Tyler Hansbrough Passes Torch to Armando Bacot as UNC Rebound King

CHAPEL HILL, NC — North Carolina basketball nice Tyler Hansbrough has maintained a spot in Chapel Hill by the years, however has spent most of his time these days round Bowling Green, Ky., in an space the place different members of his household reside, whereas rehabbing after present process a clean-up surgical procedure for a knee meniscus situation.

He made it a particular level to be on the Smith Center on Saturday, although, to be there in particular person among the many house crowd as Armando Bacot supplanted him within the UNC document e-book and have become the varsity’s all-time rebounding king.

That’s the Carolina means, Hansbrough mentioned, an honor moderately than an obligation. Something particular and unmistakable that has resonated and solely grown since his school enjoying days concluded practically 15 years in the past.

On the December 2008 evening in Chapel Hill that Hansbrough surpassed Phil Ford, finishing the climb to turn out to be the No. 1 scorer in UNC’s storied historical past, the legendary Ford was there to bear witness on the Smith Center and congratulate Hansbrough.

“Phil Ford’s my all-time favourite Tar Heel, in order that meant so much to me,” Hansbrough advised Inside Carolina. “And the years later it meant extra. In the second, I used to be like yeah it is fairly cool that Phil Ford’s right here to watch me break his document. But trying again on that, years later, it means much more now that I’ve matured. I’m not within the second and I’m actually ready to mirror on it, and it meant so much to me.”

Tyler Hansbrough congratulates Armando Bacot for setting the varsity’s profession rebounding mark on Saturday. (Photo: Jim Hawkins/Inside Carolina)

And simply as Ford had completed, Hansbrough made it a degree to move the UNC rebounding torch to Bacot in particular person on Saturday, one large powerful dude to one other, a previous period of Carolina basketball connecting to the current once more.

It’s with a singular perspective that the previous National Player of the Year and four-time first-team All-America choice Hansbrough, now 37 years outdated, can view Bacot’s march to the highest rung of the Tar Heels’ rebounding ladder.

Hansbrough grabbed 1,219 rebounds throughout the 142 video games he performed for UNC from 2005-09, whereas, in fact, additionally powering in an ACC-record 2,872 profession factors and main former coach Roy Williams’ Tar Heels to claiming the 2009 NCAA championship. The senior Bacot, whose UNC profession started underneath Williams, now has 1,221 rebounds in 119 school video games, after hauling in 18 boards Saturday towards rival NC State.

Hansbrough advised Inside Carolina he considers Bacot a worthy successor, after which some.

“Rebounding is difficult work, and I’m joyful for Armando,” Hansbrough mentioned. “I do not suppose you get rebounds with out being powerful, and in the event you’re going to maintain the rebound document at UNC, you’ve got acquired to be powerful. I believe one factor Armando has completed is he is put within the work from his freshman yr till now. He’s gotten so much stronger. He’s actually labored on his physique. One factor he does significantly better now’s he is ready to take contact and nonetheless get rebounds, and he places himself in a great place. So he is positively put within the work, and I might take into account him extraordinarily powerful. You do not get as many rebounds as Armando has with out being powerful.”

That unique sense of respect and mutual admiration has lived with Bacot — it was pounded into him, in actual fact — because the first time he performed a pickup recreation towards Hansbrough. That preliminary matchup occurred in the course of the summer time of 2019. Hansbrough was understanding in Chapel Hill, as a part of the 11-year skilled enjoying profession that has included NBA stops with the Indiana Pacers, Toronto Raptors and Charlotte Hornets, and abroad within the Chinese Basketball Association.

Bacot then was approaching his freshman season in school. He mentioned Friday, whereas recalling the pleasurable path their relationship has traveled, that first style of Hansbrough in full charging-bull kind landed him at UNC Hospitals, bleeding his mouth and rearranging some enamel that day.

“I actually did not perceive how bodily he was as a participant,” Bacot mentioned Friday. “I used to be form of like in his grill and making an attempt to be bodily with him, and I ended up having to go to the hospital. So that is after I form of realized enjoying towards him is severe.”

What occurred?

“I had to get stitches in my mouth,” Bacot mentioned. “He busted my mouth all open and chipped my enamel and all that. It was unintentional. But you know the way he performs, he is a type of guys the place he catches the ball and also you’re in his cylinder, he is making an attempt to undergo your face. So I shortly realized, form of again off him and provides him his area.”

Armando Bacot supplanted Tyler Hansbrough as UNC’s all-time main rebounder Saturday. (Graphic: Michelle Hillison/Inside Carolina … Photos: Jamie Schwaberow, Rex Brown/Getty Images)

Hansbrough averaged a double-double of twenty-two.6 factors and 10.2 rebounds per recreation throughout his junior season at UNC, when the Tar Heels went 38-3 and reached the 2008 Final Four. His 18 factors and 7 rebounds towards Michigan State capped UNC’s nationwide title journey the next season, punctuating a three-year run throughout which the Tar Heels polished off a glowing 106-14 document.

Bacot’s historic board-crashing NCAA Tournament final season — he turned the primary school basketball participant ever to compile six double-doubles in a single NCAA Tournament — accomplished his sturdy and standout junior marketing campaign that featured averages of 16.3 factors and 13.1 rebounds per recreation, setting the desk for what has occurred this season.

Bacot began this season with 1,001 profession rebounds, eleventh place all-time within the UNC document e-book. He has since climbed previous Brad Daugherty (1,003 rebounds), Mitch Kupchak (1,006), Antawn Jamison (1,027), Brice Johnson (1,035), Kennedy Meeks (1,052), Billy Cunningham (1,062), George Lynch (1,097) and Sam Perkins (1,168). And on Saturday, he overtook Hansbrough (1,219) for the UNC rebounding throne.

“These information will all be damaged, each one in every of them,” Hansbrough advised Inside Carolina. “There’s going to be anyone that comes alongside and breaks all these information. But Armando has put within the work, and I’m excited for him. He deserves it. Rebounding shouldn’t be simple, and anybody who says that does not have lots of rebounds. Armando, he is worthy of it. He’s positively labored onerous for it, so I’m excited.”

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