Why Tyler Hansbrough Is The Tim Tebow Of College Basketball

Lee B.Correspondent IApril 12, 2009

DETROIT - APRIL 06:  Tyler Hansbrough #50 of the North Carolina Tar Heels looks on in the second half against the Michigan State Spartans during the 2009 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship game at Ford Field on April 6, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Just how do college basketball and college football's biggest stars stack up when compared to each other? Let's take a look at just how similar Tyler Hansbrough and Tim Tebow are:

  1. Both players are known for their relentless effort, hustle and desire to win. Whether it's Tebow sacrificing himself by taking a huge hit to gain that extra yard or Hansbrough fighting off bigger players to grab a rebound, both players seem to give 110 percent on every play.
  2. Both guys chose to stay in college for all four years. Hansbrough valued not only being with his teammates in order to try to win a National Championship, but also receiving the full benefits of a college education. Tebow has already won a title, but decided to stay not only to improve his on-field play but to pursue a degree as well.
  3. Both have led their teams to national titles. It's tough to argue that either one of these men was a huge factor in their team's success in winning it all. While both the Florida football and UNC basketball squads were each loaded with great players at every position, Tebow and Hansbrough were two of the most difficult players to deal with for opponents.
  4. Both are highly decorated and celebrated; they've both been on multiple All-American teams. During the 2007-2008 season, Hansbrough was college basketball's player of the year, and Tebow won the Heisman in 2007. Additionally, both will be remembered forever at their schools: Hansbrough will become only the eighth Tar Heel to have his jersey retired, and Tim Tebow's motivational speech after the 2008 Gators' loss to Ole Miss has been immortalized in a plaque by the entrance to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
  5. Both have a sizeable group of neigh-sayers. Critics of both players believe that neither will be more than average at the pro level.

Hansbrough's doubters believe that his size (6'9") will not serve him well at the pro level, as he won't be big enough to be a center or even a power forward. He's often called a "cry-baby" and accused of being handed calls; neither of these things translate well in the NBA.

Tebow's critics believe that much of his success in college is due to the type of offense in place at Florida and that he will not be nearly as good in a pro-style offense.


But even if a person is not a UNC or Florida fan (I myself am a UGA fan), I feel that they should still try to realize how lucky they are to have been able to watch these great players over the last four years.