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Mid-Major Valentines: What’s in a name?

Love is in the air.

Swiss Chocolate Maker Lindt To Buy Russell Stover Candies Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet.”

- William Shakespeare, “Romeo & Juliet”

As people around the country celebrate Valentine’s Day with romantic dinners, Russell Stover boxes of chocolates, and men scrambling to find a Walgreens because they forgot to pick up a card, it’s important to show appreciation for our one true love: mid-major college basketball.

On a day full of endearment and affection, we take the time to show some love to some of our favorite valentines from our relationship with mid-major hoops.

Dave Rose - BYU Head Coach (2005-Present)

From Jimmer Fredette to Kyle Collinsworth and everyone in between, Dave Rose has built BYU into a consistent staple in the West Coast Conference. Rose has a career record of 301-108 (.731), and has never had a team finish with fewer than 20 wins. That streak should continue as the Cougars are 18-9 overall this year.

Derrick Rose - Memphis (2008)

Technically, Rose was at Memphis when the program was a member of Conference USA, so we’re counting it as a mid-major for the sake of this #content. In his lone year for the Tigers, Rose was the catalyst of a Memphis team that came within a missed Mario Chalmers shot from a national championship. Rose went on to be the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft that summer, and became the league’s youngest player to win an MVP award at age 22.

Carrington Love - Green Bay (2012-16)

How can you not appreciate a name like Carrington Love? Green Bay fans sure appreciated him during his tenure, which ended last season in the NCAA Tournament at the hands of Texas A&M in the first round. Love improved his scoring total every year for the Phoenix, and led the team in scoring during his senior season with 17.3 points per game.

Justin Love - Saint Louis (1998-00)

He only spent two seasons with the Billikens, but he made the most of them. With a career scoring average of 16.3 ppg, including a team-leading 18.2 in 1999-00, Love led Saint Louis to an NCAA Tournament bid. That year, the Billikens also beat a dominant Cincinnati team in the Conference USA tournament.

Peter Kiss - Quinnipiac (2016-Present)

The freshman has immediately stepped up for the Bobcats and is second on the team in scoring with 13.7 ppg. Kiss has reached double figures in 18 of Quinnipiac’s 26 games, including an 18-point outing against No. 1 Gonzaga earlier this year.

Gary Flowers - Southern Miss (2009-11)

With a career scoring average of 16.8 ppg, Flowers was one of the best players during Larry Eustachy’s tenure at Southern Miss. Flowers averaged 18.8 per game in his last season for the Golden Eagles, and scored in double figures in all but one game that season.

Braxton Huggins - New Mexico State (2014-Present)

It’s not #WACWednesday, but we can make an exception for a special occasion. The junior is putting up 13.2 per night for the Aggies, and played a major role in their 20-game win streak this season. His best performance came against UMKC when he put up 31 points.

Adonis Hart - Tennessee Tech (1997-02)

In ancient Greek mythology, Adonis was the god of beauty and desire. Hart is a homophone with heart, which is a universal symbol for love. Adonis Hart the basketball player had a career scoring average of 3.5 ppg. His name is perfect for this list though, so he gets to be included. Deal with it.

Ted Valentine - Ref (forever)

LOL nah.