Player of the Week: Tyler Hansbrough

February 11th, 2008

Sometimes, when it comes to selecting a Player of the Week, there are simply performances that you can’t ignore. Usually, a player that leads his team to two big wins with two outstanding games gets more consideration than a player who is padding his stats in losses. This week was different, however. Tyler Hansbrough of North Carolina was just unbelievable. Yes, the Tar Heels went just 1-1 during the two games they had this week, but Hansbrough did everything he could – and then some – in an attempt to will UNC over the top.

Hansbrough, the 6-foot-9 junior big man, was a monster this week, averaging 33.5 points, 15.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. North Carolina did lose to Duke on Wednesday, but it certainly wasn’t Hansbrough’s fault, as he finished with 28 points and 18 rebounds. Sunday’s double-overtime thriller over Clemson produced an even more memorable performance from Hansbrough – he finished with 39 points, 13 rebounds and three steals. Moreover, he shot an astounding 19 free throws against the Tigers, knocking down 17 of them. On the week, Hansbrough shot 21 for 28 (75 percent) from the free-throw line and shot 62 percent from the field (23 for 37).

The main source for the Tar Heels’ struggles this week was the absence of point guard Ty Lawson, who has been out with an ankle injury. Hansbrough did his best to make up for the lost production, but he can’t duplicate the impact Lawson has at both ends of the floor. Once Lawson returns, it could give Hansbrough even more opportunities for big games, as the defenses won’t be able to key in on him. UNC has just seven games left – and don’t be surprised if Hansbrough has already circled the March 9 return date at Cameron Indoor Stadium for a repeat performance against the Blue Devils.

2007-08 Players of the Week
February 4th - Ryan Anderson, California
January 27th - Jerryd Bayless, FR, Arizona
January 20th – Davon Jefferson, FR, USC
January 13th – Michael Beasley, FR, Kansas State
January 6th - Shan Foster, SR, Vanderbilt
December 30th - Brian Butch, SR, Wisconsin
December 23rd - Dwayne Curtis, SR, F, Mississippi
December 16th - Gary Forbes, SR, F, UMASS
December 9th - Joe Alexander, JR, F, West Virginia
December 2nd - Jerryd Bayless, FR, G, Arizona
November 25th - DJ Augustin, SO, G, Texas
November 18th - Jon Brockman, JR, F, Washington
November 11th - Michael Beasley, FR, F, Kansas State