Friday’s Maryland Madness had its moments, and the dunk contest was one of the highlights.
Just like the NBA dunk contest though, the stars did not take part. Instead, it included freshmen Kevin Huerter and Micah Thomas, along with senior transfer L.G. Gill. Each contestant had one minute to complete each dunk, and it proceeded in knockout fashion into a gripping final.
In the end, Gill was judged as the winner from a panel including Walt Williams, the former Maryland basketball — and later NBA — player. Though Gill was the one crowned, give credit to excellent dunks from Huerter, a close second place contestant, and Thomas.
The best dunks from Maryland Madness:
4. Micah Thomas’ second dunk. The Memphis native was outshone by the two others in the dunk contest, but was still impressive. He had a nice, classic two-hand jam after catching a backboard pass from himself, but his most impressive dunk was his second and final attempt. From the right baseline, Thomas leaped up and touched the rim with his outstretched left hand before slamming home with his right hand. The effort earns a 7/10 on my scale. His airtime was impressive, as well as the sheer length of his arms to stretch out as far as he did.
3. L.G. Gill’s first dunk.
It took three tries to perfect the routine, but with the help of freshman Anthony Cowan, Gill made an early case for himself. Cowan passed the ball off the side of the backboard to a charging Gill down the baseline. Gill caught the ball one handed and proceeded in one motion to dunk it. An 8/10 for me. The timing was tough to get down between Gill’s jump and Cowan’s pass. But once it worked, it was great.
2. Kevin Huerter’s second dunk. Earlier, the freshman was on fire in the three-point contest. It’s clear Huerter has ups too, and they were on full display with this attempt. I give it a 9/10.
Oh man, Kevin Huerter's got HOPS. pic.twitter.com/WGDoK1KXgJ— Testudo Times (@testudotimes) October 15, 2016
This windmill throwdown from the New York native showed both sides of his attacking game. It gets narrowly beaten by Gill’s third attempt, though.
- L.G. Gill’s third dunk. This time, Cowan lobbed the ball up for Gill from behind the hoop, and the senior transfer from Duquesne showed his freshman competitors what it means to dunk. He practically floated in mid-air after he caught the ball, then decided to say goodbye to it by demolishing the hoop. It has to be a 10/10 for this contest, and the official judges agreed, handing him the victory.