By now everyone's heard that Tyler Hansbrough is returning for his senior season at North Carolina. Few college basketball fans realize that this isn't a real surprise...not because Hansbrough wants to win a national championship before he leaves, but because he wasn't going to get drafted until late in the first round anyway.
Look some may say I'm crazy for writing this but just look at the other North Carolina players that are entering the NBA draft, Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington. On paper and in the games they aren't as good as Hansbrough but they certainly have more upside at the next level than "Psycho T".
I have one piece of advice for Mr. Hansbrough, you better work on more than a 15 foot jumper this off season because if you don't you won't be any better in the NBA than Shane Battier, who now plays for the Houston Rockets. Battier averages just over 10 points per game and was a no miss prospect with great athletic ability, great defensive skills, good outside shooting touch and a good ball handler...all things that Hansbrough is not.
Just look at the games against Clemson, Ohio St., Maryland and Kansas when Hansbrough had to go up against a more athletic player. What you see is what you get with him and there's no way he will put up the same points at the next level where all the players he will face will be more athletic.
In contrast his teammates at UNC, Lawson and Ellington, have a lot more upside at the next level. Lawson for example can be counted on to run a fast paced transition style offense in the NBA, and will more than likely be the highest pick of the three. According to Synergy Sports Technology, Lawson had 43% of his offense come in transition, more than Derrick Rose, Eric Gordon, Jarryd Bayless and Darren Collison.
In fact just like the last big class from Carolina that came out early in 2005, Raymond Felton-Sean May-Marvin Williams-Rashad McCants, the smallest player turned out to be the best in the NBA. Raymond Felton has been hands down the best player from that Carolina class.
Look don't get me wrong, I think Hansbrough is a fine college player but he has peaked in terms of his ability and he's only going to get worse once he faces faster and stronger players. Just look at the facts...he's not explosive off the dribble, he's still learning how the shoot a jump shot, he's not a good ball handler, he doesn't have the lateral quickness and he has trouble passing out of the post. These are skills you must have to excel in the NBA.
Hey and if you don't believe me just ask the draft experts, he's been predicted as a late first rounder by many, so he needed to stay in school another year. Hansbrough is no dummy, he knows that next year he has a better shot at getting a bigger payday.