As a favor to my buddy Bob over at Ballin' Is A Habit, I did a bit of consulting and guest writing on their most recent article. If you want to read some of my thoughts, and those of Ballin' Is A Habit, on some of the most hated (and loved) college basketball players of the decade head over to BIAH.
Here's a taste of what I had to say on the subject.
It's one thing to show no emotion at all, it's a whole other thing to be Tyler Hansbrough. This dude showed a lot of emotion during his four years at North Carolina, and every second of it made me want to throw up. There's a reason that his nickname was Psycho T. Hansbrough was a complete nut. His ridiculous actions on the court made me hate him more and more every time I saw him spaz around on the floor for a loose ball.
He was the epitome of getting the most out of what you have. Who likes that? I'm not a Husky fan, (just the first example that came into my head) but I loved cheering for a guy like Rudy Gay who was uber-talented but was labeled as lazy. He knew he was good and therefore didn't have to act like an idiot on the court.
Was he a star in college? Yes.
Is he now a star in the pros? Yes.
Did he ever make me want to throw myself through a window when I watched him play? No.
Tyler Hansbrough had one out of those three aspects.
He's never going to be a great pro, and everyone knew that. Sure he received numerous college accolades, and had the stats to ensure them, but that doesn't mean he deserved those stats. When you play in a manner that many basketball players can't respect, it diminishes your likeability. Falling on the ground every five seconds, pretending that you were fouled, is flat out bush league.
I was a UNC fan growing up. I loved the likes of VC, Rasheed, Stack, Jamison. Tyler Hansbrough single-handedly destroyed my fandom of the Tar Heels and turned it into a hatred for the school I once wanted to attend.
Adam Morrison played at Gonzaga, which is a mid-major in the West Coast Conference. We could obviously talk again about how he was hyped well higher than his skill level, but the normal hatred for this college basketball player ran much deeper than undeserved stats and honors. It really comes down to two things. A moustache and crying.
Morrison was extremely gangly and had a girl's haircut during his years with the Zags. Although both characteristics turned me off, neither caused as much pain as his disgusting quazi-moustache. Here is the thing with facial hair. If you can grow a great beard, you do it at some point in college. Hey, if you want to have the luxury of being able to sport a sweet chin strap before you leave high school, then by golly you shave twice a day when you're a freshman (I actually don't recommend this doing this). A nice goatee or some solid muutton chops can do wonders for you as a young man, but under no circumstances do you let a peach fuzz-esque moustache grow in above your lip. When hair starts to grow on your face, but you can still see through it to your face, you know it's not a good look. Not to mention it is just a straight up stash. Unless you are in the 80s or an old man, moustaches just look weird on white dudes.
In the Zags' NCAA Tournament game against UCLA, the Bulldogs led the entire way only to see their lead slip away to the Bruins in the final seconds. Sure everyone and their brother has cried at one point or another, but it wasn't like Mr. Moustache against UCLA. This dude started balling hysterically before the game even ended! Yeah I've seen some dudes tear up at the post-game press conference. It is an emotional time, and when a player really cares about the team's success, his portrayal through tears can some times be heartfelt. Morrison's tears were not simple. The dude's face was going out of control. He couldn't contain himself. Let me remind you that the game wasn't even over yet. He could've taken it down for a game-winning shot. Did he? Of course not. He just finished filling up a soup bowl with massive tears. You can't play basketball like that. If America didn't detest this kid before that, it sure did him in.