Feb 22, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Toreros guard Christopher Anderson (0) celebrates with fans on the court after a win against the Gonzaga Bulldogs at Jenny Craig Pavillion. The Toreros won 69-66. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Nicknames in the WCC


Nicknames are a quintessential part of basketball. There is no denying it.

Every great player has one. Would Shaquille O’Neil be the same player if he wasn’t called “the Diesel?” Would Magic Johnson be referred to the same light if he was called “Erving” instead of Magic?”

The answer to your question is no. Nicknames are a great part of the game of basketball and can enhance a player’s legacy.

Although some of the nickname these days can be pretty lame (i.e. KD for Kevin Durant and KG for Kevin Garnett), they are still very fun to use ad nauseum.

In the WCC, there are a few nicknames – some more well-known than others – that I think you should know about. If you can think of any others, tweet them to me (@westcoastconvo) and I’ll add them below.

 

Flash (Christopher Anderson)

Anderson’s quick play as the Toreros point guard has earned him the nickname flash.

Also his twitter handle has it incorporated in it, reaffirming this nickname.

 

Feb 6, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Toreros guard Johnny Dee (1) attempts a three-point shot during the second half against the San Francisco Dons at Jenny Craig Pavillion. The Dons won 74-67. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Johnny Buckets (Johnny Dee)

This one is coined by yours truly.

Johnny Dee simply gets buckets. It’s what he does. Hence the nickname, Johnny Buckets.

 

Kruize Control (Kruize Pinkins)

This nickname really has nothing to do with Pinkins, considering it’s pretty tough to control him.

It’s more of a convenience thing.

You can hear the USF PA announcer yell this when Pinkins does something well at War Memorial Gymnasium.

 

The Polish Hammer (Przemek Karnowski)

All opponents in his way are the nails, and Przemek Karnowski is the hammer.

This one is probably used more by me more than anyone as of now, but I think it suits Karnowski well.

 

Frank the Tank (Frank Bartley IV)

Bartley’s nickname is a representation of his play style. On the court, Bartley is a bowling ball, sometimes reckless, but fun to watch nonetheless.

Once Bartley starts to control some of that strength and athleticism, he will turn into a very fun player to watch.

Plus the nickname rhymes, which always helps.

 

Xubi or Zubi (Aitor Zubizarreta)

I’m not sure if this is a nickname or just what he wants to be called, but it belongs on here regardless.

 

The Bonus (Domantas Sabonis)

I stumbled upon this on a message board, but I fell in love with it at first sight, making Sabonis the only freshman to have a nickname on this list.

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  • James Stapleton

    Kruize Control [kru:z con - trol] (noun) – a system, available when San Francisco Dons forward Kruize Pinkins automatically maintains control and pace of a game by taking control of scoring.

  • Andrew

    I’ve tried to get some traction with the nickname ‘The Ty-crowave’ for Tyler Haws. Hasn’t worked yet.