It's still early in the college hoops season but Texas' Kerwin Roach may have already sewn up the award for dunk of the year. The freshman guard came barreling down the lane and put poor Jorge Bilbao on an imaginary poster (I say imaginary because I don't think anyone has basketball posters anymore...do they? If you do, identify yourself so we can be best friends). Honestly though, this dunk was super fresh. If you don't believe me, take a look for yourself.
Poor Jorge is probably traumatized from this. But cheer up Jorge, it's better to be on the receiving end of a nasty dunk than to miss one. Speaking of missed dunks, I've noticed quite a few of them in the early portions of this season. Our very own Easy E, Eric McClellan, had two missed slams last week during the Battle 4 Atlantis. One of them was called a foul, so it won't go down in the record books as a missed dunk, but the foul looked pretty soft and both Charlie and I think he should have had it. But, I'm not here to pick on E-Mac, so here are a couple more missed dunks to make him and Poor Jorge (his new legal name) feel better (cue the clown music).
Frank Mason missed a dunk and face planted. This makes me sad. pic.twitter.com/BXRPDBkewU— Andrew Joseph (@AndyJ0seph) December 2, 2015
Poor Frank Mason
The much ballyhooed Ben Simmons missed not one, BUT TWO DUNKS, already. And those are just the ones I caught.
I really thought Ben Simmons was going to dunk the ball hard until he missed it. Good thing I caught it lol pic.twitter.com/4oCwF61ukJ— Kerry Kittles (@Justbereal2) November 25, 2015
Credit to Kerry Kittles for showing us what the view from courtside looks like.
Missing a putback dunk to WIN THE GAME is brutal...Poor Illinois
And finally, the best (worst?) missed dunk of the
first three weeks of the season year goes to D-3 hooper Dontavious Smith of Mass Lowell, for shattering the backboard but missing the dunk.
On to the rankings! (you can direct any complaints and/or disagreements about the rankings to Charlie)
Honorable Mentions: Xavier, Oregon, Gonzaga
No. 11 - Maryland
The marquee matchup of the ACC-Big 10 matchup featured the Twerps and Tar Heels at Chapel Hill. Melo Trimble came to play, posting a line of 23pts-12assists-1 broken ankle. Unfortunately for Maryland fans, Trimble had 8 turnovers--and the team had 22 turnovers as a whole--to kill their chances at beating the Heels.
No. 10 - Purdue
The Boilermakers don't get a lot of publicity, but this team is good. They feature a strong frontcourt led by the duo of 7-2 Center, Isaac Haas, and freshman phenom Caleb Swanigan. We won't get a feel for how good they really are until conference play begins, but they haven't been troubled in a game yet. I would love to watch them matchup against the Zags in a battle of giant human beings. Make it happen, basketball gods!
No. 9 - Oklahoma
The Sooners crushed Wisconsin on Space Jam Sunday. I turned this game on expecting Oklahoma to come out in Toon Squad jerseys, and was sorely disappointed when I saw they only gave out Boom Squad tank tops. I didn't realize it was now socially acceptable to wear tank tops in Oklahoma. Congratulations to the folks down there for ushering their social norms into the 21st century. Proud of y'all.
No. 8 - Virginia
I received lots of hate mail from UVA fans complaining about being snubbed from the slippery rankings (not really, but I want it to seem like the Slippery Power Rankings are read across the nation). Well, here you go fictitious Virginia fans who read my column. Kenpom loves the 'hoos, and my eye test approves, as their trademark defense showed up in Columbus where they held the Buckeyes to 58 points. Virginia's defense will keep them in every game, regardless of their opponent, but their offense doesn't always come to play. This team has a lot of seniors and are well-coached, so I assume they're going to figure it out, but it just doesn't seem like they have enough firepower to gain separation when playing good teams.
No. 7 - Iowa State
The Cyclones cruised through the Emerald Coast Classic, knocking off Virginia Tech and an injury-laden Illinois squad to win their holiday tournament. However, Cyclone fans got a scare against North Dakota State when star senior, Georges Niang, fell to the ground writhing in pain during the first half. Luckily for Iowa State, and the people of Ames, Niang only suffered a thigh contusion and was able to return. However, his significance to Iowa State's success was clear as they looked completely out of sorts during the time he was off the floor. Their extreme reliance on Niang concerns me moving forward, but you could make that argument for a lot of top teams.
No. 6- Duke
Dickie V compared Grayson Allen to John Havlicek twice during the Duke-Indiana broadcast. He must have missed last week's edition of the Slippery Power Rankings...
Duke's win over Indiana also highlighted the version of Brandon Ingram everyone expected to see, as the wispy forward dominated a good Hoosiers team. Last week I said the Blue Devils looked to be working on figuring out how to play together. It looks like Ingram is acclimating to the college game. Now all Coach K has to do is get the rest of his cache of talented freshmen going.
No. 5 - Kansas
Not only was Cheick DIallo freed from the clutches of the silly NCAA, but he unleashed his ode to Karl "The Mailman" Malone in his debut game! Nice to see the big fella ease his way into the season in Kansas' lone game of the week.
No. 4 - North Carolina
Marcus Paige returned from his broken hand and the Tar Heels instantly looked like a better team. Roy Williams' offense is predicated on excellent point guard play, Paige's return appears to have elevated the team out of the struggles they encountered during their sojourn through the Midwest.
No. 3 - Villanova
The Wildcats are getting significant contributions from three freshmen who have helped pace the team to a 7-0 start. The best team in Philly will face their first test of the season when they travel to Pearl Harbor to face the tank-top dispensing Oklahoma Sooners on December 7. The Big (L)East is by no means a formidable conference, so 'Nova will need to impress in their December duels against Oklahoma and Virginia to convince the Committee of Two (and I guess the rest of the country) that they're legit.
No. 2 - Kentucky
No. 1 - Michigan State
Stop me if you've heard this one before, Denzel Valentine posts a triple-double and the Spartans win. If you didn't stop me, you should have, because Valentine picked up his second triple-double of the year to firmly place himself in the NPOY conversation. Oh, and Tom Izzo won his 500th game on the same night in a 99-68 win over Boston College. The Spartans followed up their success at the Wooden Classic by coming from behind to beat the #24 Louisville Cardinals at home in Lansing. Given the big week for the Spartans, they earned the right to knock off Kentucky from the top spot.