Such conflicted feelings are also evident among opposing players. Morrison has a fiery, chippy personality and a flair for the dramatic gesture. Opponents say he likes to trash talk, saying things like: "How's it feel to average 10 points on a lousy team?" and "They think you can guard me?"
Some accuse him of instigating contact at the edge of the rules, flopping to the floor to draw fouls and manufacturing confrontations to get under the skin of the man guarding him.
"Faking fights and trying to get people to jump at you to get them ejected, that's not what basketball's meant for," said Chris Ayer, a senior center at Loyola Marymount.
Yet, Ayer added, every good shooter needs confidence bordering on arrogance, which breeds both intense dislike and respect.
"I like that he doesn't back down," Ayer said of Morrison. "He's a tough guy. He'll stand in there."
Morrison said: "There's always trash-talking. It just happens."
Mark Few, the Gonzaga coach, said critics of Morrison should understand that he gets constantly grabbed and scratched and held away from the ball. "When he gets mad, pushed with his back to the wall, he's going to come out with guns ablazing," Few said.
What goes around ...
Chris Paul, a former Wake Forest guard now with the New Orleans Hornets in the NBA, said Redick could be "pretty arrogant at times" and recounted a tangle with the Duke guard in 2004. "I was guarding him and he slapped me right in the face," Paul said. "The ref saw it and he got a technical." But, Paul added, "He's one of the best shooters I've ever seen."
Coach Mike Krzyzewski has guided Duke to 10 Final Fours and has won three national championships without the blemish of recruiting violations, and those who dislike the Blue Devils often accuse them of possessing a moral smugness.
Jeff Schneider, who operates a Web site called truthaboutduke.com, said in an e-mail message that the poetry Redick writes and Krzyzewski's claim in a credit-card commercial that he is a leader who happens to coach basketball "rival Eddie Haskell on the phoniness scale."
Redick, of course, has a different take: "We've done things the right way. So people hate us."
The obscene chants and personal references directed his way have been well-documented through his four years at Duke. When the Blue Devils traveled to Philadelphia last weekend, Temple students held up pictures of his mother, along with a sign that said, "I Dream of Jeanie Redick."
Last season in Tallahassee, several Florida State students said, they were making suggestive remarks about Redick's younger sister during warm-ups when he barked at them, "That's why you're in the stands and I'm on the court about to drop 30 on you."
"And he did," said James Givens, 19, one of the students.
In a recent telephone conference call with reporters, Redick said he once embraced the role of villain -- backpedaling downcourt with his goose-necked arm held high, nodding his head, pounding his chest, talking trash.
"I said, `All right, if they want to call me these things, then I'm going to act like a jerk on the court,"' Redick said. "That made people dislike me even more. Over the past two years, as I've matured as a person, I've just become more secure in who I am. Now there's no reason for me to act like an idiot out on the court or to say stuff to the opposing crowd. Really, the only thing I ever do is just smile because I'm having a great time out there playing basketball."