WATCH: The 30 best dunkers in college basketball

Malik Monk (Kentucky Athletics)
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Everyone loves dunks. So here are the 30 best dunkers in college basketball, with video evidence. Clear out 20 minutes for this.

But first, a note: Here are links to all our preview coverage. Read through and get ready for college hoops.

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30. Zach Smith, Texas Tech

A 6-foot-8 forward with a better-than 40 inch vertical, Smith is a guy that will catch a lot of lobs and tip-dunks even if he isn’t the kind of player that will win dunk contests.

29. New Williams, Auburn

Now New Williams is a guy that could certainly win a dunk contest. The question is whether or not he’ll actually get into a game to show what he can do.

28. Mo Alie-Cox, VCU

Mo isn’t the tallest big man that you’ll see in the collegiate ranks, but good luck finding someone that is stronger or more powerful than the VCU center.

27. Khalil Iverson, Wisconsin

He’s not the most well-known of the Wisconsin Badgers, but he is maybe the only guy on the roster that can actually finish this dunk.

26. Chimezie Metu, USC

Metu has the kind of size and athleticism that will attract NBA scouts to USC games all season long, thanks to dunks like this.

25. Malik Pope, San Diego State

Pope has worlds of potential because he’s 6-foot-10, he can play the wing and he can do things like this. Consistently producing is a different story.

24. Dwayne Bacon, Florida State

Bacon turned into one of the best scorers in the ACC as a freshman, but don’t forget that he won the McDonald’s All-American dunk contest.

23. Darius Thompson, Virginia

Someone is going to have to step up for UVA and replace the offense that Malcolm Brogdon provided. I don’t know if that will be Thompson, but we’re OK with it as long as he does this more often.

22. Allonzo Trier, Arizona

Trier doesn’t seem like he’d be the most explosive dunker, but when he gets into space he is a powerful finisher.

21. Sindarius Thornwell, South Carolina

Thornwell has flown under the radar throughout his career, but as a senior, if he keeps doing this he’ll get some more attention.

20. Tyrique Jones, Xavier

He’ll replace Jalen Reynolds as the most vicious dunker in the Xavier front court.

19. Zena Edosomwan, Harvard

Edosomwan is a freakishly powerful athlete, and given that he’s playing in the Ivy League, he’ll have a chance to do this quite a bit.

18. Quinndary Weatherspoon, Mississippi State

Weatherspoon morphed into one of the best freshman in the SEC last season, partly for plays like this.

17. Hassan Martin, Rhode Island

Martin is one of the most explosive players in the country when healthy. Let’s hope he stays healthy this season.

16. Garland Owens, Boston College

You probably don’t know the name Garland Owens, but any dunkers list without him on it is one that you shouldn’t pay any attention to. Why? This is why.

15. Prince Ali, UCLA

He’s about the fifth-most well-known guard on UCLA’s roster, which is impressive when you consider that he’s done this multiple times in his short UCLA career.

14. Jaron Blossomgame, Clemson

Blossomgame is a sleeper NBA Draft prospect. He’s a good defender, a big wing and a three-point threat, but he’s also an athlete capable of doing things like this.

13. Rashawn Thomas, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

Thomas is one of the best dunkers at the mid-major level.

12. Rayjon Tucker, FGCU

The highlights weren’t quite there as a freshman, but no one was more impressive dunking the ball on the AAU circuit than Tucker.

11. Bam Adebayo, Kentucky

He is going to break a backboard this year. I’m convinced of it.

10. Josh Jackson, Kansas

He’s a freaky athlete that compares favorably to Andrew Wiggins.

9. Edmond Sumner, Xavier

Sumner is the surprising name on this list. Thanks to a late growth spurt and a redshirt year to get stronger, he’s now a 6-foot-6 athlete that is thrilling in the open floor.

8. Donovan Mitchell, Louisville

Mitchell is so strong and so powerful with such long arms that plays like this seem ordinary for him.

7. Grayson Allen, Duke

Love him or hate him, you cannot deny that Allen is a freight train in transition with the explosiveness to dunk in traffic.

6. Dennis Smith Jr., N.C. State

Now that his knee is back to 100% healthy, Smith looks like he might end up being a top three pick in the NBA Draft because of explosiveness like this. (No. 8 here is ridiculous.)

