College / Aug 15, 2013 / 3:00 pm

The 20 Most Hated College Basketball Players Of All Time

Larry Johnson

You might be too young to remember Larry Johnson at UNLV. Hell, you might be too young to remember Larry Johnson at Charlotte. But back in the day, Johnson was not only one of the best players in the nation for one of the best teams in NCAA history, he was also one of the most hated.

Considering what all of his former teammates now say about him, and all that he sacrificed as a veteran player in New York, the hatred he drew from fans while at UNLV is ironic. Still, it helped vault him into a special class as one of the most disliked college players ever.

College basketball is followed by millions of people. Whether it’s students shouting and cheering for their fellow peers or alums keeping tabs on their alma maters from afar, people are always tuned into NCAA games. With such a vast and passionate fan base there are going to be numerous players that aren’t liked by the fans and this article is a list of 20 of the most hated players throughout NCAA history.

If you’re a Duke fan, I suggest you prepare yourself.

[RELATED: The 10 Most Hated Players In The NBA Right Now]

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While many of the other players on this list didn’t do much more to garner the hatred of opposing fans than play basketball (or go to Duke), Aubrey Coleman decided to do more with his feet than run and jump. Four years ago, Coleman and his Houston Cougars faced the Arizona Wildcats. After Wildcat swingman Chase Budinger took a charge, Coleman was upset with the call and took it out on Budinger’s face by stomping down on it as he walked over Budinger.

Marcus Camby was a program-changing player for the University of Massachusetts. His impact was felt immediately for UMass, blocking 105 shots on his way to winning A-10 Freshmen of the Year following the 1993-94 season. Then in 1996, he led the Minutemen to the Final Four. The NCAA later nullified that after it was discovered Camby accepted $28,000 from two sports agents while still at UMass. Camby may be the only player on his list that was more hated by his own school’s fans than those of the opposing teams.

Joakim Noah was the definition of unique during his years as a Florida Gator. Noah combined athleticism, flair, size and long locks of hair into a persona that made him an easy target for haters. Winning back-to-back NCAA championships didn’t help either and Noah was very much the face of those teams.

Danny Ainge brought BYU to the forefront of college basketball during his tenure there from 1977-81. Ainge was best known for his ability to frustrate other opponents. He was constantly hustling for loose balls, diving after anyone within his reach and was always in the face of opposing players. But it’s the penultimate play of his college career that drove most fans wild, a seemingly effortless full court layup to upset Notre Dame.

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  • jonathan

    not really surprised to see so many guys from duke on this list. with their dominance in the 90’s people loved to hate them. as a terp fan,some of the things that our fans said those boys you would not repeat to your mother.

  • AustinBurton206

    Top of the list is pretty solid, but I’d put somebody like Chris Webber or Rudy Gay on there rather than Aubrey Coleman. I don’t think a lot of people even remember the incident with Budinger, at least not enough to make him one of the most hated college players ever.

  • algrolls

    Solid list but J.J. Redick and Christian Laettner spots should be switched people really didn’t like J.J even to this very day he is booed when he plays the Bobcats and the Wizards.

  • SweetdickWilly

    Aubrey did that shit deliberately. His ass was cheesing like he won candy when did it and really should’ve been suspended for the rest of the season. How he only got a 2 game suspension is mystery.

  • Username__already__exists

    Duke has “NOT” been on top since the 90’s. Kentucky has 3 titles to Duke’s 4. North Carolina and UCONN also have 3 each. That’s hardly putting Duke ahead of the pack especially considering 2 of Duke’s titles came way back in 1991 and 1992. And Kentucky went through one of their worst periods ever in that time and they still nearly matched Duke in titles and they have had clearly superior teams to what Duke has had with the 1996 and the 2012 teams being among the best ever. And Kentucky clearly has the advantage now. So how people figure Duke to be “on top” is beyond logic. They are among a group of teams at the top or they were. Kentucky is about to make that list change the way Cal is going.

