Thursday, March 02, 2006

Like a deer in headlights

First things first: my Thursday night tradition of seeding the 16 best men's college basketball teams will be delayed until Monday morning, once all the regular season games have been played.

Second, Duke lost at Florida State Wednesday night. Bummer. No need to rationalize, because a loss is a loss. Let the alarmists and the spin controllers have their pointless arguments; I want no part of it. I would like to applaud
Bucknell, GW, Memphis, and Gonzaga for their unblemished conference records. Clearly, it's hard to do.

Duke ends its regular season as it always does, with a second match against UNC. I've already discussed the rivalry here and here, so today's post will address UNC's not so secret weapon, rookie center Tyler Hansbrough. I promised myself I would only link to pictures of him, but I couldn't resist this one.

Look, it pains me to say it, but this guy is having a terrific freshman season, and he's doing it without the luxury of more experienced teammates in the frontcourt. He dropped 40 points against Georgia Tech a few weeks ago, and since then UNC has once again become a fixture in the ACC's top tier.

Hansbrough is the team's top scorer and rebounder, so you would expect opposing defenses to clamp down on his play. And yet he continues to perform well. How is that possible? Is he really that talented? Well, maybe. But I have another theory.

Tyler Hansbrough is so successful because -- let's face it -- he doesn't look like he knows what he's doing. Notice the picture above. That's not a reaction to a lousy officiating call, or an unfortunate kick below the belt. That's his natural expression. The closest comparison I can make is from season 1 of Alias, when mild-mannered reporter Will Tippin suddenly discovers what good friend Sydney Bristow does for a living. Except that look lasted for a few seconds; this is Tyler's game face all the time.

Don't believe me? You just need more examples. I direct you to this series of pictures from Inside Carolina. Scroll down to see them all, and especially note the third one. How can you take his play seriously? Even the most staunch defender will just stand back and wait for him to screw up, while he just takes it to the hoop. Crazy, man. But crazy like a fox.

1 comment:

bluedevilyn said...

Too good...I love it. He really should try out blinking once in awhile.