Top 10 Dunks of the 2012–2013 CBB Season
Scoring outputs may have sunk considerably in college basketball this season — much to the chagrin of fans everywhere — but that didn’t take away from the freakish hops that some players displayed.
As college hoops fans, we should consider ourselves fortunate to be in the YouTube era. It allows us to search for as many jams as our hearts desire and watch them over ... and over ... and over again. With the season in the books, we rank the Top 10 Dunks of 2012–2013.
10. Adonis Bailey (Texas A&M-Kingsville)
The awesomely named Adonis Bailey certainly knows the value of a first impression.
In his first home game with Division II Texas A&M-Kingsville on January 5, Bailey — a Chicago native and midseason transfer from Cowley County (KS) Community College — drove the lane hard, took off from well outside the restricted area and finished with authority over a hapless Texas A&M-Commerce defender.
If it had been a 12-foot rim, Bailey would have still flushed it; he appears to be still elevating when he slams the ball home.
9. Mason Plumlee (Duke)
It’s not often that big men are highlighted for their hops. But to overlook Mason Plumlee — the only center to make this list — would be a mistake.
Ohio State learned the hard way during its ACC-Big Ten Challenge duel with the Blue Devils in Durham on November 29th. With Quinn Cook pushing the ball up court on a fast break, Plumlee leaked out. Cook’s lob pass was a little high, yet Plumlee made it look perfect when he briefly cradled the ball with his right hand before flushing it through.
Though Plumlee’s dunk wasn’t nearly as important, it nonetheless brought to mind Grant Hill’s hair-raising slam in the 1991 title game against Kansas.
8. Rodney Williams (Minnesota)
The Gophers forward came into the season as one of the most highly-regarded dunkers in college basketball — we ranked him No. 3 in early January — and he didn’t disappoint in his senior campaign.
While the ease with which he threw down a 360-degree masterpiece on a breakaway against North Dakota State on December 11th is what most people will remember, our favorite flush of Williams’ is the put-back slam he had versus Florida State 15 days before. Does he have go-go gadget arms that we don’t know about? Because he suddenly seemed to boast the wingspan of a pterodactyl.
7. Doug Anderson (Detroit)
We’re restricting our list to in-game dunks only — otherwise the spectacular show that Anderson put on at the annual College Slam Dunk Contest on April 4, especially the 360-degree between-the-legs job that clinched it, would be quite high on this list.
As the case is, we have to “settle” for when Detroit’s high-flyer turned the Carrier Dome into his own personal launching pad on December 17th. With his half dozen slams, Anderson nearly stole the show from Jim Boeheim’s 900th win as Syracuse’s head coach and nearly led a Titans comeback from a 20-point deficit.
6. Maurice Kemp (East Carolina)
Who says that the CIT can’t produce highlights?
During ECU’s 75–54 rout of Rider on March 23rd, Maurice Kemp threw down a dunk that would have made an in-his-prime Shawn Kemp (no relation) proud, somehow simultaneously soaring over and around hapless defender Shawn Valentine.
The manner in which the Williams Arena crowd reacted was similar to how a game-changing dunk during an open run at Rucker Park “shuts down the building.”
5. Jamaal Franklin (San Diego State)
Whichever NBA team lands San Diego State’s Jamaal Franklin in the upcoming draft will be getting a player who’s both explosive and clever with the basketball. Both of those attributes were on display against Fresno State on January 9th.
With the three Bulldogs back on defense cheating toward the two Aztec players on the wings during a SDSU fast break, Franklin did it all himself. He threw an on-the-money ricochet off the lower part of the glass from beyond the 3-point line, caught the ball mid-flight and slammed it home.
Almost amazing as the play is how nonchalant Franklin made it look.
4. Chane Behanan (Louisville)
Behanan’s 15-point, 12-rebound performance in Louisville’s 82–76 win over Michigan in the title game on Monday reminded everyone that he is a load. It was something that many people first learned about him when he victimized another Midwestern school on February 27th.
When the Cardinals’ sophomore forward came up with a steal against DePaul, only Blue Demons guard Worrell Clahar — seven inches shorter and 65 pounds lighter than the 6-foot-6, 250-pound Behanan — stood between him and the rim. It was not a fair fight at all, as Behanan barreled over and through Clahar for the dunk.
Behanan was actually called for a charge initially before the officials huddled and correctly determined that Clahar’s feet were in the restricted area. Justice never tasted so sweet.
3. Eric McKnight (Florida Gulf Coast)
It was the Brett Comer-to-Chase Fieler lob late in FGCU’s Round of 64 shocker over Georgetown that first put “Dunk City” on the map. But with all due respect to Fieler, he was outdone by teammate McKnight two days later in the Eagles’ equally unlikely triumph over San Diego State.
Once again, it was passing maestro Comer who put the ball in the right place for a teammate to finish with authority. Only the pass was a little behind McKnight, who simultaneously soared toward the hoop and reached back with one hand to put the finishing touches on what would be one of many FGCU slams that left fans awestruck.
2. Daniel Skinner (Jacksonville (TX) College)
Foul line jams aren’t just for dunk contests anymore. A junior college player from the Lone Star State named Daniel Skinner taught us that on December 5th.
With the ball on the fast break for Jacksonville College against Tyler JC, Skinner seemed to think, “To hell with it” and took off on his left foot from just inside the free throw line. The end result was an absolute posterization of the Apaches defender below him.
Did it really matter that Skinner was, in fact, called for a charge on the play? Not in the least.
1. Marcus Lewis (Eastern Kentucky)
There’s no sound to the video of our pick for the No. 1 Dunk of the Year. Normally we’d complain about it. But in this instance, it gives what Eastern Kentucky’s Marcus Lewis pulled off against Southeast Missouri State on February 2nd an almost mystical quality.
At the start of the Colonels’ inbounds play, Lewis was well above Southeast Missouri’s 3-point line. Then, in a flash, he cut hard to the rim in anticipation of the lob pass. A Redhawks defender tried boxing Lewis out for the pass but it wasn’t nearly enough, as Lewis soared over him from outside the restricted area and flushed it home with one hand.
Reads the most up-voted comment on the YouTube video of the dunk: “The dunk was too powerful, disabled the audio on the video…” We couldn’t have put it better.