5. Kerwin Roach, Texas

This really might be one of the five best dunks I’ve seen in college basketball.

4. Malik Monk, Kentucky

When he’s got it going, there is not a more thrilling player in college basketball this season than Malik Monk.

3. Deonte Burton, Iowa State

This is still one of my favorite moments covering college hoops. I can’t believe how much power there is in this dunk.

2. Miles Bridges, Michigan State

Bridges is the most powerful player in the country this season. He is going to destroy at least one defender’s confidence.

1. Kwe Parker, Tennessee

I’m not ashamed to admit I’m a Kwe Parker birther. I will not believe he is human until I see a birth certificate.

Tennessee center Tamari Key out for season with blood clots

Saul Young/News Sentinel/USA TODAY NETWORK
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee senior center Tamari Key will miss the rest of this season because of blood clots in her lungs, coach Kellie Harper said.

Doctors found the issue during testing. Key is expected to make a full recovery after treatment from University of Tennessee doctors, Harper said, adding that her sole concern is Key getting the medical care she needs to heal and return to full strength.

Key missed the first game of her career in a win Tuesday night over Chattanooga after playing her first 99.

“This is much bigger than basketball. We are so grateful that this medical condition was caught,” Harper said in a statement. “Our entire program will be right beside Tamari during this process and welcomes prayers and positive thoughts from Lady Vol Nation and beyond.”

The Lady Vols opened the season ranked fifth but currently are 5-5.

The 6-foot-6 Key from Cary, North Carolina, currently is Tennessee’s third-leading scorer averaging 8.4 points a game and averaged 4.2 rebounds per game. She started all 34 games as the Lady Vols reached their first Sweet 16 since 2016 last season and set the school record with 119 blocked shots.

Key had 18 blocks this season and 295 for her career, five away from becoming the eighth woman to reach that mark in Southeastern Conference history.

No. 7 Tennessee beats Eastern Kentucky, win streak hits 7

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Saul Young/USA TODAY NETWORK
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tyreke Key scored 10 of the first 12 points of the second half and finished with 17, and No. 7 Tennessee overcame a sluggish first half and beat Eastern Kentucky 84-49 on Wednesday night.

“Tyreke is handling the ball now,” Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said. “That’s all new to him. He keeps getting better.”

The Volunteers (8-1) struggled in the first half but still built an 11-point lead over Eastern Kentucky (4-5) on the way to their seventh straight victory.

Key led Tennessee in scoring before leaving with a cramp in his right leg with 6:15 left in the game. Julian Phillips had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Zakai Zeigler and Uros Plavsic added 13 points apiece. Olivier Nkamhoua scored 10.

“I’m still settling in,” said Key, a transfer from Indiana State who didn’t play last year while recovering from an injury. “This is a new role. I’m taking steps every day and keep learning.”

Eastern Kentucky, which came into the game averaging 83.5 points, was held well below that total due to 17% (6 for 35) shooting from long range and 22% (15 for 68) overall. Leland Walker led the Colonels with 13 points.

It was the seventh time this season Tennessee has held its opponent to 50 or fewer points.

“(Tennessee) is the best defensive team in the country,” Eastern Kentucky coach A.W. Hamilton said. “I think they’re the best team in the country.”

At one point in the first half, Tennessee was shooting 20% and still leading by 10 points. The teams combined to shoot 4 of 32 from 3-point range in the first 20 minutes. The Vols, who shot 24% (8 of 34), led 32-21 at the break.

“If we can’t make shots, can you find a way to win the game?” Barnes said. “When the shot’s not going in, find a way to play. The first thing we talk about is our defense.”

Tennessee shot 41 free throws. Phillips, a true freshman, was 7 of 10.

“(Phillips) has learned the pace of the game,” Barnes said. “I’m not sure there’s been a more effective freshman in the country (this season).”

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Since its early season slip against Colorado, Tennessee has had a steady ascent in the rankings. The Vols’ next two games – neutral site (Brooklyn) against No, 13 Maryland (Dec. 11) and at No. 10 Arizona (Dec. 17) – will go a long way toward justifying the No. 7 ranking.

