Top-10 Dunks of the 2011-2012 Season

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The 2011-2012 season was great in terms of above-the-rim action. From November til April, SportsCenter ‘s Top Plays were riddled with alley-oops, tomahawks, and posterizations. On Monday we provided you with our “Dunk of the Year” awards for the 2011-2012 season.  But there were ten dunks that stood out amongst all the others. The dunks came from all corners of the college basketball world. Potential lottery picks, National Champions, mid-majors, low-majors and even Divison-II.

What follows is the Top-10 dunks of the 2011-2012 college basketball season, including the 2011-2012 “Dunk of the Year”.

10. Quincy Acy – Baylor vs. Xavier

The NCAA tournament was not as exciting as we expected it to be. 67 games were played, and only one of them went into overtime. There were no buzzer-beaters and only a small handful of “One Shining Moments”. But Quincy Acy’s monster-slam against Xavier was one of those moments. No player in the country dunked more frequently than Acy. He had the highest percentage of dunks to total field goals than any player in the country. He was also arguably the most poweful, forceful dunker in the county. Luckily for Xavier, they forgot where he was on the play, because if Kenny Frease had tried to get in his way, we might have witnessed the first ever dunk-related casualty.

9. Michael Kidd-Glichrist – Kentucky vs. Portland

It would be a shame for any “end-of-season” list to not include the National Champions. But don’t think this is a pity vote. MKG earned this all himself.  It was powerful, destructive, and explosive. Just a mean and nasty dunk. He took off from surprisingly far away and finished with two hands, which is not something we see in a lot of highlight reel dunks.  Portland had cut the lead to with-in six, but what made Kentucky so special was their ability to make back-breaking runs. The dunk by MKG capped off a 18-3 run that put the game out of reach for the Pilots.

8. Mike James – Lamar vs. Ohio

Does anybody remember this dunk? Probably not. You know why? Because Lamar’s 2011-2012 season will only be remembered for Pat Knight’s post-game tirade and the Cardinals subsequent winning streak that led them to the NCAA tournament. But man, this was a great dunk. Mike James is only 6-1, yet has the vertical of somebody 6-7. This dunk is a great example for young basketball players. If you distribute the ball and can run the floor well, you will get rewarded.

7. Victor Rudd Jr. – South Florida vs. St. John’s

God’s Gift Achiuwa is a physical specimen. But all the muscle mass int he world wasn’t going to stop Victor Rudd from throwing down a nasty one-hander. This was one of the more vicious poster-jams of the season, despite God’s Gift not actually making a play on the ball. But that was probably a good thing, because well, taking a knee to the face isn’t nearly as bad as getting blown up on FatHeads across southern Florida.  Rudd is coming back to school, despite making initially opting to “test the waters”. This is a good thing for South Florida fans and a bad thing for ambitious Big East defenders.

6. Markel Brown –  Oklahoma State vs. Missouri

If you didn’t read our “Dunk of the Year” awards, then you missed our coronation of Brown as “Dunker of the Year”. His took home the award due in large part to his performance against Missouri. His one-hander on Kim English was the first basket of the game, and his alley-oop poster-dunk on Matt Pressey got him ejected from the game. If a player throws down two “Dunk of the Year” candidates in one game, he should get ejected, only in order to protect the other team. Who knows what Brown would have been capable of in the game’s final six minutes?

5. Jeremy Lamb – UConn vs. Columbia

While it might only bet No.5 on our list, this dunk was by far the “Non-Conference Dunk of the Year” and was the clubhouse leader for “Dunk of the Year” heading into 2012. Lamb got time and room on the baseline, which is never a good thing for a defender. Lamb is one of the smoothest players in the game, but there was nothing smooth about this dunk. it was just plain nasty. Look at how far he cocked the ball back.  Poor Columbia. Sure those guys are getting a great education, but they don’t get scholarships. So the poor bloke on the receiving end essentially paid to get dunked on. That’s rough.

