There were plenty of highlights during No. 5 Michigan’s 91-54 victory over IUPUI on Monday night at Crisler Center. One would be hard pressed to find two better ones than Tim Hardaway Jr.’s coast-to-coast slam dunk or Jon Horford’s powerful two-handed flush. Watch Hardaway’s dunk now and see Horford’s in this post.
The first week of the Big Ten men’s basketball season is in the books. BTN.com video editors spent the week clipping some of the best dunks from the week and have compiled them all into one video highlight for your viewing pleasure. Watch some of the best dunks from the opening week now.
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Here are a few individual highlights from Michigan’s exhibition game on Thursday night, including Glenn Robinson III with the steal and coast-to-coast drive for the jam against Northern Michigan. There was also an alley-oop from Tim Hardaway Jr. to Robinson. Michigan won the game 83-47 and Spike Albrecht led the Wolverines with 16 points. For game stats and notes, check out the GameTracker on MGoBlue.com.
Michigan State sophomore Branden Dawson suffered a season-ending knee injury in the final week of the regular season last year. How does he look on the surgically repaired knee? Well, if Michigan State’s exhibition opener against Northwood on Tuesday night is any indication, Dawson will be just fine. Watch the Spartan throw down on the opening tip now and see a couple of his other highlight-reel slam dunks in this post.
Put Minnesota’s Rodney Williams in a dunk contest against pretty much anyone, and he’s going to hold his own. What about 2011 NBA Dunk Contest winner Blake Griffin? Who knows how the Minnesota junior would fair against arguably the best dunker, but BTN color commentator Eddie Johnson made this interesting comment about one of Williams’ two highlight-reel jams Saturday: “That had Blake Griffin written all over it.” You know what? It did — only Williams actually dunked it. Watch Williams’ ridiculous jam now and compare it to Griffin’s in this post. Also, watch Williams’ alley-oop Saturday in this post.
There were some rim-rattling slams on the hoop going to the right on your TV screen in Indiana’s victory over Michigan State on Wednesday. Draymond Green started it with a steal that he turned into a powerful And-1 in the first 20 minutes; in the second half, Victor Oladipo added a thunderous dunk, and Cody Zeller matched Green’s steal and slam. As they say, things come in threes. Which dunk was the best? Watch Zeller’s slam now and see the other two in this post. Then, cast your vote for the top dunk. Prediction: It’s going to be a close one.
By now, every Big Ten team knows that Ohio State’s Sam Thompson is a highlight waiting to happen. And yet, the freshman seems to consistently find open spaces around the rim, which, more times than not, leads to a jaw-dropping alley-oop. Thompson struck again in Tuesday night’s win over Illinois. This time, the pass came from Shannon Scott, not the usual Aaron Craft, but it was just as nice. And for good measure, Thompson also had a great block in the revenge win. Watch Thompson’s alley-oop now and see the terrific block in this post.
There are few Big Ten players more exciting in the open floor than Michigan State’s Branden Dawson. The freshman doesn’t get a clear lane to the hoop very often, but he makes the most of the opportunity when it presents itself. With his athleticism and repertoire of slams, it’s anyone’s guess what dunk he’ll pick in the open court. Well, the opportunity presented itself in Sunday afternoon’s win at Purdue, and Dawson delighted with a powerful windmill slam. The dunk wasn’t his only highlight, however, as he also posted his third double-double of the season. Watch the windmill slam now.
For a day, Nebraska did it all and showed what kind of team it can be when everything comes together. It came in Saturday’s decisive victory over struggling Illinois, and Caleb Walker’s ridiculous one-handed alley-oop highlighted it all. The thunderous second-half jam — listen to the rim! — was a thing of beauty.
It came in a losing effort, but Minnesota high-flyer Rodney Williams struck again Tuesday night. The Gopher junior put back a Julian Welch missed 3-pointer in a way only Rodney Williams can in Minnesota’s 78-68 defeat against No. 6 Ohio State. The left-handed rebound-throwdown came in the final minute with Ohio State up 11 points, so it’s very possible Williams caught the Buckeyes thinking about everything but boxing out on a late trey.
Tuesday’s Michigan State-Illinois game was far from a thing of beauty. In the final minutes of the first half, in fact, ESPN play-by-play guy Mike Tirico begged, “This half NEEDS to end!” As inept as the offenses were in the 42-41 decision at Assembly Hall, there were a couple highlights: Meyers Leonard’s alley-oop and Brandon Paul’s poke.
LeBron James’ ridiculous dunk against Chicago on Sunday and Blake Griffin’s silly slam against Oklahoma City on Monday got us thinking about the best dunks of the 2011-12 Big Ten season. Rodney Williams, Victor Oladipo and Sam Thompson’s highlights immediately come to mind, but there have been so many other memorable dunks. See my top 10 slams in this post. Did I forget a dunk? If so, click “other” on the poll or enter your selection in the comment box at the bottom of this post. Also, check out a collection of our dunk-centric highlights with our Did You See This? archive.
