Hansbrough wants to disprove doubts
CHICAGO -- There was more than a touch of defiance in Tyler Hansbrough's voice while he spoke Friday at the NBA predraft camp.
"Doubt me all you want, but I think I have a lot to prove," the winner of the 2008 Naismith and Wooden awards said.
There are plenty of doubters whether Hansbrough's abilities will translate into a successful NBA career after a wildly successful college career.
Hansbrough, who measured 6-foot-8 1/4, 234 pounds at the predraft camp, averaged 20.3 and 8.6 rebounds for his career and led North Carolina to the NCAA championship in April. However, many predictions have labeled him a middle first-round pick.
"I'm not worried about it," he said. "It's just a bunch of people saying whatever they want. I think I'll prove a lot of people wrong.
"They kind of doubted me in high school and said I wouldn't be a good college player. I'll bet a lot of people wouldn't have thought I would have wound up being the ACC all-time leading scorer. They can doubt me or whatever, but I got the job done and won a national championship."
North Carolina teammate Ty Lawson understands the chip Hansbrough carries on his shoulder.
"That would be motivation for anybody," he said. "Last year everybody told me I would not go until the second round, and it made me want to work harder and come back this year."
Concern over Hansbrough's quickness and scoring ability led to much of the criticism. He hopes the predraft camp calms any such fears among NBA personnel.
"I think a lot of times people perceive me as a hard worker," he said. "Sometimes my skills get overlooked. I'm a capable midrange shooter. I think I'll prove that at a lot of these workouts.
"Some people say I'm not athletic. I think I move very well, and I move my feet well, too."
Hansbrough thinks the NBA style of play will make it more possible for him to score.
"I've had three people guarding me for the past three years, so when I get to the NBA it's going to be more one-on-ones. I think that's a little different for me. I'll be able to handle that."
Lawson said he has seen evidence of Hansbrough's offensive potential.
"You had me and Wayne Ellington and Danny [Green] taking the shots, so there was no point in him doing it, but he had to add that last year at times," Lawson said. "I really think he's done a good job with that."
At this point, the only team to give Hansbrough a private workout is Chicago, although he expects to schedule several more soon. The Bulls had him at the Berto Center last weekend and while there he took a look at the six championship trophies on display at their headquarters.
"I like the tradition," Hansbrough said. "At North Carolina, we've had our tradition ourselves. It would be nice to go to a place that has that same tradition, has a winning program kind of style.
"I saw their [playoff] series against Boston. They're a pretty tough team. We'll see what happens."
Hansbrough had a reputation with college basketball fans for being the sport's biggest villain, possibly a college version of former Detroit Piston Bill Laimbeer. Regardless of where he goes in the draft, in a higher league Hansbrough can look forward to blending in more while inciting fewer crowds.
"Maybe a little bit, but I'm always going to have people who hate me so much just for some of the things I've done at Carolina," he said. "It's no big thing for me, but I enjoy it and I have fun with it."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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