As college sports fanatics, we don’t pay attention to the NBA much but we make an exception for former Oklahoma forward and human pogo stick Blake Griffin. Only half-way through his rookie season in the NBA, he’s already compiled a highlight reel of dunks worthy of an entire career. And as we prepare for what he’s about to unleash at the Slam Dunk contest in two weeks (we can only hope it’s as entertaining as his McDonald’s dunk contest), let’s take a look back at the former National Player of the Year’s Top 10 College Dunks.
10. The Standard
Blake knew how to put the oop in the alley as a college student. Here, he skies against a hopeless Baylor defender, a fine example of what’s become a nightly ritual for the man-child. With Griffin, what goes up always comes down ten times harder.
9. In The Blake Of An Eye
Here was a novel idea: Instead of inbounding the ball to the backcourt, why not just throw it up and let Griffin dunk it? We’re not certain that Blake’s done this in the league, as NBA teams tend to keep track of him during dead balls. In college, it just didn’t matter at all.
Blake’s brother Taylor makes a cameo during this game against Texas A&M. At first glance it’s not that easy to tell where the ball’s heading. Where do you think it was going? When in doubt, just toss it up to Blake – he puts it away.
7. The Blake Also Rises
Blake led Oklahoma to the 2009 Elite Eight in spectacular fashion his sophomore year. Against Syracuse in the Sweet 16, a national audience saw just what type of ups Blake is capable of achieving. A savvy Youtube commenter nails this one: “The only thing that can slow down Blake Griffin: the backboard.”
6. Eaton Alive
Against Oklahoma State, Griffin heads down the court and impales his will upon guard Byron Eaton. We’re not sure what the best part of this video is: That Blake starts planning his flight at about half-court but acts like he’s going to pass or that Eaton knows better than to put up a real challenge to the Blakeness Monster.
5. The Windmill
Sometimes, Blake’s best offense in college was his defense. In another Big 12 game, Blake intercepts a pass against Colorado and is off to the races. This time, he lets a windmill fly that belongs in a slam dunk contest. It’s a Perfect 10.
4. The Royale With Blake
Imagine the first dunk we showed you, only a bit more insanely athletic. It’s not quite clear who the opponent is, only that they definitely cannot hang on the same floor with Blake. The defender probably wanted to join the Witness Protection Program after this anyway. Griffin also shows his dexterity after the dunk.
3. The Psych Out
This dunk against Oklahoma State is a bit silly, as Griffin uses his smarts to give himself a complete clear path to the lane. A slight ball fake makes the Oklahoma State defense part like the red sea. Yep, Blake can act a bit too, evidently. With all the highlights Blake Griffin piled up against the Cowboys, he probably haunts T. Boone Pickens’ dreams at night.
2. “Godly Slam”
Colorado is again Blake’s victim on this dunk. Blake drives to the hoop and takes off about two feet past the foul line, skying over two defenders and performing what’s been labelled on YouTube as the “Godly Slam.” It’s fitting because we often wonder if Griffin is mortal.
1. Novak’s Posterization
As insane as these first nine college dunks were, this one was Blake Griffin’s Mona Lisa. In the second round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament vs. Michigan, the Wolverines were desperately trying to claw back into the game when a fast break led to a one-on-one between Griffin and Michigan guard Zak Novak. Instead of just taking his medicine, Novak tried to draw a charge. Big mistake. The result: A Timofey Mozgov moment. At least Novak will have a cool poster to hang over his kid’s bed in a couple years.