BIG PICTURE

Eastern Kentucky: The Colonels’ run-and-gun style of offense had them averaging 83.5 points through their first eight games. They ran into a defensive buzz saw in Tennessee, which was yielding just over 51 points.

Tennessee: Santiago Vescovi sat out his second straight game with a shoulder problem. He is expected to be ready to play Sunday against Maryland. . The Vols have won seven in a row since their loss to Colorado.

UP NEXT

Eastern Kentucky: The Colonels host Boyce College on Saturday.

Tennessee: Take on No. 13 Maryland on Sunday at the Hall of Fame Invitational in New York.

Hoggard scores career-high 23, Michigan State snaps 2-game skid

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Matthew OHaren/USA TODAY Sports
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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A.J. Hoggard scored a career-high 23 points, Joey Hauser had 12 points and 15 rebounds and Michigan State beat Penn State 67-58 on Wednesday night to snap a two-game losing streak.

Michigan State (6-4, 1-1 Big Ten) avoided going .500 or worse after 10 games for the first time in 18 seasons.

Hoggard blocked an open layup with less than a minute to play and Hauser grabbed the rebound before being fouled and making two free throws at the other end for a 66-58 lead.

Hoggard, Hauser and Tyson Walker combined for 31 of Michigan State’s 32 second-half points.

The Michigan State defense allowed only one made field goal in the final five minutes. Penn State was just 1 of 9 from 3-point range in the second half after 7 of 18 before halftime.

Walker scored 10 of his 14 points in the second half for Michigan State. Hoggard, who entered third in the conference in assists at 6.3, had six rebounds, two assists and one key block.

Hoggard gave Michigan State 35-33 lead – its first since 4-2 – after back-to-back three-point plays with 59.3 seconds left in the first half. It was tied at 35-all at the break.

Seth Lundy scored 16 points and Jalen Pickett had 13 points, 17 rebounds and eight assists for Penn State (6-3, 0-1)

Michigan State hosts Brown on Saturday. Penn State, which hadn’t played since a double-overtime loss to Clemson on Nov. 29, plays at No. 17 Illinois on Saturday.

No. 7 Virginia Tech posts 9th straight win, beats Boston College 73-58

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BOSTON — Reigning Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year Elizabeth Kitley had 22 points and 12 rebounds, and Cayla King scored 16 on Wednesday night to lead No. 7 Virginia Tech to a 73-58 victory over Boston College, the Hokies’ ninth straight win.

Taylor Soule, one of two BC transfers on the roster for Virginia Tech (9-0, 1-0 ACC), added nine points and five rebounds. Soule scored more than 1,500 points and grabbed almost 700 rebounds in four seasons at BC, earning All-ACC honors three times.

Andrea Daley scored 15 points and Maria Gakdeng scored 14 for BC (7-4, 0-1). They each grabbed six rebounds.

Virginia Tech scored 17 of the game’s first 21 points and led by as many as 19 in the third quarter before BC cut the deficit to 10 in the fourth. Leading 64-54 with under three minutes left and the shot clock expiring, Kayana Traylor hit a 3-pointer for the Hokies.

Gakdeng missed two free throws for BC, and then Kitley scored from inside to make it a 15-point game.

Clara Ford, who also played four years in Chestnut Hill, pitched in 2 points in 2 minutes against her former team.

BIG PICTURE

At No. 7, the Hokies have the highest ranking in the program’s history. With the victory over BC, a 10th straight win against North Carolina-Asheville on Sunday would leave Virginia Tech in position to move up even higher should a top five team falter.

UP NEXT

Virginia Tech: Hosts North Carolina-Asheville on Sunday.

Boston College: Hosts Albany on Saturday.

Michigan’s Jaelin Llewellyn out for season with knee injury

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan point guard Jaelin Llewellyn is out for the rest of the season with an injured left knee and is expected to have surgery next month.

Wolverines coach Juwan Howard made the announcement three days after Llewellyn was hurt in a loss to Kentucky in London.

Llewellyn transferred to Michigan from Princeton last spring and that seemed to lead to Frankie Collins transferring to Arizona State after a solid freshman season for the Wolverines.

Llewellyn averaged seven points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists in eight games at Michigan. He was an All-Ivy League player last season and averaged nearly 16 points over three seasons at Princeton.