Heels Earn TSN All-America Nods

With Thursday's announcement of The Sporting News' 2008-09 All-American Team, Tyler Hansbrough has become the first player to ever be named four times to the publication's First Team. Ty Lawson was also recognized on the Second Team this year.

"Hansbrough's deeds seem to be old news to voters who snubbed him for the ACC player of the year," TSN writes. "But he led the league in scoring at 21.1 points per game and was top-five in field goal and free throw percentage. He remains the most important player on the nation's No. 1 team."

Hansbrough becomes the first men's basketball player in Atlantic Coast Conference history to earn at least one first-team All-America honor in four seasons. The Poplar Bluff, Mo., native was a Sporting News selection in 2006 and earned consensus first-team honors as a sophomore and junior.

"This is unprecedented in ACC history and further indication of the remarkable career this young man has had," says UNC head coach Roy Williams. "I hope people, regardless of which school they pull for, will appreciate what Tyler has accomplished both individually and for his team. He has done so many good things for college basketball at a time when that was really important for our game. He is very talented, and he should get credit for his hard work, but also for being a great teammate and the ultimate competitor. A first-team All-America for four straight years playing in what I believe is the best conference in the country - ­ it just doesn't get better than that."

The University of North Carolina will retire Hansbrough's #50 jersey as a result of his prior All-America awards. Lawson's #5 will now be honored in the Smith Center rafters as a result of this second-team All-America selection.

"I'm really happy for Ty," says Williams. "I think he should have qualified for the rafters by winning ACC Player of the Year. That's something I would like us to look at in the offseason. However he made it, I am happy for him. He's matured this year both as a person and a player. He makes us go and he's been really good for us in key spots this year."

First Team

DeJuan Blair, So., F/C, Pitt
Stephen Curry, Jr., G, Davidson
Blake Griffin, So., F, Oklahoma (POY)
Tyler Hansbrough, Sr., F/C, North Carolina
James Harden, So., G, Arizona State

Second Team

Ty Lawson, Jr., G, North Carolina
Jodie Meeks, Jr., G, Kentucky
Jerel McNeal, Sr., G, Marquette
Jeff Teague, So., G, Wake Forest
Hasheem Thabeet, Jr., C, Connecticut

Third Team

Toney Douglas, Sr., G, Florida State
Sherron Collins, Jr., G, Kansas
Luke Harangody, Jr., F/C, Notre Dame
Jordan Hill, Jr., F/C, Arizona
Sam Young, Sr., F, Pitt

Inside Carolina Top Stories