By: Pardeep Toor
It's ironic that a very pale kid (23 years old - man?) with no trace of facial hair, feminine shoulders, baby face and matted down hair that I'm sure the girls would die for, has the best nickname in the draft - Psycho T.
Currently projected as a first round pick in the Pistons range, Psycho T is the most polarizing college basketball player since (insert any prominent Duke player here, I recommend J.J. Redick). Dude got criticized for staying in college too long (four years), making silly faces, getting favorable calls from the refs, but that's not really his fault.
Like Kobe Bryant, the persona that is Psycho T has largely been created outside of the man himself - by the media praising him for "playing so hard," (you're supposed to play hard) Dick Vitale and epic ESPN highlights. Hansbrough didn't say he's the best college basketball player of all-time, nor did he say he was going to be a great NBA player. All he did was produce in college - the numbers don't lie.
Career Averages: (four years): 20.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, 0.4 blocks, 1.3 steals, 53.6 FG%, 79% FT% (on 8.8 attempts)
The defensive numbers are underwhelming. The free throw attempts are impressive but he did get calls at the college level that I'm confident won't translate in the pros when he's facing bigger and stronger power forwards and centers. It's also doubtful, that a pro team will run their offense through a 6'8ish power forward like Carolina did for four years so it's difficult to assess what 20 points/game means in the NBA where he's likely to be no better than the fourth or fifth option.
Best Case: Ronny Turiaf - Energy player off the bench, Psycho T already is a better free throw shooter, has more range and offensive moves than Turiaf. Defensively, not as athletic as Turiaf but the comparison is based on potential impact on one end of the court.
Worst Case: Matt Bonner - expands his range to the three-point line, struggles to rebound and adapts to being a situational perimeter big man (or start for a year when the Spurs severely overestimate their roster).
Fit With The Pistons: Psycho T on the Pistons will definitely be an awkward fit as the team struggles to establish a big man rotation. So much depends on whether or not they keep Sheed and/or 'Dyess. Either way, Hansbrough's inability to rebound and play defense will be a crutch. It's also hard to imagine him matching his offensive output from college in the pros because he won't be as big, athletic or have the reputation to get to the free throw line in the NBA. As far as bringing "energy" (a term I hate because buckets and blocks create energy more than players), all the hootin' and hollerin' from college will be easily dismissed and marked annoying very early in the pros (ask Joakim Noah).
Overall: drafting Psycho T - probably a bad idea ... sort of like wearing jean shorts. You can do it but just don't expect anything positive to come out of it (I wear jean shorts and trust me, nothing good comes out of it).
Thoughts on Psycho T in Piston red, white and blue?