Skip to main content

College Basketball Players Survey: Off The Record


College hoopsters can be an honest bunch—even more so under the cover of anonymity. Athlon Sports talked to dozens of college basketball stars from coast to coast—at 50 schools in 18 conferences—and got them to open up on a variety of topics, from the hottest woman alive, to which coach (other than their own) they'd like to play for, to overrated opponents to improper benefits. Their replies are sometimes predictable (Kim Kardashian and Kate Upton, anyone?), sometimes provocative. Read on. 

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%)

Notable: 17 players received at least one vote. Some weren’t a surprise: Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and Paul Pierce. Some were: Pete Maravich, who last played in the NBA in 1980, Bobby Jackson, Shuan Livington and Gordon Heyward. 

Who is the most overrated player you have faced?

Nerlens Noel, Kentucky (6.8%)

Kyle Wiltjer, Kentucky (6.8%)

Michael Snaer, Florida State(5.5%)

Aaron Craft, Ohio State(4.1%)

Austin Rivers, Duke(4.1%)

Mason Plumlee, Duke(4.1%)

Patric Young, Florida(4.1%)

Trey Burke, Michigan(2.7%)

Pierre Jackson, Baylor(2.7%)

Josh Smith, UCLA (2.7%)

Cody Zeller, Indiana(2.7%)

Notable: 20 players received at least one vote, including 2012 NBA first-round draft picks Terrence Jones (Kentucky), Marquis Teague (Kentucky) and Royce White (Iowa State).

Have you ever received benefits from a booster?



How much time do you spend on your schoolwork per week (including classes)? 0-5 hours, 5-15 hours, 15-plus hours?

0-to-15 hours(57.5%)

15-plus hours(42.5%)

Would you rather have $1 million or win an NCAA championship? 

NCAA Championship(80.8%)

$1 million (19.2%)

Who would you like to trade places with for one day?

President Obama(19.2%)

LeBron James(11.%)

Floyd Mayweather(6.8%)

Bill Gates(5.5%)


Michael Jordan(4.1%)

Justin Bieber(2.7%)

Anthony Davis(2.7%)

P Diddy(2.7%)

Shaquille O’Neal(2.7%)

Kanye West(2.7%)

Would you go to the same school if you had to do it over?



Have you ever had a grade changed because you were an athlete?



Would you still be in college if you weren’t playing basketball?

Yes (75.3 %)

No (24.7%)

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%)

Notable: 18 other coaches received at least one vote, including Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers and Mike Davis, the interim head coach at Texas Southern. 

Which other coach would you never play for?

Billy Gillispie, Recently fired Texas A&M(23.3%)

Frank Martin, South Carolina (16.4%)

Bob Knight, Retired (9.6%)

John Calipari, Kentucky (6.8%)

Bob Huggins, West Virginia (4.1%)

Notable: 16 other coaches received at least one vote. 

Mike Krzyzewski, John Calipari, Mike Davis, Randy Bennett, Bob Huggins and Rick Byrd were mentioned on both lists above. 

What is your favorite TV show?

Family Guy(9.6%)

Fresh Prince(6.8%)



Everybody Hates Chris(5.5%)


Notable: 29 other TV shows received at least one vote, including Boy Meets World, Seinfeld and The Price is Right. 

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%)

What is your favorite arena to play in, other than your own? 

Rupp Arena, Kentucky(12.3%)

Madison Square Garden(12.3%)

Allen Fieldhouse, Kansas(8.2%)

Cameron Indoor Stadium, Duke(5.5%)

FedExForum, Memphis(5.5%)

Hec Edmundson Pavilion, Washington(4.1%)

O’Connell Center, Florida(4.1%)

Notable: 23 other arenas received at least one vote, including the Lahaina Civic Center, home of the Maui Invitational. 

Who is the hottest woman alive?

Kim Kardashian (12.3%)

Kate Upton (9.6%)

Megan Fox (6.8%)

Paula Patton (6.8%)

Beyonce (5.5%)

Stacy Dash (4.1%)

Meagan Good (4.1%)

Marissa Miller (4.1%)

Gabrielle Union (4.1%)

Notable: 27 other women received at least one vote, including three over 40 years old— Jennifer Anniston (43), Halle Berry (46) and Jennifer Lopez (43). “My girlfriend” and “my mother” also received one vote each.