Friday, October 13, 2006

Best dunks recalled

LaFrentz, Hancock top dunkers


Here are some of the top slam dunks in Kansas University history. ... at least ones I can recall.

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Raef LaFrentz against Missouri on Feb. 17, 1997, at Allen Fieldhouse

No KU fan will ever tire of watching a replay of this dunk, in which LaFrentz read the flight of a Jacque Vaughn miss perfectly.

He charged the lane from the top of the key, grabbed the offensive carom with his left hand and rammed it home.

That dunk was even better than the one he had against Iowa State his senior season in which the Monona, Iowa, native ran the floor, drove past a couple Cyclones, slammed and scowled.

Missouri, by the way, has had one especially memorable dunk make and one miss versus the Jayhawks in the fieldhouse.

Ricky Paulding skied over Eric Chenowith and jammed one-handed in a loss to KU on March 4, 2001 - his frosh season and Chenowith's senior campaign. Arthur Johnson was rejected by the rim and fell on his backside, on Jan. 28, 2002. He'll never live that one down.


Journal-World File Photo

Raef LaFrentz's slam against Missouri in 1997 was among the top dunks in KU history.

Darrin Hancock against Kansas State on Feb. 20, 1993 at Allen Fieldhouse

Hancock on a 3-on-2 break soared over a shell-shocked KSU defender.

"A guy was standing there like he was going to take a charge. Darrin jumped, the guy turned or something and he jumped over the guy," said Patrick Richey, a teammate of Hancock's. "He got up there."

Richey says Hancock's best dunks actually came against Jackson State and Hawaii in the Rainbow Classic in Honolulu.

"On one of them, Rex (Walters) got the steal and he (Hancock) had a breakaway and took off from just inside the free throw line," Richey said. "You jump over somebody like against K-State, everybody thinks it's crazy, but he had a couple in Hawaii that were better. He was taking off from the free throw line, moving the ball in the air, kind of special."

Also, Hancock had a monster slam versus Indiana in the NCAA regional finals in St. Louis. He raced in from the right and gunned home a reverse slam from the left.

Kenny Gregory against Princeton on Dec. 22, 1999, at Allen Fieldhouse

Gregory, who had dozens of highlight-film slams in his four-year KU career, recalled his favorite: "Nick Bradford threw me a lob against Princeton. It was a terrible pass. I just went up and got it. In my years at KU, it's really the one that sticks out."

Some other Gregory flashes of brilliance: an over the head slam following a steal by Mario Kinsey against Nebraska on Jan. 18, 2001. Also a slam off a feed from Ryan Robertson in a win over Gonzaga on Nov. 14, 1998.

Danny Manning against Oklahoma in the national championship game on April 4, 1988 in Kemper Arena

Manning, KU's all-time leading scorer, had so many in his four-year KU career, at least one had to be cited.

Perhaps none was more important than a finish of a lob from Scooter Barry in the first half of the 83-79 title victory.

Milt Newton, of course, also deserves special mention for his many dunks. He didn't jam in the title game, but made that memorable whirling windmill layup in the first half. A layup is sorta like a dunk, isn't it?

Julian Wright versus Texas in last year's Big 12 title game March 12 in Dallas:

Wright showed cat-like quickness in stealing the ball at midcourt. He raced in for a vicious slam that gave KU a 67-63 lead down the stretch. KU coach Bill Self called it "the play of the tournament."

Wright had an encore 360 jam before the final horn.

"He did things that made some guys' mouths water at the next level. He was fabulous," Self said.

Wright also had a fabulous slam in a 96-54 win over Nebraska Jan. 21 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Wright headed down the court with a Husker at his side, took a pair of huge strides and finished.

Brandon Rush against St. Joseph's Dec. 6, 2005 at New York's Madison Square Garden

Silky smooth Rush picked off a St. Joe's pass and took it the other way for a stuff, giving KU a 14-4 lead.

Wright also had an big-time jam that game, first blocking a shot then going back the other way for a monster dunk.

Paul Pierce against UCLA on Dec. 1, 1995 at Allen Fieldhouse

Jacque Vaughn lofted an alley-oop pass to Pierce, who completed the deal.

