round?
TH: It was tough. Because we felt like, with all the hard work that we put in, we should have won that game, but it didn't play out that way. To be honest with you, I didn't watch a single game [of the NCAA tournament] after we lost. I didn't want to watch, because every time I saw it on TV, I'd get mad.
Tyler Hansbrough is such a classy kid. He had the weight of an entire basketball nation (the UNC fanbase) on his shoulders and he never sweated it last year. He got beat up over and over, and he never retaliated. In the Dook game in Cameron, Dockery mugged him at the end of the game and he didn't even say a word. He is just a great role model for kids. Work hard and let your effort speak for itself.
Tyler is one of the best college basketball players in the country, and you wouldn't know it by just talking to him. It's nice to see someone so humble and nice to everyone have that kind of sick talent to do whatever he wants on the basketball court.
College basketball is more enjoyable with great kids like Tyler... excellent role model at such a young age. Way to be, Tyler!
He plays with a ton of intensity, almost bordering on rage or something, and that's something you can't teach. Combine that with how incredibly strong he is and he's probably the most agressive freshman on the boards and in the paint that I can remember. What he lacks in fluid athleticism he makes up for with sheer effort and brute strength. I wish he were on my school's squad.
Yeah, nice article on Hansbrough, cool kid, but why doesnt old Roy play his old school, Kansas? I'll tell you why. Because he knows that Kansas will whip up on them and doesnt want Hansbrough to get dunked on by all that talent that Kansas boast. I dont blame Roy, I wouldnt want my star to make the ESPN reel with the name Wilson coming down in my face all night long.
Tyler's actual fishing technique is walking across the water and yelling at the fish to show themselves. They of course respond by floating to the surface where he calmly reaches down and grabs them! He has crazy skills!
this is what I don't get about North Carolina fans... you write about how classy a guy like Tyler Hansborough is , and less than two years ago you were rooting for a knucklehead like Rashad McCants (as in can't pass the ball, and somehow can't spell Team without emphasizing the ME). You rip on Dockery and call Duke classless... coming from a school that produced Rasheed Wallace... I'll take Duke's reputation and player's (in college and playing international and olympic ball) anyday!)
You're gonna say that Tennessee should have been a #2 over UNC?? Did you even watch college basketball last year? NOTE to all: uninformed Tennessee fans should not be allowed to post unless they recognize Bruce Pearl is classless and they'll never be on the same playing field as UNC BABY!!! Hansbrough will undoubtedly be the POY, and will have no problem handling all comers.
I have to admit it was good for basketball to see inspired team play by UNC last year led by Hansbrough. Everyone likes an underdog that shows class and helps will his team to success. If he keeps playing with the focus he had last year, well everyone is expecting great things from UNC. UNC favorites over Duke. Tell me this is a dream. You can tell where I went to school. Congrats UNC. Hope you have fun with your team next year.
National champs in 07? I don't know. As Duke fans are finding out national championship teams are won by really good teams playing gutsy and inspired basketball not by "dynasties." The Duke/UNC rivalry is alive and well.
I'll take Duke's reputation and player's (in college and playing international and olympic ball) anyday!)?? It's not even a comparison when you compare UNC's alumni to Duke's Alumni. Why did you not mention the NBA? Anybody that plays college basketball can go play international ball. Remember, UNC has produced the greatest talent from any College or University, including Duke!!! Maybe you can be proud of Christian Laitner holding up the end of the bench for the Dream Team in 1992, while a Tarheel was leading them!
Hansbrough is a great example for young players. I show his clips to my team to prove that you can play with a lot of intensity without being a jerk. As far as UNC/Duke goes... Both schools have produced their fair share of fine players and a few less than stellar personalities. No Duke fan should criticize Rasheed or Rashad without first remembering Laettner and the infamous chest stomp. Also, even Duke fans have to admit that Dockery's actions at the end of the game that night were really shameful. I was embarrassed for him.
Yeah, nice article on Hansbrough, cool kid, but why doesnt old Roy play his old school, Kansas?
