Tyler Hansbrough Passes Torch to Armando Bacot as UNC Rebound King
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — North Carolina basketball nice Tyler Hansbrough has maintained a spot in Chapel Hill by the years, however has spent most of his time currently round Bowling Inexperienced, Ky., in an space the place different members of his household stay, whereas rehabbing after present process a clean-up surgical procedure for a knee meniscus challenge.
He made it a selected level to be on the Smith Heart on Saturday, although, to be there in individual among the many dwelling crowd as Armando Bacot supplanted him within the UNC report e book and have become the college’s all-time rebounding king.
That’s the Carolina method, Hansbrough mentioned, an honor moderately than an obligation. One thing particular and unmistakable that has resonated and solely grown since his faculty taking part in days concluded almost 15 years in the past.
On the December 2008 evening in Chapel Hill that Hansbrough surpassed Phil Ford, finishing the climb to turning into the No. 1 scorer in UNC’s storied historical past, the legendary Ford was there to bear witness on the Smith Heart and congratulate Hansbrough.
“Phil Ford’s my all-time favourite Tar Heel, in order that meant rather a lot to me,” Hansbrough instructed Inside Carolina. “And the years later it meant extra. Within the second, I used to be like yeah it’s fairly cool that Phil Ford’s right here to look at me break his report. However trying again on that, years later, it means much more now as I’ve matured. I’m not within the second and I’m actually capable of replicate on it, and it meant rather a lot to me.”
And so simply as Ford had performed, Hansbrough made it a degree to go the UNC rebounding torch to Bacot in individual on Saturday, one huge robust dude to a different, a previous period of Carolina basketball connecting to the current once more.
It’s with a singular perspective that the previous Nationwide Participant of the Yr and four-time first-team All-America choice Hansbrough, now 37 years outdated, can view Bacot’s march to the highest rung of the Tar Heels’ rebounding ladder.
Hansbrough grabbed 1,219 rebounds throughout the 142 video games he performed for UNC from 2005-09, whereas, in fact, additionally powering in an ACC-record 2,872 profession factors and main former coach Roy Williams’ Tar Heels to claiming the 2009 NCAA championship. The senior Bacot, whose UNC profession started below Williams, now has 1,221 rebounds in 119 faculty video games, after hauling in 18 boards Saturday in opposition to rival NC State.
Hansbrough instructed Inside Carolina he considers Bacot a worthy successor, after which some.
“Rebounding is difficult work, and I’m completely happy for Armando,” Hansbrough mentioned. “I do not suppose you get rebounds with out being robust, and in case you’re going to carry the rebound report at UNC, you’ve bought to be robust. I believe one factor Armando has performed is he’s put the work in from his freshman 12 months till now. He’s gotten rather a lot stronger. He’s actually labored on his physique. One factor he does a lot better now could be he’s capable of take contact and nonetheless get rebounds, and he places himself in good place. So he’s undoubtedly put the work in, and I’d take into account him extraordinarily robust. You don’t get as many rebounds as Armando has with out being robust.”
That unique sense of respect and mutual admiration has lived with Bacot — it was pounded into him, the truth is — because the first time he performed a pickup recreation in opposition to Hansbrough. That preliminary matchup occurred throughout the summer season of 2019. Hansbrough was understanding in Chapel Hill, as a part of the 11-year skilled taking part in profession that has included NBA stops with the Indiana Pacers, Toronto Raptors and Charlotte Hornets, and abroad within the Chinese language Basketball Affiliation.
Bacot then was approaching his freshman season in faculty. He mentioned Friday, whereas recalling the pleasant path their relationship has traveled, that first style of Hansbrough in full charging-bull type landed him at UNC Hospitals, bloodying his mouth and rearranging some tooth that day.
“I actually didn’t perceive how bodily he was as a participant,” Bacot mentioned Friday. “I used to be sort of like in his grill and making an attempt to be bodily with him, and I ended up having to go to the hospital. In order that’s once I sort of realized taking part in in opposition to him is critical.”
“I needed to get stitches in my mouth,” Bacot mentioned. “He busted my mouth all open and chipped my tooth and all that. It was unintentionally. However you understand how he performs, he’s a type of guys the place he catches the ball and also you’re in his cylinder, he’s making an attempt to undergo your face. So I rapidly realized, sort of again off him and provides him his area.”
Hansbrough averaged a double-double of twenty-two.6 factors and 10.2 rebounds per recreation throughout his junior season at UNC, when the Tar Heels went 38-3 and reached the 2008 Remaining 4. His 18 factors and 7 rebounds in opposition to Michigan State capped UNC’s nationwide title journey the following season, punctuating a three-year run throughout which the Tar Heels polished off a glowing 106-14 report.
Bacot’s historic board-crashing NCAA Match final season — he grew to become the primary faculty basketball participant ever to compile six double-doubles in a single NCAA Match — accomplished his sturdy and standout junior marketing campaign that featured averages of 16.3 factors and 13.1 rebounds per recreation, setting the desk for what has occurred this season.
Bacot started this season with 1,001 profession rebounds, eleventh place all-time within the UNC report e book. He has since climbed previous Brad Daugherty (1,003 rebounds), Mitch Kupchak (1,006), Antawn Jamison (1,027), Brice Johnson (1,035), Kennedy Meeks (1,052), Billy Cunningham (1,062), George Lynch (1,097) and Sam Perkins (1,168). And on Saturday, he overtook Hansbrough (1,219) for the UNC rebounding throne.
“These data all shall be damaged, each considered one of them,” Hansbrough instructed Inside Carolina. “There’s going to be someone that comes alongside and breaks all these data. However Armando has put the work in, and I’m excited for him. He deserves it. Rebounding shouldn’t be straightforward, and anyone that claims that doesn’t have numerous rebounds. Armando, he’s worthy of it. He’s undoubtedly labored arduous for it, so I’m excited.”