Best nicknames in B1G basketball history

Yogi, Spike, Money Mike and Tacos — sounds like the names you’d find on a Harlem Globetrotters roster, as oppose to a Big Ten one. There are a ton of colorful and creative nicknames throughout the Big Ten conference this season. But how do they stack up to some of the top nicknames of all time in Big Ten basketball history?

The best of the best nicknames have true meaning and serve as clever descriptions of a player’s skill-set and individual personality.

We asked our twitter followers to share their favorite Big Ten nicknames with us, which helped us put together this list of the top 10 nicknames in Big Ten basketball history.

Did I miss one? Tweet it to me @BTNSean.

10. Roger ” The Rev” Powell, Illinois (2001-2005)

9. Brent “Air Georgia” Petway, Michigan (2003-2007)

8. Brian “The Polar Bear” Butch, Wisconsin (2004-2008)

7. Brian “The Custodian” Cardinal, Purdue (1996-2000)

6. John “Hondo” Havlicek, Ohio State (1959-1962)

5. Robert “Tractor” Traylor, Michigan (1995-1998)

4. Gerry “Sir-Jam-A-Lot” Wright, Iowa (1985-1987)

3. Al “Vanilla Gorilla” Lorenzen, Iowa (1984- 1987)

2. Glenn “Big Dog” Robinson, Purdue (1992-1994)

1. Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Michigan State (1977-1979)

Honorable Mentions: Evan “The Villain” Turner (Ohio State), Michael “Juice” Thompson (Northwestern), Fred “Downtown” Brown (Iowa), Mark “The Shark” Titus (Ohio State), James “Scoonie” Penn (Ohio State), Zach “Z-Bo” Randolph (Michigan State), Greg “Special K” Kelser (Michigan State), Jalen “The Natural” Rose (Michigan), Michael “Spike” Albrecht (Michigan), Bobby “Buckets” Riddell (Purdue), Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell (Indiana).

Originally from Farmington Hills, MI, I have worked at the Big Ten Network since 2012 and took over my role as web editor and blogger in August, 2013. Follow me on twitter for constant Big Ten updates @srmerriman. Thanks and enjoy!!

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Show Comments (15 Comments)
15 Post Your Comment
Joe Gottschalk on 1/26/2014 @ 10:32pm EDT Said:

Unbelievable that you would omit Rick “Rocket” Mount.

AchtungHawkeye on 1/26/2014 @ 10:33pm EDT Said:

It’s hard to separate memories of very memorable performances by some of these icons of BIG basketball from their nicknames. I can just hear Jim Zabel …”I love it! Downtown Freddie Brown just hit a shot from Coralville!”

Bill Christensen on 1/26/2014 @ 10:55pm EDT Said:

The ‘splendid splinter’ Jimmy ‘skinny as a’ Rayl

Mike million on 1/27/2014 @ 12:17am EDT Said:

The best ncaa hoop nicknames…magic Johnson ,perl Washington , big dog Robinson , mugsy Boggs ..tree top Robinson .gene the dream ransom..

Stu on 1/27/2014 @ 1:03am EDT Said:

Mike “Scooby Doo” Scarce Purdue. They were twins.

GoBlue on 1/27/2014 @ 1:50am EDT Said:

RIP “Tractor Traylor”… What a personality… And a force down low. Left us too soon. Great topic, could probably list 50 good ones

Fred on 1/27/2014 @ 2:01am EDT Said:

Tractor Taylor

John Richards on 1/27/2014 @ 1:04pm EDT Said:

What about Glenn “Stick” Vidnovic who was 6’7″ & 155 pounds and played on Iowa’s 1969-70 Big 10 championship team with Fred “Downtown” Brown?

Colleen Heavin Smitherman on 1/27/2014 @ 1:08pm EDT Said:

You forgot one at Michigan — Dugan Fife was called “Doogie” as in Doogie Howser

Al Siniscalchi on 1/27/2014 @ 3:39pm EDT Said:

‘Crazy legs’ Hirsh . UM / Wisconsin.

B1Gfan MI on 1/27/2014 @ 7:32pm EDT Said:

How about the latest: Adrienne “Fred Sanford” Payne and Branden “Hitman Hearns”Dawson.

Michael Sadler on 1/27/2014 @ 9:24pm EDT Said:

Gerry Wright- “Sir Jamalot”

MJ on 1/28/2014 @ 8:09pm EDT Said:

Cannot believe you missed the “Rocket”….Rick Mount….bad miss….

He rarely had any…..

Terry McDaniel on 1/28/2014 @ 8:49pm EDT Said:

Charles “Stretch” Murphy @ Purdue. One of his teammates was John Wooden. Stretch was one of the game’s first big men at 6’6″.

Ken Barer on 1/30/2014 @ 10:08am EDT Said:

This is no contest. It’s gotta be the Vanilla Gorilla. There have been other Magics and Dogs, but a Vanilla Gorilla? C’mon! That’s the best!!!

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