Too Soon for I Told You So???
I mean it’s only been 11 days since he was drafted, so maybe it is too soon to shout from the roof tops “I TOLD YOU SO!” Nevertheless, I’m loving reading how shocked all these people are about how good he is at everything Coach Williams, his teammates, and us fans have said about him for the last 4 years.
Pro Summer League starts today and runs through the end of the week. Every day at 3pm. You can watch online here.
By Mike Wells
Contagious work ethic. Relentless. Tenacious.
It has only been a few days and he has yet to go against any of his veteran teammates in practice, but Indiana Pacers rookie Tyler Hansbrough has already made his presence felt.
Hansbrough, the No. 13 pick in last month’s draft, displayed the same qualities that made him an All-American at the University of North Carolina during the Pacers’ four-day rookie/free agent camp.
“I knew what we were getting when we drafted him,” Pacers coach Jim O’Brien said. “His work ethic is contagious. He just pursues the basketball and never gives up on a play. He can just put the ball in the basket because he knows how to make stuff happen.
“He plays with a great deal of passion. That’s why he’s a four-time All-American.”
Hansbrough used the camp to adjust to O’Brien’s coaching style. He said one of the biggest adjustments has been playing around the foul line, which is where the big men play in O’Brien’s pass-oriented offense.
O’Brien recently pulled aside Hansbrough and fellow rookie A.J. Price and told them it’s OK if they don’t know something because they’re “not supposed to know everything” as rookies.
“It’s been a long learning process for me,” Hansbrough said. “Getting a feel for what the Pacers like to do offensively and defensively.”
Hansbrough will get his first game action today when the Pacers start their five-day summer league in Orlando, Fla.
The Pacers found out early Hansbrough means business once he steps on the court. No laughing. No joking. No small talk. Just basketball.
“I haven’t seen him smile yet,” guard Brandon Rush said, smiling. “He’s so quiet. He cussed for the first time (Sunday), so that’s a sign of him opening up. He’s completely serious when he’s out there. He gives 100 percent every time he plays. He’s like the Energizer bunny. He’s going to be a good addition for us.”
Hansbrough’s energy will make the Pacers’ practices more competitive.
“He’s really aggressive,” center Roy Hibbert said. “He pursues the ball relentlessly. That brings the best out of us. If a rookie can come in here and do that it can help the team out as much as possible.
“We’ll see how he is when we’re 60 games into the season. As of right now, though, he’s doing real good and making his presence felt.”
Rush and Hibbert said they don’t believe the notion that Hansbrough isn’t athletic. They said their new teammate tried to dunk every time he got the ball near the basket.
“He’s definitely athletic,” Hibbert said. “The first day he was dunking everything. After like seven hours of practice his legs gave out a little bit. He goes after the boards and he’s just not letting the ball hit the ground. He can shoot, too. People will see what Tyler has to offer soon enough.”