Last year, we blessed the people with a list of the best names in college basketball. We knew we’d never assemble a list that everyone would be happy with. We missed some names, and we’ll miss a few more this season.
We only get 10. Feel free to talk to us via #Top10Thursday and let us know who else should be on this list. Also, check last year’s list -- we didn’t re-use anyone from 2014-15. Wanted some fresh faces in the new edition. Agree? Disagree? Tell us on Twitter by using #Top10Thursday.
The talented guard has missed the last seven games with a foot injury and there is no guarantee he’ll return this season. That’s a tough situation for the sophomore from the Bahamas and his teammates. But he’s the champion of names in college basketball. That’s his crown for life. Listening to grown men say the name Tum Tum with a straight face is one of the game’s great pleasures.
His parents probably thought the name had a certain ring to it. (We’re here all day, folks.) But what if Stone had failed to mature into an NBA lottery prospect in his first year at Maryland? What if he didn’t have any special talents? Maybe he would’ve learned to play bass and toured on the weekends with a band called Fool’s Gold of Funk. If your name is Diamond Stone, you either play bass or basketball. It’s that simple.
Imagine you’re at a party and you decide to walk up to someone you’ve had your eye on. You say, “Hi, I’m Frank.” Then this dude appears. “Hello, I’m Lionheart.” Who gets the number? Not you. Walk away.
His real name is Ya’Viel. Ya’Viel Anderson of the Radford Highlanders. If he doesn’t enter a game while riding a horse and wearing armor, you’re wasting him, Radford. You’re wasting him.
You know one of his friends needed a fifth for a five-on-five game when they were young. “I’ll call my friend Tacko.” His buddies probably assumed some average neighborhood dude would show. In walks the 7-foot-6 center from Senegal. “Um, you can guard him.”
Yes, King is his real name. Yes, you have to call him King.
Further evidence that anyone nicknamed “Shake” (his real first name is Malik) is probably good at something. Might be basketball (Milton is averaging 11.3 ppg). Could be card games or magic tricks or watercolor portraits. But if his name is Shake, he has skills.
Yes, his last name is pronounced “Hahs” (thanks for ruining our dream, Purdue media guide). But you can't stop us from assuming that his parents, Danny and Rachel, came up with this name while they watched soul legend Isaac Hayes’ epic performance in Watts, California, in 1972 (he appeared on stage in a gold station wagon with Jesse Jackson as his hype man).
What choice did the Oakland standout (11.4 ppg) have?
His full name is Nuwr'iyl Elijah Williams. From his bio: “Wears jersey No. 44 because the real No. 8 is his birth number, the eight of clubs ... in numerology, eight stands for mental focus and that is why he wears No. 44 because it adds up to eight.” Too much cool in all of this to pick one thing as the coolest. But don’t be surprised if he moves to a top-three slot by next season.