Ben Hansbrough was undoubtedly worthy of at least a second-round selection in this year's NBA draft, but the reigning Big East Player of the Year is headed to Germany to play basketball instead.
According to the South Bend Tribune, Hansbrough has signed a one-year deal with FC Bayern Muenchen of the German Bundesliga.
The Notre Dame standout was nothing short of superb as a senior this past season. He averaged 18.4 points, 4.3 assists and 3.9 rebounds as he led his team to a 27-7 record. At 48 percent from the field and 44 percent from three-point range, his shooting percentages were great.
So why on Earth were players like Lavoy Allen, Chukwudiebere Maduabum and Targuy Ngombo, who may never play more than a few minutes in the NBA, selected in the second round instead of Hansbrough? Your guess is probably as good as mine.
Hansbrough faced the same superficial and stereotypical criticism that many white American guards face: lacks lateral quickness, not athletic enough, can't play defense, etc. That was certainly part of it.
He also missed the pre-draft camp because of an injury. That didn't help.
In all reality, it was probably a combination of those things, the fact that a lockout is right around the corner, Hansbrough's age (23) and the totally ridiculous notion that guys who played through their senior year of college don't possess immeasurable qualities like potential and upside.
Whatever the reason, I think it's outrageous that Hansbrough won't be in the league next year. He would have been much more capable than some of the guys who were taken.
The silver lining of course is the fact that Hansbrough will actually be playing while NBA players may be sitting at home on the sticks, dunking with their virtual counterparts on NBA 2K12.
Hansbrough deserved to be in the league but obviously still had things to work on (everyone does). He should improve during his time overseas and hopefully someone will come to their senses and sign him next summer.
Dear Larry Bird, I'm still holding out hope for some Hansbrough to Hansbrough pick-and-rolls.
You can follow Andy Bailey on Twitter @_Andy_Bailey