The 8 Best College Basketball Haircuts of All Time

When Nerlens Noel starting getting buzz last year as the nation’s number one recruit, the first thing people noticed wasn't his freakishly long arms or obvious athleticism. It was his high-top fade, which wasn't quite as tall as the iconic version sported by Kid from Kid 'n' Play, but was almost as tall as Kid's from Kid 'n' Play. Unfortunately, Noel tore his ACL in February, ending his one-and-done career at Kentucky and likely killing the Wildcats’ chances of making a repeat run. But his hair remains. As a tribute to Noel, we give you the best college basketball haircuts of all-time—from high-top fades and military-style buzzes to shaggy mop-tops and what can only be described as “the Frederick Douglass.”

Jerry West

Jerry West

The original inspiration for the NBA logo, West wore the tightly cropped military cut that basically every kid in the late 1950s imitated, and it’s a style that has quietly made a comeback in the past year or so. In later life, West somehow managed to pull-off a Don Draper-esque ‘do.

Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook

We should have anticipated the glass-less glasses and loud prints when Westbrook unveiled a flaming fauxhawk (with a basketball emblazoned on the side) of his head back in the day with the Bruins. It’s not one of the great looks of all time, but as a haircut, it’s so courageous that we had to give it a nod.

Dean Meminger

Dean Meminger

The Marquette guard who played in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s under the legendary Al McGuire wore his hair in the style of a 19th-century abolitionist—a parted afro that is as cool as any cut we came across, yet no one wears today. Please, let’s bring back the Frederick Douglass.

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony

Allen Iverson and countless others were already wearing cornrows by the time Melo jumped on the scene and took Syracuse to the national title in 2003, but Melo gets credit for rocking the rows like no other. And with Anthony hailing from Baltimore, you have to think that the locks must have influenced another famous cornrow wearer—Snoop from The Wire.

Adam Morrison

Adam Morrison

This pick has as much to do with the mustache as it does with the hair. It all seemed like either a joke—the floppy hair, the porn-stache—or an incredible homage to Larry Bird. But this was way back in 2006—a full three years before the New York Times’ Style section ran their piece on the Great Mustache Comeback. Everyone thought it was ironic, but it seems unlikely that this kid had anything but earnestness at his core—especially in his epic breaking-down-at-half-court-bawl-fest after Gonzaga’s last-second loss to UCLA in the tourney.

Kelly Olynyk

Kelly Olynyk

There’s nothing particularly fresh about Olynyk’s lack of haircut, but it’s refreshing to see a college player (Gonzaga, again) with long, flowing hair, even if it makes him look like the kid from Dazed and Confused. Plus, the guy once sat on the bench wearing an electric blue bowtie after being suspended for three games.

Jamal Mashburn

Jamal Mashburn

Way before Nerlens leapt onto the scene, Jamal Mashburn rocked a more conservative (dare we say classic?) high-top fade during his Kentucky tenure—before he made the mistake of shaving his head Michael Jordan-bald.

Jimmy Jackson

Jimmy Jackson

The simple, shaved part has been done before, but few have done it better than Jackson while he was at Ohio State.

Dacus Thompson

Photos: AP Photo, Danny Moloshok/AP Photo, Marquette, AP Photo, AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, ncaa.com, complex.com, ohiocardsblog.wordpress.com

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