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Most teams go an entire season, if not longer, without even attempting an alley-oop on an inbound pass. Then again, most teams don’t have an athlete quite like Ohio State’s Sam Thompson. Only a freshman, Thompson was on the receiving end of his second such play in Big Ten action alone Wednesday night. Which inbound alley-oop was better, though: Tonight’s or the one at Indiana on New Year’s Eve? Watch both incredible plays and vote on the best one in this post.
Minnesota’s Rodney Williams loves to show off his athleticism, and for good reason. The junior can jump out of the gym and is blessed with some of the best God-given abilities in the Big Ten. During Sunday afternoon’s game against Northwestern at The Barn, Williams displayed those skills on a few occasions, including a quick, powerful slam and an acrobatic and-one. Watch the latter now and the former in this post.
Michigan State was in command for most of the game against Purdue on Saturday, but late in the second half Branden Dawson threw down an impressive dunk, one of several in the game for the 6-foot-6 Spartans freshman forward. Dawson had a quality shooting game, nailing 6-of-7 shots from the field and scoring 14 points.
Minnesota’s Joe Coleman goes hard to the rim with a two-handed dunk against Penn State on Sunday, but he wasn’t the only Gopher slamming it home. Rodney Williams, who earlier this season pulled off a 360-degree dunk, added a two-handed dunk of his own against the Nittany Lions. Click down in this post to see it and see all of our “Did You See This?” videos in our archive.
Give Rodney Williams an inch anywhere near the rim, and he’ll make you look silly. The Minnesota junior has springs in his shoes, something Iowa witnessed in the second half of Wednesday night’s game at Williams Arena. On this particular play, Williams turned a Julian Welch missed 3-pointer into a gem of a highlight. The Hawkeyes forgot to account for Williams on the glass, somehow, and he made them pay with a powerful putback of the errant shot. And Williams hung on the rim for style — and to avoid landing on Zach McCabe, we suppose. Watch the play now.
It’s no secret that Illinois’ Meyers Leonard is blessed with a lot of athleticism. The 7-foot-1 big man moves and leaps unlike most guys his size, and he displayed it once again Wednesday at Northwestern. Late in the first half – a frustrating one for Leonard and the Illini – the breakout sophomore jumped out of the gym on a one-handed slam. Look at how high he got up there. And listen to that rim rattle! As BTN color commentator Shon Morris put it: “I think that rim is going to file assault charges.” Watch the dunk now and see his game-sealing block in this post.
Usually, it’s Sam Thompson on the receiving end of a fantastic alley-oop. In the closing moments of Tuesday’s game against Nebraska, the exciting Ohio State freshman was on the other end of the highlight-reel play, setting up J.D. Weatherspoon for a ferocious slam. Weatherspoon can get up himself. Watch the pretty alley-oop now from Ohio State’s easy 71-40 win over Nebraska at Value City Arena.
There’s a reason Thad Matta says Sam Thompson may be the best athlete he’s ever coached. The freshman has unreal athleticism, and he showcased it in Saturday night’s contest at Indiana. On an inbound play, Thompson broke for the hoop, seemingly jumped out of the gym and completed the alley-oop with a vicious throwdown. You may not see a better dunk all season. Seriously. Check out the ridiculous slam now. Those replays are beautiful, aren’t they?
Indiana’s Victor Oladipo has made himself a regular on our latest feature, “Did You See This?” Well, the Indiana sophomore was at again in Indiana’s upset of No. 2 Ohio State on Saturday night (AP recap), tallying back-to-back steals that led to a pair of easy baskets, including a powerful dunk of his own on the second poach. Watch the terrific 20 seconds of game action from the Indiana sophomore right here. Think he enjoyed hanging on the rim there? We sure think so.
Night in and night out, Indiana’s Cody Zeller continues to dazzle and show why he was so highly recruited. The talented freshman entered Thursday night’s game against UMBC averaging 15.3 points, 7.4 rebounds 2.3 steals and 1.6 blocks per game. Those numbers may get better following Thursday’s action. One thing’s for sure: Zeller added two more highlight-reel plays to his first-year resume tape. Watch his powerful jam, set up by a terrific pass from Victor Oladipo, and see his breakaway jam in this post.
Have any doubts whether Purdue senior Robbie Hummel is healthy from his two major knee surgeries? Yeah, um, Hummel showed just how good he’s feeling with an athletic play to end the first half of Tuesday’s game against IPFW. It looked as though Kelsey Barlow was going to end the half with a running layup, but the ball caromed off the rim, and Hummel, who never gave up on the play, was there for the thunderous putback, milliseconds before the buzzer sounded. The refs reviewed the play, but as you can tell, it was good. Watch the putback now.
Like big dunks? You’re in luck, because Michigan State’s Branden Dawson got up and threw one down with authority during Monday night’s game against UMKC at the Breslin Center. The freshman, you could say, wasn’t all that intimated by Kangaroos big man Brad Reid, all 6-foot-11 of him. No, instead Dawson posterized the poor guy. Watch the athletic freshman’s powerful dunk now.