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Best player names in the 2015 NCAA tournament

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Posted at 3:40 PM, Mar 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-19 11:07:11-04

What’s in a name?

While 68 college basketball teams compete for the 2015 NCAA men’s basketball championship, let’s take a moment to acknowledge the most head-turning monikers among the hundreds of players in the tournament.

Several factors can separate an outstanding name from a dull one but most often, you just know a good name when you hear it.

These are the best of this year’s March Madness field:

NAMES THAT ARE FUN TO SAY

Deng Deng (Baylor Bears)
It’s endlessly repeatable and just rolls off the tongue.

Caleb Chowbay (Belmont Bruins)
His last name may sound like a U.S. Army feeding facility but this freshman guard was a three-sport star athlete in high school.

Jarryn Skeete (Buffalo Bulls)
March Madness announcers will probably be saying this junior’s name often since he’s one of Buffalo’s top scorers. Expect highlight clips to be mashed with Lil Jon’s “Get Low” on YouTube immediately after the team’s first game.

Rusty Reigel (Davidson Wildcats)
Aliteration? Check. Last name that sounds like a planet from “Star Trek?” Check.

Scoochie Smith (Dayton Flyers)
Sadly, Scoochie isn’t this sophomore guard’s birth name — Dayshon is what his parents dubbed him — but it’s the only name he goes by on the court.

Eddie Eshoo (Dayton Flyers)
Every time an announcer says this sophomore guard’s name, expect someone within earshot to utter, “Gesundheit!”

NAMES THAT WILL SCARE ANNOUNCERS

Ge’Lawn Guyn (Cincinnati Bearcats)
This senior’s name doesn’t look too intimidating but pronouncing it correctly (JEE-lawn Gwynn) takes some know-how.

Sviatoslav Myjhailiuk (Kansas Jayhawks)
In this freshman’s native Ukraine, his name might be as common as “Bob Smith” but it’s sure to strike fear in any announcer’s name come game time in the tournament.

Tshilidzi Nephawe (New Mexico State Aggies)
Standing in at 6 feet 10 inches and weighing 268 pounds, this senior’s stature is as imposing as his name.

Ioannis Dimakopoulos (UC Irvine Anteaters)
Good luck with that one, Jim Nantz.

 

NAMES THAT SOUND LIKE CELEBRITIES

BillyDee Williams (West Virginia Mountaineers)
If this junior forward wasn’t named after the actor who played Lando Calrissian in the “Star Wars” saga, then this is one heck of a coincidence.

Myles Davis (Xavier Musketeers)
Jazz-loving parents? What’s arguably cooler than this sophomore’s name is that his father is named Sam Davis, Jr. Beat that.

Lourawls Nairn, Jr. (Michigan State Spartans)
This Spartans guard hails from the Bahamas, where his grandparents were reportedly big Lou Rawls fans.

Perry Ellis (Kansas Jayhawks)
No, he’s not a men’s fashion magnate. This junior forward is the Jayhawks’ top scorer.

 

NAMES THAT SOUND LIKE MOVIE VILLAINS

Basil Smotherman (Purdue Boilermakers)
Sounds like a character that was cut from a 1960s James Bond flick.

Sir Washington (Eastern Washington Eagles)
That’s a name that simply commands respect. The Eagles also have a player named Bear Henderson showing that their roster is legit in terms of great names.

Igor Hadziomerovic (Boise State Broncos)
This Australian senior could have easily fit under the “Names That Scare Announcers” header but his moniker also sounds like the name of a horror movie villain.

 

NAMES THAT ARE JUST AWESOME

Parker U’u (San Diego State Aztecs)
When it comes to having a great name, size isn’t everything.

Adonis De La Rosa (St. John’s Red Storm)
First name: Greek god of beauty and desire. Last name: “Of the rose.” Be jealous.

Staats Battle (North Carolina State Wolfpack)
His name pretty much sums up the entire essence of what sporting contests are about.

 

NAMES THAT WILL MAKE TEENAGERS LAUGH

Dallas Ennema (Albany Great Danes)
This sophomore from Iowa flashes a winning smile and averages about 20 minutes per game. Expect to see a lot of him during Albany’s run and to see a lot of announcers earning their paycheck by keeping a straight face.

Jordan Fuchs (Indiana Hoosiers)
Relax. It’s pronounced “Fyooks.”

Clint Davis is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @MrClintDavis.