UPDATE #2: You can also add AP Player of the Year to the list now.
UPDATE: IC is reporting that Tyler Hansbrough has also won the US Basketball Writers Association Player of the Year Award. At this point I would be surprised if he did not sweep them all.
Original post after the jump.
It was reported earlier that Hansbrough won the Rupp Award for the best player in college basketball this season. The awards ceremony was held in San Antonio yesterday. ACC Now has video of the acceptance speech. Feel free to skip to the 1:46 mark so you do not have to suffer through Bruce Pearl’s acceptance speech for inexplicably being named coach of the year by the organization. Along with the Rupp Award, Hansbrough received another fringe benefit:
Hansbrough also was named an honorary Kentucky colonel, joining the likes of Muhammed Ali, Steven Speilberg, and a certain iconic restauranteur.
That’s right folks. It is Colonel Tyler Hansbrough now or when he makes a clutch shot in the game it will be Colonel Tyler Freaking Hansbrough.
Meanwhile back at the N&O, J.P. Gilgio wades into the cesspool of Tyler Hansbrough hatred to see if he can figure out what is wrong with these people.
There is a fluidity missing, but it is overshadowed by his trademark intensity. In one particularly awkward sequence in the second half of UNC’s third-round win over Washington State, Hansbrough, as he is prone to do, stumbled through the lane and drew contact from the Cougars’ defense. He threw up a side-winding, only-Dan Quisenberry-could-love shot that kissed the rim and dropped through for two of his 16 second-half points.
“That’s the player of the year?” asked one thoroughly unimpressed member of Tennessee’s staff who was scouting the UNC-Washington State game from press row.
While Tar Heels fans will remember Hansbrough’s follow-up dunk in the second half of the Louisville game, the quintessential Hansbrough moment came earlier in the second half when he hit a 10-footer from the baseline that he shot-putted from his waist — around the reach of Louisville’s 6-foot-11 forward David Padgett.
“I’m happy people are saying I’m not athletic,” Hansbrough said. “Ask someone who has guarded me if they think I’m athletic.”
To wit, Padgett said: “Everything that everybody says about him his true,” the Louisville senior said. “He works hard on every possession and he’s determined to be a great college basketball player.”
All I can say to that UT assistant is you better be glad Louisville took your sorry, non-disciplined, poorly coached, overrated basketball team out before UNC got a hold of them because I think we all know how it would have gone had you guys been on the other bench Saturday night.
I will say this about Hansbrough. Yeah, it is ugly about half the time. I have no idea how he shoots the ball from the hip and makes it. I cannot figure out how he scores some of the points he scores. And free throw shooting might not be sexy but hitting 15 foot shots standing still is not easy work, it is were Shaquille O’Neal would be near the top of the scoring list in the NBA. This is a clear case of simply getting it done and Tyler Hansbrough gets it done. I don’t care how it looks and I do not give a flying flip what other people think of it. UNC is 36-2 in large measure because this kid has gone out there and given the Heels one of the greatest season long performances in school history. And while different eras dictate how players get compared there is not getting around the team record and his role in that. You also have the fact his play sets the stage for his teammates to have big games as well. Hansbrough and his sheer determination is one of the reasons I think UNC will win the title because I am having a difficult time imagining him allowing them to lose the game.
It may not work out that way but right here and now we are witnessing something special and I am not talking about how he listens.