The 2016 Big 12 All-Name teams


Kelby Wingert/Iowa State Daily

Sophomore guard Naz Long holds up his jersey after the win against Kansas in the Big 12 Championship semifinals March 14 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. The Cyclones defeated the Jayhawks 94-83, advancing to the final round for the first time since 2000.

Chris Wolff

It has become a tradition to comb through the rosters of each and every team in the NCAA tournament field and come up with a list of the best names in the field of 64. This list is often referred to as the NCAA tournament All-Name team.

The All-Name teams have expanded from the NCAA tournament, into things like recruiting, NCAA football and more.

Since the Big 12 schedule is right around the corner, I decided to comb through the rosters of the Big 12 men’s basketball teams and see what awesome names I could find. As it turns out, there are quite a few. 

Being named to an All-Name team may not be as prestigious as being honored for your actual play, but it’s nice to give some sort of recognition to those with cool names.

So without further ado, here are the Big 12’s best names:

Big 12 All-Name First Team

King McClure, freshman, Baylor

Move over, Lebron James. King James is a nice nickname, but we found the real thing.

Igor Ibaka, junior, Oklahoma State

Igor is a great first name and Ibaka is a great basketball name thanks to the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Serge Ibaka. The alliteration pulls it all together.

Buddy Hield, senior, Oklahoma

The reigning Big 12 Player of the year has great game and a great name. Keep doing you, Buddy.

Rico Gathers, senior, Baylor

The name Rico makes me think of a small little kid, not the 6-foot-8 behemoth that is Rico Gathers. Plus, his name works well with puns. Example: Rico Gathers all the rebounds (the big fella averaged 11.6 rebounds per game last season).

Prince Ibeh, senior, Texas

We already have a King on the list, so it seems right to round off the first team with a Prince.

Shaka Smart, head coach, Texas

Welcome to the Big 12, Shaka. In his first year as the Longhorns head coach, Shaka is the “Smart” choice for coaching our All-Name First Team.

Big 12 All-Name Second Team

Nazareth Mitrou-Long, senior, Iowa State

Nazareth, also known as “3sus of Nazareth,” offers a lot to work with from a nickname standpoint, and his penchant for 3-pointers works well with Long. Example: “Another Naz Long ball.” Plus, the addition of Mitrou into his name is a heartwarming story.

Shaquille Cleare, junior, Texas

The first name is Shaq-tastic, but there’s been others that have followed in the footsteps of the great Shaquille O’Neal. The last name Cleare, with the “e” at the end, sets this name apart.

Donovan Ham, freshman, Texas Tech

I’ve loved the name Donovan since McNabb’s heyday, but Ham as a last name? That’s almost on Kevin Bacon level.

Kerwin Roach, Jr., freshman, Texas

Kerwin Roach rolls right off the tongue. Bonus points for being the second man with this awesome name. Hat tip, Kerwin Roach, Sr.

Barry Brown, freshman, Kansas State

Sounds so soulful, don’t you agree? Barry Brown sounds like an old school Jazz artist. Smooth, rolls off the tongue and a solid use of alliteration.

Tubby Smith, head coach, Texas Tech

Tubby will helm our All-Name Second Team. The juxtaposition between such an uncommon first name and an extremely common surname is awesome. Plus, the name Tubby Smith kind of reminds me of Pitch Perfect’s Fat Amy.

Big 12 All-Name Third Team

Ishmail Wainright, junior, Baylor

If I’m recruiting at an AAU tournament and all I have to go off of is a roster list, I’m going straight to whatever court Ishmail Wainright is playing on. That’s a basketball player’s name if I’ve ever heard one.

Norense Odiase, sophomore, Texas Tech

When I read this name too fast, I always end up reading Norense as No Nonsense, which is great for a 6-foot-9 forward who has to protect the paint.

Toddrick Gotcher, senior, Texas Tech

I never thought the name Roderick could be improved, but Toddrick might do just that. Gotcher isn’t a bad last name, either.

Tavarius Shine, sophomore, Oklahoma State

Shine on, Tavarius.

Lagerald Vick, freshman, Kansas

This name screams silky smooth 2-guard. If you’re about to start a career on the video game NBA 2k16 that you just got for Christmas, Lagerald Vick needs to be in consideration for your player’s name.

Pooh Williamson, assistant coach, Texas Tech

I was a little hesitant about having an assistant coach lead the All-Name Third Team, but his familiarity with the two other Texas Tech Red Raiders on the team will help him make the transition to a head coach. And there was no way I could leave Pooh off of the All-Name team.

Honorable Mentions

Kwanza Johnson, assistant coach, TCU

Karviar Shepherd, junior, TCU

Ford Stuen, senior, Oklahoma State

Bola Alade, freshman, Oklahoma

Carlbe Ervin II, junior, Kansas State

Jaysean Paige, senior, West Virginia

Taurean Prince, senior, Baylor