Although Ben Hansbrough’s college career got a slower start than older brother Tyler’s, the younger bro had a standout senior season and was named Big East Player of the Year. His shooting ability will certainly attract NBA attention.
Measurables: 6-foot-3, 203 pounds, senior G from Notre Dame
Key stats: 18.4 points,4.3 assists per game while shooting 48 percent from the field and 43 percent from three
Projected: Second round
How would he help the Pistons?
Hansbrough’s 3-point shooting is his most NBA-ready skill, shooting 44 percent this season from three and shooting above 40 percent from long range and three of his four college seasons. The fact that as a senior at Notre Dame he showed the ability to not only shoot, but create shots for others, has made him more of an NBA prospect than he was considered to be a year ago. The Pistons have only two players — Austin Daye and Ben Gordon — who can be called natural 3-point shooters, so adding a player with Hansbrough’s stroke in the second round would certainly give them more flexibility to put shooters on the floor to compliment the team’s slashers.
The fact that he excelled as Notre Dame’s point guard this season, particularly in the pick and roll, should make him even more appealing to the Pistons considering the team has yet to find the long-term answer at that position. Hansbrough may not be a NBA starter, but his shooting, toughness and his competitiveness are three key areas where he could help improve the Pistons.
How wouldn’t he help the Pistons?
Adding any guard who isn’t going to be an immediate starter is not the best proposition for the Pistons. Hansbrough, even if he will be a solid NBA player at some point, wouldn’t be likely to crack the rotation barring a trade or two by the Pistons to clear out some guards. And although he proved to be a solid point guard at the college level this season, it remains to be seen if he has the quickness, ball-handling or finishing ability to excel at that position as anything more than a role player in the NBA.
What are others saying?
SHe generates over a third of his offense in pick-and-roll and isolation situations, where he is extremely efficient. He has a below average first step for an NBA point guard, but he has good size and strength and is a strong ball handler capable of changing speeds effectively. He shows choppy footwork and has the ability to use quick spin moves to keep defenders off balance and draw fouls.
Hansbrough may not be the sexiest prospect in the draft, but he’s one of the most productive. Hansbrough has been one of the Top 10 players in the country this year, and does just about everything for his team. He’ll never fit the physical profile that NBA scouts are looking for, but his toughness and shooting ability are a big plus. Think of him as a smaller version of his brother, Tyler.
The Hansbroughs are close — Tyler recently said his younger brother is “still my favorite teammate ever” — and being separated by 130 miles has made it easy for them to keep tabs on each other. They’re also extremely competitive.
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