Two Truths And A Lie: College Basketball Players Speak Off The Record

By G. Hylton / @realgoesright

So a couple weeks ago, the good people over at spoke to dozens of college basketball players around the country. They asked them a bunch of questions venturing from who their favorite basketball player was, the most overrated player they faced, and whether they’ve taken illegal payments while playing for their respective schools.

If you want to catch the full survey, run on over to the article and take a look for yourself. What I’ll be doing is doing my own sort of psychoanalysis on the answers given by these “kids” and why they may or may not be bull#$%^.

Who was your favorite basketball player growing up?

  • Michael Jordan (17.8%)
  • Kobe Bryant (16.4%)
  • Allen Iverson (8.2%)
  • Kevin Garnett (6.8%)
  • Steve Nash (4.1%)
  • Shaquille O’Neal (4.1%)
  • Dominique Wilkins (4.1%)
  • Larry Bird (2.7%)
  • LeBron James (2.7%)
  • Tracy McGrady (2.7%)
  • J.J. Redick (2.7%)

Here’s the thing about these’s a safe bet that most of these kids in the survey are between the ages of 17 – 21. If 21 is the very oldest of the kids being asked this question, it’d mean they were born in 1991. Even if they were 5 years old when they started watching basketball, they’d have basically only caught Jordan during his last 1-2 “good” years in the league.

I’m sure a good majority of the kids questioned were closer to 17-19 years of age, meaning they were born in ’93 – ’95. Meaning they likely never saw Jordan play at all. Now, I’m not saying Jordan can’t be a kid’s favorite player because they weren’t even old enough to watch him play...I’m just saying, I think they’re fudging on this one.

Also of the hell did J.J. Redick make this list? No Duke player should ever make anybody’s favorite player list. Ever. And don’t you dare say Kyrie Irving. Far as I’m concerned, Uncle Drew isn’t affiliated with Duke, he just needed an excuse to sit out a year before he went to the league.

Have you ever received benefits from a booster?

  • Yes (13.7%)
  • No (86.3%)

This is probably the funniest stat on this survey. Side story, there was a high profile basketball recruit who came to FSU about a week ago. Apparently, a sorority whose name will not be mentioned tweeted the recruit a rather vague phrase regarding the activities of the previous night and wished that recruit good luck. Granted, I could be reading too much into it...but I’m an alum. I know how this works.

That number, 13.7% receiving benefits from a booster, seems incredibly low. There were athletes playing for FSU receiving all kinds of “benefits” and they weren’t even star players. Cats that never got off the bench were given “just due” just because they played on the team. They should have changed this question to, “Have you ever received improper benefits just from being on the team?” Those numbers would’ve easily been flipped.

How much should college basketball players be paid?

  • $1-5,000 per semester (46.8%)
  • $5-10,000 per semester (22.6%)
  • Nothing (19.4%)
  • $10-20,000 per semester (6.4%)
  • $20,000 per semester or greater (4.8%)

Of note, there are two things at play here. 1) College athletes want to be paid and 2) they’re apparently not asking for much. 69% of them want to be paid anywhere from $1K - $10K per semester. Proponents of NOT paying the students like to point those college athletes are being given a free education, which is payment in itself.

However, given the overwhelming amount of African American men being used for profit, the fact many of them wouldn’t even BE at school if they couldn’t play their sport because they wouldn’t be academically qualified, or the poor graduation rates found within this should be a surprise that a “free” education isn’t exactly considered a lucrative deal for them.

Which other coach, other than your own, would you like to play for?

  • Mike Krzyzewski, Duke (21.9%)
  • John Calipari, Kentucky (12.3%)
  • Brad Stevens, Butler (9.6%)
  • Roy Williams, North Carolina (6.8%)
  • Lorenzo Romar, Washington (4.1%)
  • Bill Self, Kansas (4.1%)
  • Shaka Smart, VCU (4.1%)

I have a lot of respect for Krzyzewski’s coaching skills, when it comes to coaching Team USA. And you can’t deny what he’s done over at Duke...but this is puzzling for a number of reasons.

A lot of college athletes want to go into the league and play pro basketball. Blind hate won’t allow me to do any research to see if any person who played at Duke was worth something in the league. At the very least, I know there’s an overwhelming about of NBA failures credited to Coach Krzyzewski’s prospects. In any event, Krzyzewski seems to be a good enough dude so I guess playing him probably would be a good look.

But it’s still eff Duke. All day, every day.

Check out the article for the rest of the questions and hit the comments with how you feel about the answers. Peace.

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