By: Elias McMillan
Honorable Mentions: I hated Carlos Boozer when he was at Dook. He was another on a long list of overrated post players at Dook that could score but could also play zero defense. My hate for Boozer continued during his career in the pros, which honestly has been decent. I enjoyed it very much when Tyler Hansbrough dunked on him in a playoff game some years ago.
Earlier in the 90’s, I hated Trajan Langdon. Langdon followed the path set by numerous Dookies as a player who was hyped in college and ended up doing jack squat in the pros. I also hated his nickname “the Alaskan Assassin” which Dickie V would always throw out after every made basket.
Okay, time for some current names. Josh McRoberts and Greg Paulus were hated but they played during a time where Carolina completely dominated the rivalry thanks to Hansbrough and the boys. Paulus was the classic Dook guard: A guy that would flop all the time and jack up three’s from anywhere. Paulus wasn’t hated as badly because he was mostly made fun of by opposing fans and even by some Dook fans. Paulus wasn’t even well-liked in Dook land because he was highly touted but ultimately, he sucked. And his love for flopping and trying desperately to get charge calls made him an often target for some humiliating plays under the basket. There’s a reason why they nicknamed him, “Tea Bag Paulus”. McRoberts was a Dook big that could jump high so when ever he dunked, ESPN would make it into a national holiday. McRoberts was also another Dook big who was soft and couldn’t defend. So when he couldn’t handle the likes of a Hansbrough, there was nothing left for him to do but cry.
Nolan Smith was a weird looking Dookie who I hated. He was almost as annoying as Chris Duhon and he suspiciously kinda looked liked Coach K. Or maybe they both have the same rat shaped head.
Jon Scheyer was another highly recruited Dookie who had a disappointing career after college. Scheyer will be hated and more remembered for the ridiculous faces he would make during a game than his actual play.
10. Christian Laettner – Laettner might have been a bit before my time, which is why he barely cracks the top ten in my list of hated Dookies. Laettner’s career follows the basic premise of a Dookie: great, hyped college career then little to no success in the NBA. Laettner is the poster boy of what Dook represents. Laettner believed his own hype while at Dook and was a chippy player. He would get in other players faces, trash talk, and would pull some downright dirty tactics. Laettner was hated by just about every opponent he would face on the court but despite that he was the media darling as a college player and sadly, he will live forever in college basketball lore thanks to his game winning shot in a National Championship game.
9. Austin Rivers – There has been a lot of “one-and-dones” at Dook but if I had to choose one that I hated the most, it would be Austin Rivers. Rivers was one of the top recruited players out of high school and he had to decide between North Carolina or Dook. It became quickly obvious to me that he was destined to be a Dookie. Rivers is the son of NBA head coach Doc Rivers and is out of New Jersey. Students and Student/Athletes at Dook carry the stereotype of usually being from out of the state of North Carolina and for coming from well-off families. Rivers fit that mold and he was a cocky douche. Before playing one second at Dook, he was already giving himself nicknames and running off the mouth about how great he was. As a player, he was nothing special. Just another guard from Dook that could shoot and do nothing else. He hit a game winner at the Dean Dome in his only season and of course ESPN replays it whenever they can. Somehow, he is still in the NBA and has proven to be an ultimate “coach’s son” as he was recently traded to Doc Rivers’ Clippers.
8. Dick Vitale – Let me first say this, I like Dick Vitale. He is so important to the very fabric of what makes college basketball so great. That being said, his homerism for Dook is and continues to be his greatest downfall. I understand if you’re a fan of the school, or if you were a student there, or if you’re just really good friends with Coach K. But the Dook love fest that seems to endlessly spew out of his mouth during almost every broadcast is unbearable. Dickie V is unable to call any game without mentioning or making reference to Dook. Its really bad when he’s calling games in the ACC. Even the ones where Dook isn’t playing. I believe that Dick Vitale is a broadcasting treasure but my ears go mute whenever he goes into “Dook mode”.
