2015-16 Season in Review | Tyler Hansbrough
By Sam Perley, hornets.com
2015-16 Review | Tyler Hansbrough
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Although originally from Missouri, it would be understandable to consider Tyler Hansbrough’s past season with the Hornets as a homecoming of sorts as he relocated back to the state where he won the 2009 NCAA Championship with the University of North Carolina Tar Heels. Fresh off his seventh NBA season, Hansbrough provided the Hornets with a relentless amount of high-level energy and readiness throughout the year regardless of whatever situation it was that he was called upon.
Hansbrough Comes Back Home
Before signing with the Hornets in July 2015, Hansbrough had spent the last two years with the Toronto Raptors after playing his first four NBA seasons with the Indiana Pacers. He spent most of November and December serving as depth on the Hornets bench, averaging 2.4 points and 1.8 rebounds in 6.8 minutes of play across 16 total games. Although most of the games Hansbrough entered were ones where the outcome was already largely determined, it hardly seemed to matter as he brought the same persistent intensity that has defined his entire basketball career going back to his days at North Carolina.
Injuries to both Al Jefferson and Cody Zeller the following month helped open up some minutes in the frontcourt for Hansbrough, who took advantage with his best performance of the year in a road game against the Portland Trail Blazers on Jan. 29. Hansbrough poured in a season-high 12 points and a career-high-tying 14 rebounds, the latter of which was also tied for the highest total by any Hornets player in a single game this season. Hansbrough played in 12 total games in January, averaging 3.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 0.7 steals in 13.4 minutes.
Hansbrough would soon see his minutes dwindle with the roster getting healthier as the year continued to unfold. He averaged 1.9 points and 0.9 rebounds in 4.6 minutes in 16 total games from the start of February until the end of the regular season. On the year, Hansbrough finished with averages of 2.4 points on 45.1 percent shooting and 2.0 rebounds in 7.8 minutes over 44 total games played.
2016-17 Season Outlook
Hansbrough will enter the offseason as an unrestricted free agent, meaning he is free to sign with any team. During exit interviews on May 2, Hansbrough credited the team’s success this year largely on great chemistry while also expressing a desire to return to Charlotte for another season.
“I think this team had a really good chemistry, [especially] for the amount of time everybody had been here [and having] not really played with each other that much. I think it’s rare that you have that kind of chemistry, how well we got along and how well we played together,” said Hansbrough. “Personally, when I was called, I felt like I went out there and helped the team in the ways that I could. I’d be glad to be back.”