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Ken Medlin

Williams takes aim at Hansbrough's critics

Posted June 23, 2009
Updated June 24, 2009

Roy Williams has heard enough criticism of Tyler Hansbrough's game.

"It's funny," Williams said Tuesday. "It's demeaning, it's ridiculous. It's all those emotions."

Over the course of his four years at North Carolina, Hansbrough's style of play drew more than a few unfavorable comparisons. And Williams has heard them all.

"Like a bull in a china shop, he looked uncoordinated or he looked spastic, however you wanted to color it." he said. "But it's hard to look like a great athlete with two guys hanging on you and the referee pinching you on the arm."

Williams may feel more than a bit vindicated by Hansbrough's performance at pre-draft camps. Hansbrough's performance in athletic skills tests have been surprisingly good.

Williams even says a "reliable source" told him Hansbrough's vertical leap measured higher than that of former Duke standout Gerald Henderson.

Did anyone see that coming?

"I tell everybody all the time he's a better athlete than you give him credit for," said Williams. "And he goes to the pre-draft camp and what's the big news out of the pre-draft camp? He's a better athlete than we thought."

Hansbrough has impressed enough scouts to vault his draft status into the coveted "lottery pick" range, a far cry from the earlier late-first-round projections. In fact, Hansbrough's stock is high enough now that the NBA saw fit to invite him to the draft day "green room," an honor reserved only for players expected to be drafted early.

And on a night with as many as four of his former players could be drafted -- three in the first round -- Williams has decided to sit next to ... Tyler Hansbrough.

"People said he can't do this or he can't do that," said Williams of Hansbrough's detractors. "The only thing I know is that his team won a heck of a lot of games, he won every kind of award there is, he's the leading scorer and the leading rebounder in North Carolina history and we're pretty good." he said.

And Williams has one parting shot for the critics: "He's only going to play in the NBA for 10-12 years."

Not a bad first job for a recent college grad, wouldn't you say?

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  • 4theHeels Jun 26, 2009

    Go Tyler - great pick with the draft - especially with going to a team with a winning record.

    "I think he is going to be a good one." Pacers president Larry Bird said earlier this week. "They have picked on Tyler for 4 years, but all he has ever done was won. I like watching him play."

  • conrad27713 Jun 25, 2009

    I think that Hansbrough will be a solid NBA player that will give a team his all everytime that he step on the court. An this is coming from a real die hard N.C. State fan who has never said anything great about a Carolina player while he was in college. I wish that my Celtics had a 1st round pick 15 to 20 to get him. Go luck Hansbrough.

  • gnew46 Jun 25, 2009

    Go Tyler, Go Roy, Go Heels!!!!!!!BTW all of you Hansbrough haters. Why don't you laugh with him???????????????????? All the way to the Bank!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • tlg0022 Jun 24, 2009

    "Its not a joke... facts are facts"..oh really so you were there when both of them did the vertical jump?

  • tarheelskier Jun 24, 2009

    ^^Hansborough Higher leap than Henderson. What a joke. Sure he will do well in the NBA, glad to see him gone from the ACC. Ellington,Lawson and Green didn't get the credit that they deserved because of Hansborough.

    Its not a joke... facts are facts. Wayne Ellington was the Final Four MVP and Lawson was the ACC player of the year and so how did Hansbrough keep them from getting the credit they deserve? I guess you forgot those awards because Carolina players win so many.

  • todmax Jun 24, 2009

    Maybe Hansbrough had a better measurable vert in one of the workouts and that is what Coach is talking about. Their max verts in the NBA Draft combine slightly favored Henderson. (Hans: 34.0, Hendo: 35.0). It's a lot closer than many would have expected.

  • swdukegirl Jun 24, 2009

    Hansborough Higher leap than Henderson. What a joke. Sure he will do well in the NBA, glad to see him gone from the ACC. Ellington,Lawson and Green didn't get the credit that they deserved because of Hansborough.

  • rushbot Jun 24, 2009

    Time is going to tell, methinks.

  • mxteam44 Jun 24, 2009

    Higher vertical leap than Henderson? Look, I'm a huge Tarheel fan, but even I have a hard time believing that! However, I still think he'll do better in the NBA than most haters think. He finds ways to score.....however unorthodox it may look. Good luck Tyler! Thanks for an awesome 4 years at UNC!!!

  • StunGunn Jun 24, 2009

    Tyler will have the last laugh and a solid NBA career where he'll make millions. Thanks for four great years and good luck in the NBA, Tyler!

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