Ben Hansbrough Commits to MSU

Ben Hansbrough (6-4, 207), a tough-as-nails, great three-point shooting combo guard who plays for Poplar Bluff (MO) High School, has committed to Mississippi State. Gene's Page, in an exclusive interview with Ben, talked with him about his commitment to MSU.

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"I've committed to Mississippi State," said Ben Hansbrough. "The (Mississippi State) coaches are really great guys and I talked to my dad about it. And I just liked them enough to say that was the place I wanted to go."

And he sure ought to know the Mississippi State coaches, considering how long he has known them.

"They were recruiting my big brother (Tyler Hansbrough) and told me that they would come back for me," he explained. "I went to their team camp and their elite camp to visit them. I've went there the past four years. I liked them a lot and they liked me. They offered me a scholarship and I committed."

Although he plays several positions on his team, the Mississippi State staff like him at guard.

"They are recruiting me to play the point guard," said the 17-year old. "I play everything for our school. I'm the biggest guy on our team, so I do everything on my team."

Mississippi State wasn't the only college showing interest . He had one other scholarship offer and several other schools were showing keen interest.

"SIU is another school that has offered me," said Ben, a member of the AAU St. Louis Eagles. "There are a lot of schools showing interest in me - Colorado, Purdue, Florida State, Utah and North Carolina-Wilmington."

With so many schools interested, it's obvious that he has the talent to play on the next level. What does he bring to the basketball court?

"I bring shooting, transition ball-handling, penetration, defense, intensity, and I've heard coaches talk about how tough I am," said Ben. "Once I'm on the floor, I'm focusing."

He mentioned shooting. The Mississippi State staff is looking for a three-point shooter. Will he be able to help in that area?

"I was the top 3-point shooter in the playoffs, making 5-of-7 last year," Ben said. "This year, I can't remember what I did, but there was one game I went off and tied some percentage or something like that."

While Ben probably has natural talent to shoot the three, he has also worked hard at it.

"I had to work at it," he said. "Coach Wilbanks is one of our assistant coaches and he and I would get in the gym every morning at 6:30 and work on my shot until school started."

More on Ben Hansbrough

Here's a May, 2004 quote from recruiting expert Eric Bossi of, the Kansas site on

"I watched Ben a few times. He's very athletic, handles the ball pretty well in open court, is a DANGEROUS three point shooter and plays solid defense. He does get a bit out of control at times and must develop a left hand. Right now I think he is an upper level mid major player, but has a chance to play high major if he develops his left hand and plays with more control. Just like his brother, he is a borderline psychopath on the court (because) he plays so hard. Right now I think Ben is a combo bordering on straight WG at the next level. He shoots it so well, I think he is more dangerous coming off screens for jumpers and slashing to the hole when people crowd him."

Ben Hansbrough articles on the 'Net

Mules beat Tigers in battle for SEMO title

Hansbrough has evolved, elevated game for Mules

All-State brothers:Ben joins Tyler on first team

Hansbroughs prove to be double trouble for Rockhurst

Without standout, Mules still too much for Tigers

Makes all-tournament team

One of the best in the state

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of Dawgs' Bite, Powered by, the source for Mississippi State sports on the sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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