  • AustinBurton206

    You’re reaching. Duke not only has the most national titles since 1990, they’ve been more consistently successful than Kentucky. Duke has missed the NCAA tourney one time since ’90; Kentucky has missed the tourney four times, including last season. And the years that Kentucky did make the tournament, they’ve been an eight-seed a couple times and an 11-seed one time. Duke is almost always a top-4 seed at least.

  • Wade Burchette

    People do not have Duke because they are successful. People hate Duke because they are insufferable douches. People hate Duke because ESPN fawns over them like they were a NFC East team. For example: JJ Redick, who statistically wasn’t the best 3 point shooter in the nation, would do leg-kick flops to draw offensive fouls. It didn’t help him any that Dick Vitale had a big time man-crush on JJ. Gerald Henderson broke Tyler Hansborough’s face, but Coach K said Gerald was the “real victim”. And what about the floor slapping? Duke finally stopped that because other teams started mocking them. And I can go on.

    UCLA has won more Final 4 than anyone. Do people hate UCLA? Kentucky has more wins than anyone. Do people hate Kentucky like they hate Duke? Or do they hate UNC like they hate Duke? Does anybody who is not a Duke fan ever cheer for Duke? They are hated for a reason, and it is not because they are successful.

    If you really want to see why Duke is hated everywhere in the world except New Jersey and the ESPN studios, you need to read the book Duke Sucks.

  • Tim

    I hate puke, not because of the shot, that was pinto fault, they do the flop every game, & get free throws, they win a lot of games during the season, but tournament time, they get put out fast…

  • John Segee

    Right, that’s why they’ve won 4 champions in 20 years. That’s averaging going as deep as you can go in the tournament every 5 years. You have a very odd version of history, I guess just looking at the past few years. Yes, Duke went out quick two years in a row (2011, 2012), but they won it all in 2010 and were in the Elite 8 last year and lost to the eventual champion. Coach K has 14 more tournament wins than any other coach at 79, and Duke ranks 3rd all time in tournament wins. If you said Duke has gone out quick in two of the last four years, I’d agree with you, but Duke is the most successful NCAA tournament team of the last 20 years. Your comment just doesn’t make any sense.

  • John Segee

    Sorry man, but no matter how many one and done players coach cal gets, he will never be in a class like Coach K. He’s a glorified AAU coach. You know how you can tell, it’s when his teams don’t have ultimate talent like he did in 2012, and his team crumbles, doesn’t make the tournament and has so little respect for themselves that they lose in the first round of the NIT. And every guy on the team admits that they lost because they just didn’t care. That’s where a coach should shine, to make sure these kids know they are winners, no matter what. Instead, he let them fail in a spectacular way, and even admitted during the year that he couldn’t coach them. Yep, you couldn’t coach them Cal because you can only recruit, period, and if you don’t have elite teams, you lose, because you’re not a good coach. Look at Duke in 2010, and I don’t care about seeds or easy paths to the finals, that team had no business being there, but their Coach made sure they believed it, and they won it all. Kentucky has a sham of a man as a coach, just wait until he has to vacate his titles like he’s had to every where else he’s gone.

  • iwillarguewithwhateveryousay

    Greg Paulus graduated after JJ Redick.

  • iwillarguewithwhateveryousay

    “On top” as in one of the elite basketball teams for the better part of the last two decades. Not “on top” as no one ever finished better than them.

  • jim

    Considering that most of the players at Duke are black, including most of their biggest stars (G. Hill, Elton Brand, Jay Williams, Johnny Dawkins), it’s astonishing that 6 out of the 20 most hated are white Duke players.

    Actually, it’s not astonishing at all. Losers hate Duke because they have white all-Americans while their team has maybe one white all-conference player every 10 years or so.

  • http://inallairness.com/ Adam

    I’m not deliberately pimping my Jordan-era NBA podcast; however, I love this list and I’ve also chatted to the guy at number one – Mr. Laettner | inallairness.com/3