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Posterized: The best dunks in the Big 12 this season
For a good 75 percent of the time, it's enjoyable watching SportsCenter's Top 10 plays from the previous night.
The other 25 percent of the time, when hockey is featured in the top plays (particularly at No. 1), I simply cannot appreciate the highlight like I should. It's just not exciting to me.
Even if I'm in a rush to get out the door, though, I'll always make time to watch the Top 10 if it comes on.
In getting ready for the college basketball games this weekend around the Big 12, I invite everybody to treat this edition of Conference Chatter like a highlight show.
Today, my mission is to find the best dunk from a Big 12 player this season.
There's not much to it. As long as a Big 12 player is the guy throwing it down, and the jam is from this season, it can enter the mix. Exhibition games count.
What comes to mind?
Ladies and gents, the nominees (If I forgot a memorable slam, and you can find the YouTube clip, please include it in the comments section below):
1. Marcus Morris posterizes Pitt State
Evaluation: When I saw this dunk, I thought it'd be the best dunk I'd see from a conference player this season.
This represented one of the many differences between Div. I and Div. II athletes. Take a look at the Morris jam again. It's not like the Pitt State defender simply stood there with his hands up and watched Morris jump over him. The poor defender still attempted to jump up on the play and stall Morris from liftoff. Didn't work out too well.
This game, an exhibition game that took place on Nov. 10, 2009, in Lawrence, was before Morris started exerting himself as one of the better players in the Big 12. A few months later, his coach is calling him one of the better players in the country. In conference play, Morris is going off for 18 points and eight boards per night.
2. Marquis Gilstrap's jam on Cole Aldrich
Evaluation: I realize this won't get many votes on this site, to say the least, but this was an impressive throwdown, simply based on the opposition.
KU's junior center Aldrich is probably the best post defender in the league. There's a good chance if you challenge Aldrich, it's getting swatted. He's second in the Big 12 (to Ekpe Udoh of Baylor) with 3.75 rejections per game. The Jayhawks also rank No. 1 in the country in two-point percentage defense. A lot of that has to do with the Bloomington, Minn. native.
So for Gilstrap to throw that down was impressive. The video above shows two dunks, but the second one is the one up for nomination. Points deducted to Gilstrap, however, for flexing his muscles after the jam. Yes, dunking over Aldrich is an accomplishment, but not to the point of taunting when your team is down big and on its way to losing at home by 23.
3. Texas A&M's Ray Turner, the DVR rewinder
Evaluation: .......Wow. Now that was a monster jam. This one gets my vote for best dunk in the Big 12 so far. There's still time in the season, but how will this one be topped?
It gets my vote over Morris primarily because of A&M's competition. This wasn't an exhibition game. It wasn't a home game in College Station, Texas either. It was at Mizzou Arena, a place where the Tigers had won 32 straight home games. Turner and A&M stopped that streak on Feb. 3 with a 77-74 victory in Columbia, Mo.
Even more impressive, Turner made the steal on defense as well before he threw it down. Turner, a 6-foot-8, 210-pound freshman forward from Houston, only averages 1.7 points per game for coach Mark Turgeon, but his minutes have been increasing lately.
Those are the best three I've found. Feel free to add some more to the list.
That should be all for now, friends. As always, discuss.