Because Roy doesn't set the schedule. He has input, but can't and probably wouldn't walk into Badour's office and threaten to quit unless he scheduled a home and home. Besides, out of conference games for a powerhouse should be early season tuneups or huge matchups, neither of which fits Kansas- they are better than Hampden-Sydney, but aren't world beaters every year. Sorry you haven't gotten over your jelousy, but don't use it as an excuse to pick a fight that you'll lose.
Before anyone says that Duke is classless they first have to think about Coach K one of the classiest coaches in college ball as well as guys like Shane Battier and Grant Hill who have defined their career with class.
Fans are funny. KU - please get past 1st rd of tourney then call Roy. IU - no comment needed, you'll be on probation by 08. Dookies - fear has a distinct smell and you reek. You're ACC dominance has ended and I look forward to the battles, they will be good ... just don't get so pouty because you have to share now.
Oh and stop hanging on Tyler's balls. Yea he's good, and I'm sure he's a nice guy. You guys get one superstar who isnt a cocky SOB (See: Stackhouse, SHEED, Forte, Carter, McCan't Play defense) and you freak out. ALL of Duke's superstars are like that b/c we dont recruit thugs (See: Johnny Dawkins, Grant Hill, Shane Battier, JWill Rock You, and a personal friend of mine who happens to hold the ACC record for scoring...whats his name?)
Let's see the 28 year old w/down syndrome put up26/game.
I normally don't post on these kind of things but for Silk, I want to say calling UNC players "thugs" and other names won't help DOOK. First of all, Sheldon "don't call it rape" Williams, came to DOOK with all cops trailing. UNC has never accepted players with scandals prior to enrollment. Actually the players you named are hard wording dedicated professional. The exception is Forte but he's getting his act together also. Just do some research before calling names.
Go back to state school? Go back to Jersey, you tool. Have fun in Durham. All this talk about "who's classier," when we can just look at and listen to the crowd at Cameron Indoor to find that answer. The heels are locked and loaded this year, and I encourage all Duke folks to come to Franklin St and party after we beat that ass, in route to the Final Four. In fact, I'm sure our paths have already crossed on Franklin St while you were walking along, thinking to yourself how bad you wished you had gone to Carolina instead. (We all know you guys come to Chapel Hill on the weekend).
Silk . . . that personal friend of yours that holds the scoring title . . .? Too bad he couldn't stay out of the police wrap this summer. Turned around and ran from cops to try and avoid a DUI? Are you kidding me? Those behaviors are among the most classless acts I can think of. Not to mention his filthy mouth on the bench, which Coach K readily allows (and participates in). When McCants acted up, Roy sent him to the locker room. That’s how you handle bad behavior with class. That's OK; at least JJ has the “strength of a condor . . .” I’m sure that’s a valuable life skill somewhere.
speaking of thugs...Silk maybe you should check out the mug shot of your ACC scoring record holding friend after he was arrested for DWI this summer. I guess you know he is planning on pleading guilty to the charges.
First of all I'm from Philly, and I hate jersey. Second of all, no one calls people tools anymore, hick. 3rd, I dont go to Duke anymore, so I dont live in that piece of crap state. I live in DC (yes, actually NEAR the mason-dixon line you tobacco picking/chewing wanna be preppy. Real preps are rich and from the northeast. I was wearing topsiders when u were still crapping your pants) and my salary could pay your tuition...oh yea, but I really wish I went to Chapel Thrill and was making 25k as a school teacher in Fayatteville.
Oh and the only time I went to Chapel Hill was to go to HazMat and get whipits.
How can you say you have never accepted players with scandals. How about JamesOn Curry? Or is dealing drugs not a scandal in your opinon. And Shelden Williams had the falsey accused charges dropped against him. Also look at the USA basketball team albeit picked by Coach K but with strong input from Boeheim, D' Antoni and others has 2 fromer Duke players and a thir din training camp (Kobe) who would have gone to Duke. UNC has one in Jamison. DOn't even start with our dominance ending in the ACC. what is it 7 out of 8 titles including the year you won the national title you couldnt even win your own conference.
tyler hansbrough is very overrated. no way that he'll be the national player of the year, hell josh mcroberts will be alot better than hansbrough this year. and i'd take duke's starting lineup over unc's this season, we're a better team and we're better coached. hands down.
