NBA Comparison: Billy McCaffery
Strengths: Hansbrough possesses good size for a PG at 6’3 203, with a solid frame … Shows a very good ability to embrace the roles he’s given as a player, and it’s the skill he shows the most … Embraced his role as a spot-up shooter at Mississippi State and was very effective; but he also embraced his role as a floor general and shot creator for Notre Dame, and reaped the benefits with a breakout Sr. season … Plays very smart basketball and makes limited mistakes with the ball in his hands … Is an outstanding shooter, with his feet set and on the move … Shot very efficient over his career from 3-point range, in the Big East and the SEC…Started playing PG later than most other prospects at his position, but he shows more playmaking instincts than your typical combo guard … Is effective in the pick and roll, both as a passer and as a shooter … Is steady ball-handler … Improvised very well when the Notre Dame offense broke down, and shows some creativity off the dribble at times … Was effective as a finisher at the rim, converting over half of his 2-point field goal attempts in his last 3 collegiate seasons … Understands how to use the rim and backboard to shield the ball from shot-blockers…Has a highly praised work ethic, and solid bloodlines with his brother, Tyler, being a lottery pick in 2009 and a productive player…Shows great competitiveness and leadership skills
Weaknesses: There are legit concerns about how Hansbrough will translate his outstanding college production to the NBA with his lack of athleticism … Will struggle to beat guys off the dribble in the NBA much more than he did in college, as his quickness and athleticism are simply below average … Wasn’t a very good defender at Notre Dame, and struggled badly when he faced quick slashers … Lost effectiveness whenever he faced an athletic team or defender … Although he’s more of a playmaker than most other combo guards, he’s not a pure PG by any stretch or a traditional playmaker … Will likely spend a good bit of his time off the ball against pro defenders, to stretch the floor … Him handling the ball against pro teams would make the offense easier to defend, since he isn’t much of a slashing threat to break down the defense … Does not look good running the fast break … Lacks the length to be a factor getting steals
Overall: Hansbrough late-blooming PG skills and shooting skills will get him looks, but his lack of athleticism and defensive ability, as his untraditional PG skills really give him a tough road to the NBA.
Jorrye Nixon 6/17/11