Friday, March 7, 2008


North Carolina junior forward Tyler Hansbrough was named the 2008 men's college basketball player of the year by Sports Illustrated, the school announced Tuesday. Miraculously, the Heels survived the jinx and beat FSU on Tuesday night.

The 6-9 junior leads the ACC in scoring (23.4) and rebounds (10.4) and leads the top-ranked Tar Heels with 45 steals.

He's been named ACC Player of the Week a record-tying seven times, a feat also equaled by former UNC star Antawn Jamison and former Duke star J.J. Redick.

Hansbrough is the 10th UNC player to earn a national player of the year award and second to earn SI's distinction. Jerry Stackhouse was so honored in 1995.

UNC's National Players of the Year:
Jack Cobb, 1926
George Glamack, 1940, 1941
Lennie Rosenbluth, 1957
Phil Ford, 1978
James Worthy, 1982
Michael Jordan, 1983, 1984
Kenny Smith, 1987
Jerry Stackhouse, 1995
Antawn Jamison, 1998
Tyler Hansbrough, 2008

However, if he wants to have his jersey retired, and not just honored in the ceiling of the Dean Dome, he will have to win one more national POY award. Currently, UNC uses only these six National Player of the Year Awards as its criteria for retiring numbers: the Associated Press, the National Association of Basketball Coaches, The Sporting News, the US Basketball Writers Association, the Wooden Award and the Naismith Award.

Here’s a little taste of Grant Wahl’s story in SI:

No player in memory has absorbed, initiated and (let's be honest) enjoyed more bumper-car moments in the lane than the 6' 9", 250-pound Hansbrough, SI's choice for national player of the year. Yet even though Hansbrough has banged his way to more free throw attempts (310) than any other player in the nation, that hardly means he's lacking in finesse. "He finishes with a soft touch, but he can do that after being beaten to death by three people in a matter of two seconds," says Williams. "It's like sumo wrestling followed by George Gervin's finger roll."

Here’s the whole story:

Photo: Bob Rosato/SI

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