Coach K is too busy doing AmEX commercials that he forgot how to coach a basketball team. Duke needs to remember to recruit. I've already got my tickets to the championship game this season. Who else is going? Kansas? How much of a joke are they w/out Roy? Go Heels
When JamesOn Curry got busted, his scholarship offer was rescinded, even though he had already signed his LOI several months prior. And the offer stayed rescinded even though Curry got off pretty lightly (probation and community service, both of which he has completed by staying out of trouble).
First of all Brian, we did not accept JamesOn Curry, his scholarship was rescinded. Yeah Duke has dominated the ACC in the last 7,8,9 years, but there are 30-something conference champs every year, but only one national champion is crowned each year. Who has more(U can count, I'm almost sure of it). McRoberts better than Hansborough this season? It's possible, but not very likely. Let's see if McRobetrs can lead a mostly inexperienced and young team to as much success as Tyler did UNC last season. Dukes starting 5 better than UNC? Can Coach K put a starting line-up of McD's All-Americans on the floor and then bring two or three more off the bench with his second unit? Better coached? Maybe, but lets see if Coach K can lead a team of predominantly sophomores to success as ROY did last year with freshmans and walk-ons.
I think our buddy silk has an inferiority complex. Probably flunked out of school if he even attented at all. Anybody who gloats about money hasn't had it for long if you even have any. How's your credit, or do you pay cash for everything. I see you as a 5'7" 140lb punk.
Tyler was thrown into to fire last year and was able to get some of the kinks out of his game. If he stays four years he will develop into an nba player. Last year he was a 5/4 this year maybe 4/5 junior year 4/3 senior year 3. If he develops into a solid 3 he will be ok in the nba if not better. In college he is already a monster.
wow. okay, everyone just CHILL a second. it's not even basketball season yet and you're already going at it... yes, Tyler is good. yes, UNC is good. and yes, Duke is good too. being a UNC student I do tend to favor the Heels. ^_^ but for those with your hearts set on the title, remember those two fateful words: George Mason. Not that the field is completely wide open, but the Patriots showed us that nothing is a sure thing. Are our chances good? Yes. Can we win the title? Hell yes. (Do I have a better chance of seeing coach K get struck by lightning than getting tickets to any games? Most certainly.)But there's a difference between something being likely and something being certain. So cheer like all hell, but keep an open mind. And in the meantime, there's a neglected UNC football team that would appreciate your support too.
Tyler, a great young man all around. As far as the Dukies writing bad things, well what would you expect they have no role models or ever had one. Don't be hating any more, you all wish we were having bad seasons every year. Enough of the bad mouthing, at least you should be proud of the fact that he isn't standing trial or anything like that...mmmmmm.
Wow, stupid comments all around. How to wrap up: 1. Dockery's foul was unprovoked and embarassing. I was at that game and it was a desperation foul that was way out of line. 2. Bringing up the Lax incident is really irrelevant. All it takes is a crazy woman and a power hungry DA and you too can be accused of rape. These guys used some inappropriate words and were drinking underage (COLLEGE), but they did not harm that girl. Anyone who looks at the evidence and Nifong's double takes can see that. 3. UNC will be very good this year, but if you think they're a lock for the Final Four you need to take off your blinders. They have a ton of talent but a lot of players have to find their roles, and as we found out that hard way it only takes on bad game to knock you out. Championships are won in March, not October. 4. Both UNC and Duke have their share of classy and classless players. Anyone who thinks that their school has a higher standard if biased. Special bonus to Michael for claiming Duke has had 'no role models' when Shane Battier was hated for being 'too' nice. Can't win with you guys. 5. McRoberts-Hansborough is going to be a vicious matchup. Hansborough has a better post up game and more strength, while McRoberts has more athleticism and better ball skills. *Please stop over the top comments on both sides, you're Duke-UNC, not Maryland; who I will remain arrogant towards until you stop burning down your school everytime you win a game.
silk, Thats funny you are from philly, as that is where I am from as well. And if you think unc grads teach public school in rural NC you seem to have us mistaken for NC State. We are that other school down the road that costs a third of what Duke costs and our grads make just as much doing the exact same job you are, only difference is that we get hired by some one not related to us. And if you are proud about being an original "prep" than you are a serious tool. I look forward to being your boss some day. oh and ncsu fan, in case you forgot, nc state doesn't have a football or a basketball season. Not only have we beat you guys 3 years in a row, but amato makes the easiest schedule for you and you still miss bowl games. Must be rough being the third kid that can't get anything right.
