Blue Devils Going Hard After 2005's Hansbrough

After a stellar sophomore season and an even better summer, Missouri power forward Tyler Hansbrough has become one of the most highly rated players in the class of 2005. Now at the start of his junior year, he's got many of the nation's elite programs very interested in securing his services in the fall of 2005.

Hansbrough put up solid enough numbers as a sophomore for Poplar Bluff (MO) High School, averaging 19 points and nine rebounds per contest, but it was his breakout summer performance that has sent his stock soaring.

Beginning in April with the Boo Williams Invitational tournament and continuing through the AAU Nationals in late July, Hansbrough quickly established himself among the elite prospects in the country regardless of class thanks to a tireless work ethic, fearless attitude, and true disdain for losing.

Aside from his mindset, Hansbrough also possesses a very high level skill set, something he says he's always trying to improve upon. "I think my versatility is my biggest asset," he told TDD. "I can hit the 15 foot jumper or go around my man and finish at the basket. I also am a pretty aggressive rebounder and can operate in the paint."

And what does he need to improve on?

"I do need to work a bit more on my defense so that I can guard one and twos at the next level. I also need to get stronger and add some more muscle."

When prompted for a school list, Hansbrough says that Duke, Florida, North Carolina, Arizona, Michigan State, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, and Texas have all shown considerable interest in him. Adding "Duke, Florida, Illinois, Arizona, and Missouri are the coaches that have been in the most contact so far."

Moving forward in the recruiting process, Hansbrough has already taken an unofficial visit to Florida and will be taking an official visit to Gainesville as soon as he can get it scheduled. An unofficial to Illinois is also in the works due to the close proximity to home.

Currently Tyler plays more of a power forward/center hybrid for his Poplar Bluff High squad, but he hopes to expand his role in the upcoming junior season. "I think I'll get to move to the perimeter a bit more this year," he said. "In college I think I'll be more of a combo forward since that's where I would likely play if I make the NBA some day, but as long as I can help my team win I'm happy."



"Florida has a good reputation for developing players and I know some of their current players."

"I like Duke a lot. They have recently started sending me a lot of stuff. They have a Hall of Fame coach and I like their tradition."

"I like the tradition at Arizona, and Coach Olsen is great. They've shown a lot of interest."

"Illinois and Missouri are close to home and I like the coaching staffs, but distance won't be a factor."

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