Tyler Hansbrough on His Favorite Career Moment; Can You Guess?
Top 25 games in Carolina history, ruining JJ Reddick's senior night. Duke was ranked No. 1.
"I told (the players) I thought we were the only team in the country that could come in here and win this game," Roy Williams said.
North Carolina entered Cameron 21-6, winning the last 10 of their 11 games with David Noel III leading incoming freshmen Danny Green, Marcus Ginyard, Bobby Frasor, Mike Copeland, and Tyler Hansbrough. The 2005-2006 season expectations were in the middle; it won't be as bad as 8-20, and it may not be as celebrated as a national championship, but if the middle is the success, it's manageable. North Carolina lost seven scorers such as Sean May, Jawad Williams, and Rashad McCants leaving for the NBA.
Noel wanted to do something that had not been accomplished in Williams' tenure at UNC, win at Cameron. Big task but Noel knew something was different about that season,
"I told every guy that left, 'dang, ya'll not going to get a chance to win at Cameron, I am.'"
It was the night of Shelden Williams and JJ Redick senior night, both knocking down shots during their last time facing North Carolina. As expected, the duo came out hot, and before UNC realized it, the score was 13-2, but it was defense and constant rallying that got North Carolina back into the game, pulling within one by the end of the first half. Redick didn't see a bucket since the 16:31 mark of the first half. He made his first shot again in the second half at the 13:48 mark.
The freshmen outscored Duke's seniors 55-51; Danny Green had six points, Marcus Ginyard 12 points, Bobby Frasor knocked down 10 points, included with crucial free throws in the last 20 seconds solidifying UNC's victory and Tyler Hansbrough game-high, 27 points.
It was Hansbrough and Frasor's shining moment at the free-throw line that cemented Tar Heel victory. After Green collapsed the defense, Frasor and Hansbrough knocked down six free throws, closing out the game 83-76.
During an interview with ACC Network, Hansbrough recalls that freshman night as his best, outside of winning the national championship, of course.
"Yes, there is, I would say my freshman year when we went to Cameron, and we won on their senior night. It was special because before the season, many people wrote us off and didn't expect much from us, and I know Duke was a powerhouse that year; they had JJ Reddick and Shelden. I'm not sure what they were ranked, but they were ranked among the top teams in the country, and not many people thought we were going to accomplish something. My freshman year, I felt like we were a team that had a chip on our shoulder and wanted to prove a lot of things. We went there and won on their court, and it was a special moment and probably one of my favorite wins besides the national championship in my career at Carolina."
The 2005 freshman class succeed in one of North Carolina's greatest feat, never losing in Cameron; they went 4-0 in Durham. Hansbrough became arguably the most decorated Tar Heel in Carolina history. His list of accomplishments includes earning first-team All-America and first-team All-ACC honors in each of his four seasons, Carolina's all-time leading scorer in NCAA Tournament play, eighth Tar Heel to have his jersey retired, National Player of the Year, ACC Player of the Year, MVP of NCAA champions, lastly, he was the first player in ACC history to earn first-team All-American and first-team All-ACC honors in each of his four seasons.
Hansbrough was the 13th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers. After seven years in the NBA playing for teams such as the Raptors and the Hornets, Hansbrough continues his career overseas currently stationed in China playing for the Sichuan Jinqiang Blue Whales. On December 2019, Hansbrough recorded a career-high of 49 points.
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