2013 NCAA Pre-Tournament All-Name Team
March Madness: 2013 NCAA Pre-Tournament All-Name Team
March is a time when college basketball legends are made. It's a time when players you've never heard of make a name for themselves and the school they play for. It's also a time to recognize some of the best names in men's college basketball. The following list of athletes have some of the best names in the sport and also happen to play on some teams that are all but locks to make the Field of 68. Some names are just flat-out funny and some are just fun to say.
Pictured above is Cashmere Wright, a guard for the Cincinnati Bearcats, who still have some work to do to punch their ticket to the dance.
Without further ado, I present some of the best names in college basketball, led off by none other than a head coach we've heard a lot about over the past several seasons.
Head Coach - Shaka Smart, VCU
Every team needs a head coach, even the All-Name team, and what better guy to lead this group than VCU's Shaka Smart. Thanks to a recent 32-point blowout of the once-ranked Butler Bulldogs, Smart has once again led the Rams into the top-25. At 23-6 (11-3 A10), it's almost a certainty we'll see VCU in the field for the third straight season. Can they match their Final Four run from 2010-11? Maybe. Wake up the noise!
Vander Blue and Junior Cadougan, Marquette
Teammates at the second-place team in the Big East, Blue and Cadougan have led Marquette to a 22-7 (13-4 Big East) mark and a likely 4- or 5-seed come tournament time. Blue leads Marquette in scoring with 14.3 ppg while Cadougan averages 4.2 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Cadoooougan--kind of reminds me of Street Fighter's Ryu.
Jordair Jett, Saint Louis
Jordain Jett. The junior guard does a little of everything for the Saint Louis. Jett averages 9.9 points, 2.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game for the A-10 leader. He's helped the Billikens, who were the preseason No. 2 in the conference, to the penthouse with two games to go in the regular season.
Rodney McGruder, Kansas State
McGruder's name reminds me a lot of the SNL sketch MacGruber, a play on the old hit television show MacGyver. Kansas State is tied atop the Big 12 standings with Kansas but were swept by the Jayhawks. Ranked No. 9 in the country, they're likely a 2- or 3-seed in the tournament thanks in large part to McGruder's 14.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.
Joe Jackson, Memphis
No, not the baseball player by the same name. Jackson, a guard for the Memphis Tigers, is their leading scorer (13.7 ppg) and leads the team in assists per game (4.8). The Tigers are 15-0 in C-USA and should be seeded towards the middle of the pack thanks to a relatively weak conference this year. Memphis has won 20 of the past 21 games but has one more regular season contest with a middle-of-the-pack UAB Blazers team they already beat by 16 on the road. Memphis is a mid-major that can certainly make a run.
Mike Bruesewitz, Wisconsin
Mike isn't a unique name, but Bruesewitz certainly is. The senior is averaging 6.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game for No. 22 Wisconsin. He's a lunch-pail guy for the Badgers (20-9, 11-5 Big Ten), a guy who does a little of everything. If there was an All-Hair team, the Cosmo Kramer lookalike would be on that too.
Beau Levesque, Saint Mary's
You likely won't hear a more regal-sounding name in the NCAA Tournament this year than Saint Mary's forward Beau Levesque. The junior is averaging 10.5 points and 4.4 rebounds for the 26-5 Gaels. He's also been deadly from the outside, knocking down 47.6% of his three-point attempts.
Igor Hadziomerovic, Boise State
Anyone names Igor is someone I don't want to meet in a dark alley. The Australian-born guard plays way out West for the Boise State Broncos, who at 20-9, are currently slated to earn themselves a 12-seed, according to ESPN's Joe Lunardi. The Mountain West has been a bear this year and could have five teams in the tournament. Hadziomerovic only averages 5.5 points per game, but is always good for a few rebounds and assists in his 26 minutes per game.
Gorgui Dieng, Louisville
Dieng has quietly upped his offensive output over the past several games, registering four straight double-digit performances for the No. 8 Louisville Cardinals. He's averaging nearly a double-double for the season--9.9 points and 10.0 rebounds--to go along with his 2.5 blocks per game. He's a dominant force on defense for Rick Pitino's squad, who has very quietly regained their form following three straight losses towards the end of January. A 2-seed is likely for Louisville thanks to the evolution of Gorgui Dieng.
Khem Birch, UNLV
You weren't clearing your throat, you were just properly saying the first name of UNLV sophomore Khem Birch. The Canadian has averaged nearly eight points per game to go along with 6.2 rebounds per game for the Runnin' Rebels, who have the No. 13 RPI in the country. At 10-5 in the Mountain West, UNLV is looking at a 5- or 6-seed come Selection Sunday and will be a matchup nightmare for whoever they play thanks to their aggressiveness on the boards and unselfish play on offense--they're 5th in Division I in rebounding (40.5 rpg) and 8th in assists per game (16.8). Birch has a lot to do with their success.
Maverick Ahanmisi, Minnesota
Top Gun should immediately comes to mind when hearing the name Maverick. Ahanmisi, a junior guard for the Minnesota Gophers, who likely secured a spot in the field after upsetting then-No. 1 Indiana. Ahanmisi, in 21 minutes off the bench, scored six points, grabbed two rebounds and handed out three assists in the win. The Gophers don't rely on him for much production, but his minutes have increased over the past four games. Maybe he'll have an impact in March, maybe he won't. "Tower, this is Ghost Rider requesting a flyby."