4. Darrion Pellom –  Hampton vs. Maryland-Eastern Shore

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This off-the-glass alley-oop was unquestionably the most creative dunk of the season. Pulling off a dunk like this takes some serious “stones”. You miss a dunk like this and you can almost guarantee yourself a seat on the bench for a good chunk of time. But Pellom connected, and in impressive fashion. The best part is that he completely juked the defender. He threw it off the glass, went behind the defender, and slammed it home. You know it was a great year for dunks when something like this is only No.4 on the list.

3. Kwame Alexander –  Cal State- San Bernadino vs. Cal State-Stanislaus

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This right here kiddos, is why you always run the floor in transition. Kwame Alexander was a week removed from tearing down a backboard, and earned himself even more airtime on SportsCenter thanks to this brutal one-handed poster-slam. Alexander, a 6-7 physical freak from Divison-II Cal State San Bernadino got damn-near horizontal when he flew over some poor defender for Cal State Stanislaus. Seriously, Alexander needs to be on a Division-I program. Or the Harlem Globetrotters.

2. Eric Griffin – Campbell vs. North Carolina A&T

As Marv Albert would say “For the love of elevation!”. That’s about all you can say about this dunk. Watching it will render you speechless. He got elevation and extension, which is a deadly combination on a fast-break. There’s really not much else you can say about this dunk. It was four seconds of sheer awesomeness.

1. Savalace Townsend –  Arkansas-Pine Bluff vs. Grambling State

Are there any doubts that this was dunk of the year? Didn’t think so. This dunk took place just hours before Blake Griffin posterized Kendrick Perkins into a state of unconsciousness, and there still wasn’t much doubt that Townsend’s dunk was the better of the two. People just aren’t suppose to be able to extend their arms like that. The coup de grace was the stiff-arm he gave the defender as he was slamming it home. In a season full of amazing dunks, phenomenal slams, and jaw-dropping poster-dunks, Savalace Townsend’s dunk reigns supreme.  Just shut it down. Game over. You can all go home now.


Troy Machir is the managing editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @TroyMachir.

Bubbles brewing with season on horizon

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

INDIANAPOLIS — With the coronavirus pandemic already forcing changes for college basketball, a bubble may be brewing in Indianapolis.

Indiana Sports Corp. released a 16-page proposal Friday that calls for turning the city convention center’s exhibition halls and meeting rooms into basketball courts and locker rooms. There would be expansive safety measures and daily COVID-19 testing.

The all-inclusive price starts at $90,000 per team and would cover 20 hotel rooms per traveling party, testing, daily food vouchers ranging from $30-$50 and the cost of game officials. Sports Corp. President Ryan Vaughn said the price depends on what offerings teams or leagues choose.

“The interest has been high,” Vaughn said. “I think as conferences figure out what conference and non-conference schedules are going to look like, we’re we’re a very good option for folks. I would tell you we’ve had conversations with the power six conferences, mid-majors, it’s really kind of all over the Division I spectrum.”

Small wonder: The NCAA this week announced teams could start ramping up workouts Monday, with preseason practices set to begin Oct. 14. Season openers, however, were pushed back to Nov. 25 amid wide-ranging uncertainty about campus safety and team travel in the pandemic.

There is already scrambling going on and some of the marquee early-season tournaments have already been impacted.

The Maui Invitational will be moved from Hawaii to Asheville, North Carolina, with dates still to be determined and organizers clear that everyone involved “will be in a bubble environment that limits their movement and interaction outside the venue.” The Batttle 4 Atlantis has been canceled. The Cancun Challenge will be held in Melbourne, Florida, not Mexico.

More changes almost certainly will be coming, including what to do with the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

“I think we’re past the guesswork on whether we play 20 conference games or more than that,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said Friday. “We’re trying to get everybody set like in terms of MTEs (multi-team events), figuring out when to play the ACC-Big Ten challenge.”

Painter, who was part of the NCAA committee that recommended how to start the season, noted part of the uncertainty stems from differing protocols imposed by campus, city and state officials.

