Syracuse’s sticky defense, up-tempo transition game, and flock of high-flyers means Orange fans have seen a highlight reel of slam dunks this season. Throughout SU’s history powerful risers like Hakim Warrick (whose epic dunk made ESPN’s all-time top 20), Damone Brown and Carmelo have posterized the competition. Stuffing the ball through the rim has both lit the Carrier Dome on fire and taken air out of an enemy building for SU this year. A transition dunk by Dion can exhilarate the crowd, get teammates riled up and act as a momentum shifter in games.
Syracuse has seen some nasty rim rocking jams this season. Heck, Dion has made it a personal crusade to dunk in almost every game. What makes a slam good? There are three keys:
Timing, energy, and momentum.
Here’s The Fizz‚Äôs top 5 dunks of the 2011-12 season:
5) Fab Melo flies through the air against Louisville:
Melo didn’t jump from the foul line, but it was pretty close. Fab seemed to float in the air and then contort his body to finish around the Cardinals defense. The dunk made the Yum! Center go silent and neither players nor fans knew how to react. In a game in which every point was needed, this throw down was critical.
4) Melo‚Äôs 360 against Villanova.
Fab shows up again on the countdown with a dominant athletic show by a big man. A 7-footer spinning through the air and powering it down doesn‚Äôt happen very often. The slam put an exclamation point on the win. When Jim Boeheim smiles you know it had to be special. And yes please change the scoreboard; Fab stuffed it down before the buzzer.
3) MCW says hello to Godsgift.
The freshman ignited Broadway with this jam against St. John’s. Carter-Williams added icing to the blowout win by stuffing it down with a 20-point lead. What The Fizz loves about this dunk is the SU bench going crazy while MCW acts like he just converted a layup. The McDonald’s All-American lays the lumber, and simply lets that play do the talking.
2) C.J. Fair posterizes Pitt.
Get out of the lane young fella! Fair‚Äôs slam is the textbook perfect dunk. It’s a great setup from Scoop, but after that C.J. does the rest. The mini-stare down, plus “And-1” shows Fair knew he had just put Zanna Talib on a poster. Baye‚Äôs reaction is priceless and the dunk gave SU a nice lead in the first half. The one hand slam is a nominee for the Geico Play of the Year.
1) Dion Waiters’ highlight tape against George Washington.
News flash: Dion likes to dunk. Waiters put on a show for his 20th birthday. DW drips swag when he throws it down, and that often gives SU an immediate jolt. His teammates love it and the entire arena inhales when he gets into the open floor. This trio of dunks lit the Dome on fire has to be the top dunk moments of the season.
The Orange style of play means we’ll see plenty more rim-rattlers over the next month. That‚Äôs our top 5 dunks of the year (so far). What’s yours? Let the debate begin!
Posted: Dave Van Moffaert