It was a remarkable feed from one Los Angeles native to another, highlighting KU's 85-70 victory.

J.R. Giddens against Michigan State on Nov. 25, 2003 at Allen Fieldhouse

On one late possession, Michael Lee spun in the lane and missed a shot. Giddens picked off the ball in midair and slammed for an 78-72 advantage at 1:51. Later, Giddens guarded the perimeter, scooped the ball, and took it all the way for a one-handed dunk.

Keith Langford also had a wildly entertaining dunk in that game, hanging on the rim and swinging his legs for full effect.

Keith Langford against Wyoming on Jan. 15, 2003 at Allen Fieldhouse

Kirk Hinrich heaved a pass from halfcourt to Langford, who slammed with two hands. Langford had oh so many spectacular dunks to chronicle, including a drive of the baseline and slam at Arizona on Dec. 1, 2001, as well as a breathtaking dunk off a lob from Aaron Miles in a win over Oklahoma on March 1, 2004 at the fieldhouse.

Christian Moody against Washburn on Nov. 12, 2002 at Allen Fieldhouse

True freshman Moody hit the lane for a wickedly hard slam, showing fans surprising athleticism and making 'em wonder why this walk-on from North Carolina hadn't earned more preseason publicity.

Point gaurd Miles missed a dunk during that contest on a breakaway, prompting Roy Williams to say: "We're going to have an early practice tomorrow. Christian Moody will give Aaron some lessons on how to dunk."

Miles' missed dunk, by the way, wasn't the most memorable clang in KU history, that perhaps going to C.B. McGrath against UNC Asheville on Dec. 15, 1996 when his rare dunk attempt went awry.

Jeff Graves also had a memorable miss. He accepted a pass from Michael Lee and raced in for a layup try at Baylor on Feb. 11, 2003. Graves banged the basketball off the back of the rim. The ball actually bounced to the opposite free-throw line.

Drew Gooden against Pittsburg State on Nov. 28, 2001, at Allen Fieldhouse

Gooden tucked the basketball and dunked on a breakaway in his famous "rock the cradle" slam against the befuddled Gorillas.

Gooden - he one time missed his own inside shot, grabbed the rebound and dunked in one motion - also had a feathery touch feeding others for slams. He dished to Nick Collison for a vicious dunk off a lob against Texas A&M; on Jan. 21, 2001 at the fieldhouse.

John Crawford against Kansas State on Feb. 18, 1981 at Allen Fieldhouse

Crawford came across the baseline from right to left and caught a perfect alley-oop pass from Darnell Valentine for the slam. The board was still shaking on KU's next possesion.

Wilt Chamberlain against Northwestern on Dec. 3, 1956 in Lawrence

Chamberlain had several dunks in his 52-point, 31-rebound debut game. Had to throw a mention of Chamberlain in here.

Wayne Simien, Collison and Lester Earl also had their fair share of slamolas in their careers.

Duke's Grant Hill against Kansas in NCAA championship game, April 1, 1991, in Indianapolis

Bobby Hurley hoisted a halfcourt pass to an offbalance Hill, who caught the ball with his right hand and somehow completed the jam. Alonzo Jamison trailed the play, which started after a miss of a driving layup by Mark Randall. It's generally regarded as the best dunk AGAINST KU in history. Other top dunks against KU ... Arizona's Will Bynum cashing a breakaway in a win at Allen, and Baylor's Terry Black in a win in Waco. ... Purdue's Glenn Robinson's slamming in Greg Ostertag's face in the 1994 NCAA tournament. A dazed Ostertag shook Robinson's hand after the dunk as play continued.


poshizzle 15 years, 3 months ago

You can't forget Keith Langford's dunk against Oregon in the Elite 8 game in 2002. Drew Gooden missed a baby hook shot and the ball game off the right side of the rim. With everyone looking Langford flew in untouched and slammed home the rebound. The best part being that you could hear him scream as he dunked it.

And Rush's dunk on Richard Roby (I think) of Colorado at CU last season. That was nasty, and the look he gave him afterwords was even worse.

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