Wonder why mid-majors have such a tough time getting tournament consideration? When SI writers do a summer travel feature, they focus on mediocre majors, and ignore Sweet Sixteen teams that played in the very same series. Ever hear of Wichita State University, Luke?
As a UNC fan I'm glad to see someone represent college basketball the way Tyler has done. With all the crazy things that happen in the world today its nice to see someone's work ethic and passion for the game translate into such sucess. Tyler, I hope you don't ever lose that quality!
About the Kansas-UNC matchup. UNC listen closely. Kansas has a steeper tradition in basketball than anyone in the nation. The inventor of basketball is buried HERE. Besides having a powerhouse tradition of our own, you'd never have the tradition of basketball you have without Dean Smith. Where is Smith from? KANSAS! Where did he play? KU!!! Same for another storied program in college basketball lore--Kentucky. Adolph Rupp built their program to prominence. Where did he play? KANSAS. Both Rupp and Smith were disciples of the great Phog Allen. Were it not for Kansas, there would BE NO KENTUCKY OR UNC. So WHO is jealous? Not Kansas...
I just want to know why so many Duke fans are commenting on Tyler. Yes, he is a beast and no one in the ACC can stop him. All the Duke fans might as well get ready for "a clean sweep" this year. We are going to win it all again. By the way, we don't have to "steal" recruits, they come to us because they know where the best is.
First of all, Tyler Hansbrough is not only the best player in College Basketball, he is the classiest. He WILL win player of the year. All you dook fans are scared as hell and it shows, all the ku fans need to remember who won the Championship in 05 not ku. And i know no one is comparing UNC alumns to dooks there is no comparison. In class or in talent. Laitner was the dirtiest player in the history of the sport, remember the Montross game? Rasheed was never close to laitner, he was just an incredible athelete and he let you know about it. how about reddick smoking weed the day of game and still playing? great class, coach k, oh and good job in the world games. oh wait he wasn't smart enough to figure out how to switch to a zone defense to defend a pick and roll. middle school coaches know that.
Duke fans "comment" on tyler for the same reasons Carolina fans "commented" on JJ. If youre a Carolina fan, deep down you know the real reason for hating JJ...he was just that good, and the same goes for tyler. Keep an eye on McRoberts, now its his turn to step up.
The Duke/UNC rivalry will be amazing this year. Both teams have a lot of raw talent coming in and both coaches know what to do with it. Duke lost more, but I think it will make them a better team because they don't rely on JJ to score 30 a game. I don't think Hansbrough's numbers will be as good this year, but like any team with an influx of talent, they won't need to be. Roy will mix the new players in wonderfully.
Oh, and the only team that can compare their alumni to UNC is UCLA, Duke shouldn't even bring up the argument for fear of getting laughed out of the room.
Okay guys, i'm going to throw in my two cents. First of all, Carolina and Kansas fans, UNC and Kansas will never, ever play each other because Roy Williams will not only let that happen, he wont let it happen. Kansas is the last school he'll want to play against and i think that Kansas feels the same way, so there will be no UNC and Kansas showdown.
As far as Duke goes, I've met coack K and he is a real cool guy. Yeah, he looks scarry on TV, but in person, he's very nice and he's also trying to get the National College Basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City, Mo, so all of you Kansas fans should thank coack K for stepping up.
So, there you have it, UNC and KU will never play each other. KU and Duke, have played each before and each have won and lost against each other and UNC and Duke, the saga continues...................
Hansbrough is such a humble kid and doesnt get caught up with his celebrity status. UNC, with that freshman class, will win another title for coach williams. Wayne ellington is going to be the freshman of the year. GO HEELS!!
dude is a stud he will kill this year c'mon unc is gonna be good as long as they keep it together they might be kinda young but they have a bunch of studs and tyler is a stud going out and playing as a frosh and not only playing but dominating c'mon your not gonna stop him thas all there is to it....
