McD Game: Tyler Hansbrough Spotlight

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- For most high school players, just being named to the McDonald's All-American team would have been enough to achieve satisfaction. As excited as Tyler Hansbrough was to make the prestigious team, the 6-9 power forward from Poplar Bluff (Mo.) High wanted something a little more. He wanted to go out with another state championship.

Mission accomplished.

"It's great, that's the best way to finish it out," Hansbrough told Inside Carolina. "I went out as a state champion twice so that's the best way for me."

After knocking off then number one in the nation St. Louis (Mo.) Vashon to win the title, Hansbrough shifted his attention to the McDonald's All-American game. Now that he's made it to South Bend, Ind. for the game he's looking forward to playing hard, having fun and getting to know future teammates Bobby Frasor and Danny Green.

"I've got a little cold but I think it is going to be fun and I'm glad to play in this thing and meet my teammates for next year. I'm real excited about that," said Hansbrough. "I've gotten to talk to them since I first got in and I've enjoyed it so I'm really happy about that."

Through two days of practice he's been one of the game's top participants. He's had his roommate at the game, Amir Johnson, running scared on a few occasions as he's attacked the rim and he's raised the intensity of everybody around him. Hansbrough is a very focused guy who wants to have fun during the McDonald's game, but he still wants to win and that is something he takes seriously.

As focused as he may be, Hansbrough can't help but notice the heavy NBA influence at practices. With as many as 60 NBA types watching him practice he understands that getting ready to succeed at North Carolina is his first priority, but the NBA is still an ultimate goal after college and their presence makes him a little nervous.

"It kind of makes you a little nervous because it's what you want to do when you get older," said Hansbrough of the NBA scouts. "It kind of puts a little pressure on you, I can't block something like that out. I always notice it."

Now that North Carolina has made the Final Four Hansbrough is hoping to score some tickets and make the short road trip from Poplar Bluff to St. Louis to watch them play. First thing's first, though, and he's got a few guys he's looking forward to battling on Wednesday night -- in particular one Josh McRoberts.

" I'm looking forward to playing Richard Hendrix and some of the other big guys they have over there like Josh McRoberts," said Hansbrough. "I'd like to match up against him, he's got a lot of hype so I'd like to impress. He's going to go to Duke, too, so that's going to be an extra thing that I'll want to take it to him for."

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