Hansbrough Will Return to UNC

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- University of North Carolina All-America forward Tyler Hansbrough will return to school to play for the Tar Heels in 2006-07, Hansbrough and UNC head coach Roy Williams announced today.

Hansbrough earned first-team All-America honors this year from The Sporting News and the Commonwealth Club of Kentucky (Rupp Awards) and was a third-team All-America selection by The Associated Press and National Association of Basketball Coaches. He is the first Tar Heel freshman ever to earn All-America honors.

The Poplar Bluff, Mo., native also was the first freshman to ever be a unanimous first-team All-ACC selection and the ACC Rookie of the Year.

"I never really considered leaving for the NBA after this season," said Hansbrough. "However, Coach Williams still provided me information he learned from his contacts in the league and after listening to that information I still think it is best for me to come back and be with my teammates again and hopefully have another fantastic season. The NBA is definitely a goal of mine down the line but right now I am enjoying college a great deal and feel I can improve in every phase of my game. I enjoy school, my teammates and being part of the Carolina Basketball program."

Hansbrough became the first Tar Heel (and ninth player in ACC history) to lead his team in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage and steals. He averaged 18.9 points and 7.8 rebounds, shot 57.0 percent from the field and had 38 steals.

"I visited with Tyler, as well as his mom and his dad, to give them information I had gathered from NBA people," said Williams. "I asked Tyler to tell me what he wanted to do. He stated he easily wanted to stay in school and felt he could improve as a player. I agreed with that, but at the same time I wanted him to know he would definitely be a No. 1 draft choice this year and I wanted him to do what he wanted to do. His mom and dad completely support his decision. We are looking forward to having him be part of our team next year. It's always important for us to do what is best for the individual off the court and that is why I shared with him the information I collected."

Hansbrough led the ACC in offensive rebounds, and was second in scoring, fifth in field goal percentage and sixth in rebounding. He set the ACC single-game freshman scoring record with 40 points on Feb. 15 against Georgia Tech, one of 30 games in which he scored in double figures. Hansbrough was named the ACC Freshman of the Week 10 times, which tied the ACC record.

Mark Price of Georgia Tech (1983) is the only freshman to lead the ACC in scoring; Hansbrough is the first freshman to ever finish as high as second.

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