INDIANAPOLIS - A reputation has followed him from Poplar Bluff, MO to Chapel Hill, NC and Indianapolis, IN.
From Tar Heel Baby Blue to Pacers Navy Blue, Tyler Hansbrough's style has been black and blue.
"An intensity level that is off the charts," is how Pacers head coach Jim O'Brien describes former college player of hte year's style.
Cultivated over four years in the Tar Heel uniform, his physical, intense, and over-the-top energy earned a his share of bloody noses and bruises.
"I am what I am and I do what I do," said Hansbrough of his game.
It worked well for the player known by some as "Psycho-T" ,as Hansbrough averaged 20 points and eight rebounds a game in his senior season while leading North Carolina to the National Championship. It was a primary reason the Pacers grabbed the forward with the No. 13 pick in June's NBA Draft.
"Thats the type of effort that we need right now," said guard Brandon Rush, whose joined Hansbrough along with other first and second year players for the team's first summer league workout Thursday. Though more of a practice for installing offense and defense, Hansbrough showed a few glimpses of his trademark style during the session open to media at the Conseco Fieldhouse practice court. A rebound slam was the highlight, along with a few tough rebounds gave a glimpse of possible exploits to come.
"We're getting more guys that play with the type of attitude," said O'Brien of Hansbrough's intense play. "Thats the way we're trying to build our franchise."
Hansbrough figures to do so in that way at the least, but how he'll fit into the NBA game and the Pacers rotation is still to be seen. His play on Thursday, however, caught at least one player off guard.
"Tyler really surprised me today because I didn't know he was that athletic," said Rush of Hansbrough. "He gets up like Josh, because Josh is real athletic too."
As in Josh McRoberts, who for two years battled Hansbrough at rival Duke before he entered the NBA Draft.
"I think we'll compliment each other well," said the Carmel Native of his new teammate. "I'm glad we're on the same side now."