Psycho T. The name inspired fear in opponents, a name that the whole college basketball community knew well. A beast of a player, who led North Carolina to a championship and four great seasons. His jersey hangs in the rafters as one of the six retired jerseys. Nobody who steps on the Dean E. Smith Center floor will ever wear his number 50 again. He was well deserving of the honor that he was bestowed, a member of the College Basketball Hall of Fame.
Tyler Hansbrough was a sensation from day one, his first game as a freshman was a 21 point performance where he was 9-12 from the field. He played 30.3 minutes per game as a freshman, averaging 18.7 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. He led a team with a bunch of young pieces whose vocal leader was senior David Noel. He won Rookie of the Year and was also a first-team All-ACC and All-Freshman selection, not to mention 2nd team All-American.
Hansbrough’s Sophomore year went much like the first, Hansbrough led his team to the top of the ACC Standings and a No. 4 ranking in the final AP Poll. UNC won the ACC Championship and made it to the Elite Eight behind 21 and 33 points by Hansbrough in the opening rounds. He led the ACC in total points and Rebounds, and also again was a First Team All-ACC selection and 1st Team All-American. He averaged 18.4 Pts per game and 7.9 rebounds.
The legend of Psycho T was only growing going into his junior year. Carolina lost their freshman sensation Brandon Wright, but they had Hansbrough, which meant everything was going to be ok. UNC started at No.1 in the polls and held that ranking for most of the year. Carolina again won the ACC Championship but was stonewalled against Kansas in the Final Four, losing 84-66. Hansbrough led the ACC in Total Points, Total Rebounds, and an average of both. This equated to an ACC Player of the Year selection, First team All-ACC honors, and first-team All-American honors.
Then there was the amazing 2008-09 season, UNC lost in the ACC semifinals, but would not lose again. They steamrolled everybody in the ACC tournament by double-digits. Hansbrough wasn’t spectacular in the tournament, but he did what he had to do. Carolina again held No.1 in the polls for much of the year. Ty Lawson stole ACC Player of the Year from Hansbrough, but it was still an incredible season, 20.7 pts per game, 8.7 rebounds per game, All-ACC first team, and All-American 1st team. He led UNC to a championship.
When you look at Tyler Hansbrough’s legacy, you see the career of a Hall of Famer, and that has been fulfilled. His name always comes up when you discuss the greatest Tar Heels of All Time. His jersey hangs from the rafters, and his name will always be a household name. He’s a 4-time All-American, 4-time First-team All-ACC selection, ACC Player of the Year, and national champion. Add one more honor to that long resume, Hall of Famer.
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