Tyler Hansbrough: Debunking the Myth

Daniel PriceContributor IJune 22, 2009

DETROIT - APRIL 06:  Tyler Hansbrough #50 of the North Carolina Tar Heels looks on while taking on the Michigan State Spartans during the 2009 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship game at Ford Field on April 6, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

If you like this piece, please take a look (and bookmark) my blog, The Atlantic Coast Constant at acconstant.blogspot.com.

He's not athletic.

North Carolina listed him taller than he actually is.

He has T-Rex arms.

He (as a white man) can't jump.

Throughout Tyler Hansbrough's entire career at North Carolina, these have been the almost universally accepted pot shots at the 2008 consensus National Player of the Year. And I will admit, save for the first one, I believed all of them.

I also believed, like almost everyone out there, that Blake Griffin was a freak that no NBA team should pass on. He was taller and much more athletic than Hansbrough with a body more suited for the NBA (no comments were ever made of his being undersized or having short arms).

So when I read NBA.com's look at the power forwards, I was very intrigued by the tale of the tape.

Height: Griffin, 6'10"; Hansbrough, 6'9 1/2" (A half inch taller than his UNC-listed height)

Weight: Griffin, 248 pounds; Hansbrough, 234 pounds (A sleek 16 pounds lighter than his playing weight at UNC)

Wingspan: Griffin, 6'11 1/4"; Hansbrough, 6'11 1/2" (Probably a foot or so wider than anyone thought)

Wha-wha-wha-whaaaaaaat? Hansbrough's wingspan is wider than Griffin's? Wait. There's more.

Vertical: Griffin, 35 1/2 inches; Hansbrough, 34 inches

That's right. The freak that is Griffin can only jump an inch and a half higher than the supposedly grounded Hansbrough. It's no wonder the ACC's all-time leading scorer has been shooting up draft boards into lottery contention.

So to Tar Heel fans out there: You were right.

Tyler Hansbrough is not an unathletic, stubby-armed bulldozer, he's a surprisingly athletic, rather normally proportioned bulldozer. And if selected in the lottery, it might not be the biggest mistake in the history of the franchise that selects him (especially if that franchise is the Portland Trail Blazers).