7. Gerald Henderson – Gerald Henderson didn’t really have a memorable college career at Dook. Henderson was actually a rare type of player at Dook. He wasn’t the typical shot-happy type and he was a decent athlete. He makes this list for being a dirty player and for blatantly going after Tyler Hansbrough is his last regular season home game at the Dean Dome. While going up for a rebound, Henderson takes a straight shot to Hansbrough’s face and busted him right open. This still gets replayed every time Dook and Carolina plays and it gets pegged as some type of great moment in the rivalry. Its just another reason to hate Dook. To this day, Billy Packer still thinks that there was no clear intent on Henderson part. Unreal. Blatant cheap shot.
6. Chris Duhon – I hate Chris Duhon’s face. This annoying Dookie was known for being one of Coach K’s pet students. He was more of the typical Dook guard. A guy that would just run around in circles, jacking up three’s and flopping at any chance on defense. I’ll mention that he did hit a game winning layup against UNC one year but that was probably the most memorable moment in his college career. Duhon, like most Dook guards, didn’t really have that much talent to carry over into the NBA.
5. Shane Battier – Battier was another player, like Duhon, that I hated with a passion at Dook and as a pro player. It is said that Battier is known as a great defender but really the dude was a master flopper and a total dweeb. There are a lot of floppers at Dook but Battier perfected the art of the flop and he receives praise for it even as a pro. At least he later admitted that flopping was coached at Dook.
4. Steve Wojciechowski – Wojo was an awful player at Dook but he gained a lot of attention for being a floor slapping jarbroni that Coach K loved. I’ll remember Wojo for fainting in the locker room after a loss to Carolina in the ACC Championship game. I believed that he fainted because he couldn’t keep up with Ed Cota the entire game. Coach K awarded Wojo for his loyalty and made him one of his cronies on his coaching staff for many years. Eventually, Coach K had to “cut the cord” and Wojo took the head-coaching job at Marquette. It’s a shame because I really liked Marquette when Buzz Williams coached them. Now, I root against them and it helps that they stink. Just like coach.
3. J.J. Redick – There hasn’t been more of an arrogant cocky douche in the history of Dook basketball than J.J. Redick. Redick was hugely overrated at Dook. As a player, he was ultimately just a one trick pony that Coach K couldn’t ride into a national championship. Redick was the prototype, Coach K type of shooting guard who would just make his living running around in circles, behind screens, and jacking three pointers. Redick was universally hated in every college basketball stadium in his career and it was mainly because of his cocky attitude. I can happily say that Tyler Hansbrough as freshman ruined his senior night at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Probably my favorite moment in the rivalry.
2. The Cameron Crazies – Student sections are apart of why college basketball is so awesome. I wont rip the Cameron Crazies for being enthusiastic about their team but I will rip them for being the biggest collection of dweebs and dorks. I’ll remember when ESPN tried to give them attention for having a guy in the crowd in a speedo. And then, when they tried to “re-create” that moment with the speedo, the idiot kid ended up doing something obscene right into the ESPN cameras and the announcers had to apologize.
1. Mike Krzyzewski – Coach K is the king of it all so naturally, he is number one on my list of most hated Dookies. I wont knock him for all of his accomplishments but I will knock his style of basketball that he coaches. People seem to like Coach K because he coaches “the right way” and his program is “team oriented”. I just feel that there is nothing too great about running around in circles, jacking up three pointers behind screens, the art of flopping, and having un-athletic soft big guys who constantly get bullied. No one in the media seems to like to talk about the way he berates officials when his team is down or how the games are called period when he is at home. Usually, guys in his position would at least try to show some humility despite all of the success but Coach K doesn’t do that at all. When Dean Smith passed away some weeks ago, people close to him said that he never wanted a lot of credit for the success he had as a coach at UNC. If that was indeed true about him, then Coach K is the exact opposite. He is treated like a basketball god and he acts like so. Here’s a recent example: when Dook lost to 15-seeded Mercer last March, Coach K reportedly walked into the Mercer locker room to further congratulate them for the victory in middle of their own celebration. And the media gets ahold of this story and go on and on about how classy of a move that was by Coach K, the basketball coaching God. It must have been a real thrill for those Mercer players to meet Coach K, coach of the stars, again after beating his team of All-Americans. It was just an all-time smug, douchey decision by Coach K. He might be remembered as being one of the greatest coaches in college sports but not in my book.