Hansbrough gives oral commitment to UNC

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

The Associated Press

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- A Missouri prep basketball player considered one of the top 10 high school recruits in the country announced Monday that he plans to play at North Carolina next year.

Tyler Hansbrough, who just started his senior year at Poplar Bluff High School, averaged 26.5 points and 11.4 rebounds last season. Hansbrough, 6-foot-9, said he picked North Carolina over Missouri, Kansas and Kentucky because of former Kansas coach Roy Williams.

"I came to a realization about a week ago when I was talking to coach Williams and getting to know him," said Hansbrough, who has given the Tarheels a verbal commitment. "I said, 'Man, this is it, I'm not going to pass up on this.'

"When I went there for my visit, I was blown away by all their tradition and their past players coming back."

Hansbrough is ranked by TheInsiderHoops.com as the nation's seventh-best recruit, and Rivals.com has him at No. 8.

Missouri was an early favorite to land Hansbrough because his mother and father are graduates of the school and his older brother enrolled there this week. Kansas also was among four universities Hansbrough was considering.

He said Missouri's problems with the NCAA over rules violations were not what kept him from becoming a Tiger.

"I don't think it played a part," he said.

In July, Hansbrough said he might consider going straight into the NBA if he were a projected lottery pick, but he backed off that statement Monday.

"I've always grown up kind of loving college basketball, the environment," he said. "I think I will go to North Carolina and prepare to play there four years."

Information from: Daily American Republic, http://www.darnews.com

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