Some picks vanish in their first year because they were never that talented to begin with. Others because their coaches are the basketball equivalent of Dr. Doom, burying them in pursuit of their master plan. Some just don’t “get it” yet.
And then there’s Tyler Hansbrough.
One of the most celebrated players in college history entered the league with the Indiana Pacers, a development most simply nodded at, as if to say “Tall white player with college assets? Of course Indiana drafted him.” Many expected him to fail at the pro level. But when he managed to get past injuries and get on the floor, he showed some promise. He really looked like the kind of guy you wanted on the floor.
But Hansbrough has been hit with an inner ear infection which has kept him out of all but 29 games. In some ways, it seem like bad luck. A freak ailment that has submarined his first pro season seems like bad luck. But when compared to any long-term knee injury, shoulder-injury or foot injury, it’s at least something that can be moved on from permanently, once healthy.
Still, via the Indy Star, we get more unfortunate news for Hansbrough. Coach Jim O’Brien told reporters he doesn’t expect Hansbrough back this season. Might be for the best. Get him healthy as possible, keep developing him in the locker room, and start over next season when the team might actually be able to be relevant again.