In Indianapolis, Vaughn believes the convention center, nearby hotels, restaurants and downtown businesses, many within walking distance of the venue, could safely accommodate up to 24 teams. The 745,000-square foot facility would feature six basketball courts and two competition courts.

Anyone entering the convention center would undergo saliva-based rapid response testing, which would be sent to a third-party lab for results. Others venues could be added, too, potentially with more fans, if the case numbers decline.

If there is a taker, the event also could serve as a dry run for the 2021 Final Four, also slated for Indy.

“It’s not going to hurt,” Vaughn said. “I can tell you all the planning we’re doing right now is the same for a Final Four that’s been scheduled here for any other year. But it would be nice to have this experience under our belt to see if it can be done.”

Maui Invitational moving to North Carolina during pandemic

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ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The Maui Invitational is moving to the mainland during the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the premier preseason tournaments on the college basketball schedule, the Maui Invitational will be played at the Harrah’s Cherokee Center in downtown Asheville, North Carolina.

Dates for the tournament announced Friday have yet to be finalized. The NCAA announced Wednesday that the college basketball season will begin Nov. 25.

This year’s Maui Invitational field includes Alabama, Davidson, Indiana, North Carolina, Providence, Stanford, Texas and UNLV.

All teams, staff, officials, and personnel will be in a bubble environment that limits their movement and interaction outside the venue.

Burton eligible at Texas Tech after 2 seasons at Wichita State

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

LUBBOCK, Texas — Junior guard Jamarius Burton has been granted a waiver from the NCAA that makes him eligible to play this season for Texas Tech after starting 52 games the past two seasons for Wichita State.

Texas Tech coach Chris Beard announced the waiver Thursday, which came five months after Burton signed with the Big 12 team.

Burton has two seasons of eligibility remaining, as well as a redshirt season he could utilize. He averaged 10.3 points and 3.4 assists per game as a sophomore at Wichita State, where he played 67 games overall.

Burton is from Charlotte. He helped lead Independence High School to a 31-1 record and the North Carolina Class 4A state championship as a senior there.

NCAA season set to open day before Thanksgiving

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The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball season will begin on Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving.

The Division I Council voted Wednesday to push the start date back from the originally scheduled Nov. 10 as one of several precautions against the spread of coronavirus.

The later start date coincides with the decision most schools made to send students home from Thanksgiving until January out of concern about a potential late-fall and early-winter flareup of COVID-19. Closed campuses could serve as a quasi bubble for players and provide a window for non-conference games.

The maximum number of regular-season games has been reduced from 31 to 27. The minimum number of games for consideration for the NCAA Tournament was cut from 25 to 13.

Teams can start preseason practices Oct. 14 but will be allowed to work out 12 hours per week beginning Monday.

No scrimmages against other teams or exhibitions are allowed.

In other action, the council voted to extend the recruiting dead period for all sports through Dec. 31. In-person recruiting is not allowed during a dead period, though phone calls and other correspondence are allowed.

The men’s and women’s basketball oversight committees had jointly recommended a start date of Nov. 21, which would have allowed for games to be played on the weekend before Thanksgiving. The council opted not to do that to avoid a conflict with regular-season football games.

The council is scheduled to meet again Oct. 13-14 and could delay the start date and change other pieces of the basketball framework if circumstances surrounding the virus warrant.

UConn’s Tyrese Martin granted waiver to play this season

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STORRS, Conn. — UConn swingman Tyrese Martin, who transferred from Rhode Island in April, has been granted a waiver that will allow him to play for the Huskies this season.

The 6-foot-6 junior averaged 12.8 points and 7.1 rebounds and started every game last season for URI, where he was recruited by current UConn coach Dan Hurley.

NCAA rules require undergraduate transfers to sit out a season, but the organization has been more lenient in granting waivers during the pandemic.

Martin, 21, is expected to compete for playing time at UConn on the wing as both a guard and small forward.