First off let me just state I didn't want to participate in this blog, but when I started to read the ignorant statements people where making about Tyler, I got very infuriated!! In regards to the "2 handed thunderdunk...right in his grill. Believe Dat" Apparently you didn't or don't attend Carolina. Again back to the top IGNORANT let me explain the word for you Ignorant (ignerent) adj. lacking or displaying a lack of education or knowledge. So as to your right in the grill... grill this!!! Also the comment made on Sept 01, 2006 posted at 6:00 I'm not sure what you were saying something in regards to "he is not bad looking" no he is not, honestly he is very attractive, and his way of life and who he is makes him even more attractive. To wrap this up, people take this way to seriously, why not stick with the quote" If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" Andrew aka Tyler stay head strong, don't let any of this concern or intimidate you. You are a very classy intelligent strong young man, wow, imagination just ran wild!! 21 tomorrow, so Happy Birthday to you, please don't go and pull a Redick. Your a million dollar man in the making, I bet your parents are so proud. If I had it may way you'd stay at Carolina, I don't care for watching pro ball but I guess with you going that way next year I'll have watch it. I plan on going to most of the games, maybe someday I'll get the chance to meet you.
Hey you anonymous, re: girlfriend, I have been trying to find that out myself. I have emailed numerous times an email address I came across asking what his status was, I have not yet to hear back but I think with him being so busy it may take some time for him to get back. We can always try and investigate this ourselves. But at this point I have put the ball in his court and I look at it this way he snoozes he looses. His loss not mine. If you get your question asked please post it. Thanks.
Ok I've about had it with this!! How in the hell are these Tarheel b-ball players able to know that they have big fans, wanting to get in touch with them? Or do they and they just don't bother. From what I have determined especially with Tyler the are the same old same old typical male. All about one self. No I may not have season tickets, but do go to some of the games mostly to see Tyler. So what am I to do, run out on the court and throw a temper tantrum?!! and then get thrown out and banned from the Dome. As for security purpose with booking hotel rooms under a different name is bull. What if I went to Charlotte for these games you better believe I'd want to stay at the hotel the Tarheels were at and as a fan I feel we should be entitled to that information, but we are not, if I'd release my name , if I have the name the rooms were booked under and if I had the group contact name then maybe. Hell all I want is to get a message to Tyler. yes I've stooped low this morning I've tryed the Weston, the Omni, Marriott all close to the Area and no luck. If any of you know Tyler and are able to talk to him, tell him he needs to read this blog and he needs to answer the questions some of us have. I don't know him but at this point I am getting ready to cut him off. Tell him to check the ask Tyler email and reply.
Not stalking him, and sure hell am not going to rush the court, real smart!! As if I want to get thrown on the floor and escorted out of the dome. Just simply stating it is very difficult to get an autograph, I feel that we are going to support him than we should be able as a fan to get a autograph or shake his hand. What is so wrong with that?
Tyler Hansbrough gets hacked hard and double & triple teamed every night. He doesn't complained. Last year, when Coach K sent Sean Dockery out to gouge at Tyler's eyes, he didn't complain. When coach k sent Gerald Henderson out to slam an elbow toward Hansbrough's face, he even forgave that without an apology from Henderson or coach k. There aren't many Psycho T's out there who can also forgive sore losers. He just keeps on trucking. This is one reason why everybody likes him so much. Thank you.
Tyler is such a great player, he makes a great role model for kids who all want to be stars: he keeps a good head in his games, he's a super team player, and EVERYONE [admit it Dukies!] admire him because no one's perfect, and he shows that on the court and off. Even if he makes some mistakes,he knows his fans will still support him.
i met tyler after unc lost 2 VT@unc i waited in the rain 2 get his auto it was a great expearience 4 me. i am a forward 4 my high school team tyler is my idel cause he plays hard works hard and is all around a nice guy.i want 2 be just like tyler when i get out off northern high Durham.I hope 2 play for coach roy lets go heels!!!