"My role has changed because we don't have a 6-9 top-3 player in the nation," said Ben, who is averaging 27 points per game this season. "Our offense last year, was bascially get the ball to Tyler (Hansbrough) and go inside-out. Now, it's based around getting the ball to me. It's a whole different setting because my role has changed as far as scoring. When it's in a tight situation, I am the one who will get the ball. And I'm going to do my best to control things. That's just how I am." [Editor's Note: The highly touted 6-9 player Ben is referring to is his older brother, Tyler Hansbrough who signed with North Carolina last year.]
And Ben feels very comfortable with the new role despite seeing opposing teams keying on him.
"Almost every game we play there's a box and one," said Ben. "I like it that way, actually. When they put that one person on me, all those other guys are staying in one area. I feel I can beat that one man and usually drive in or dish off. I like that."
While he's now the first guy that his teammates go to for scoring, Ben is also helping in other ways, one being a leadership role.
"I'm trying to make my other teammates better and think I'm been doing a good job," he explained. "Some of the post players have had trouble finishing, so after practice I'll help one of our post players. His name is Rusty Bryant. He's a 6-4 junior. He and I are the biggest players on our team. That's what we've been missing this year, a post player. And I've been working with him every day, trying to get him better. And last night he had his career high, 12 points. That doesn't sound like a lot, but if you knew how much improvement he has made, you would realize that that is a big step forward for him."
Look for more Ben Hansbrough updates throughout the season.
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.