Hansbrough – For Your Own Good, Play or Get Out

Posted by rtmsf on December 2nd, 2008

John Stevens is a featured columnist for RTC.  His columns will appear on Tuesdays throughout the season.

Fine.  If it has to be me, then it has to be me.  I don’t mind, I’ll take the heat.  I’ll be the one to bring up the subject that nobody else wants or has the stones to bring up.

I’m calling him out.

I don’t know what Tyler Hansbrough’s plans are for this Wednesday, but they had better involve showing up at Ford Field in Detroit at around 9pm.  In uniform.  Ankles taped.  Ready to play, a self-proclaimed 100% healthy.


Or, they better involve not just a DNP, but a long-term hiatus from basketball.

Now, I know that, in college basketball circles, saying anything negative about Tyler Hansbrough is just the worst thing you can do.  To know that he has an injury but still demand that he get out onto the floor and actually play basketball paints me as unfeeling, a heathen — possibly even a heretic, given the public perception of Hansbrough, his head coach Roy Williams, and the entire UNC basketball program which has gotten to the point to where the image surrounding all of them can only be described as, well…almost HOLY, for some reason.  I might as well go tell a bunch of little kids that I hate puppies or a roomful of girls that I can’t stand weddings.

I don’t care.  I’ll be the one to suggest that there’s an ugly truth behind the false beauty.  I’m going to point at the emperor and call him naked.  Someone has to say it, and I’m volunteering, because it’s best for college basketball – and for Tyler Hansbrough – that he and his handlers make a decision on his status once and for all.

I say “he” because that’s who the play-versus-sit decision evidently falls to before every game.  Since the season began, we’ve heard that Hansbrough is the one who determines whether he’s well enough to go or not.  We’ve heard nothing about team physicians or their opinions.  We’ve seen Ol’ Roy (expectedly so, since it’s what you’re supposed to do) talk about how Tyler’s just rip-roarin’ to play and how they basically need to use chains to keep the guy on the bench…but the decision to play or not has still been Hansbrough’s.  The only thing close to an exception has been their last game against UNC-Asheville where we were told that Hansbrough was “held out,” though it wasn’t specifically stated who did the holding.

Acceptable Reasons to Sit Out

Acceptable Reason to Sit Out

That in mind, let’s look at Tyler’s season so far.

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ESPN Marathon of Hoops Live Blog, Part II

Posted by jstevrtc on November 18th, 2008

10:02 am — OK, back for more.  A little Drexel-Penn for your Tuesday morning.  Come on, is ESPN serious about this this stuff?  They don’t even have a GameCast going for this one.  Amateurs!  OK, I’ll stop.  Right now I have to give props to the Drexel students, because they have stepped up, here.  They’re in full face/body paint, wigs, etc.  Even for the ones who are just in their “Fear the Fire” t-shirts, they’re there in force.  They’ve filled that arena.  It’s rare that ANY college student is gonna get up at 10am for anything, so to show up like they have for a game at this time of day — even if it is a Big Five game — has got to earn some props.  This looks just like a night game in terms of the crowd behavior.  What this really is, is a total bonanza for any professors at Drexel who might be the attendance-taking type.  They could literally just pause the broadcast periodically and check off truant students on their roll sheets by the dozen.  I hated those professors…

10:26am — Drexel is the better team so far.  They’re outhustling Penn, who actually does look tired.  Drexel is up 8 with 12 minutes to go in the first half and this could get out of hand for the Quakers in short order if they don’t get their heads in it.

10:30am — Drexel extends…up ten at the under-8 timeout.

10:35am — Drexel is doing this with defense and hustle.  They’re winning every loose ball.  This is a Penn squad who only lost to UNC by 15, and they’re already down 14 to the Dragons and we’re coming up on the under-4 timeout.

10:41am — The first hyping of UNC-Kentucky.  I’m reminded of the time in 1995 when CBS was broadcasting an elite eight game involving those two teams (the one where Rasheed Wallace got choked — I don’t mean he CHOKED, I mean he GOT choked by Kentucky’s Andre Riddick during a scuffle early on) and Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery showed up in tuxedos, given the history of the two programs.  I think whoever’s calling tonight’s game should do the same, especially with the almost constant hype.

10:51am — Halftime…34-27, Drexel.  This could have been worse for Penn who are in full sleepwalking mode.  Drexel decided to chuck (and miss) some threes late in the half; they have the better athletes but a couple of ill-advised shots and a couple of hand-checking fouls let Penn back into this.  If Penn wakes up at halftime, things could get interesting.

Right now, I’m actually a little impressed with Drexel.  Bruiser Flint has got his team mentally ready, except for that hiccup at the end of the half, and I’m gonna repeat my props to the crowd.  Drexel doesn’t look like a team playing their first game of the season, they look like they’re on number five or six.

I’m not complaining (heh heh….) but I’m starting to realize that maybe grabbing a nap before starting this endeavor may have been a good call, instead of working a whole day.  Oh, I’m not goin’ anywhere…but the coffee machine is now operational.

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