Michigan Basketball: Ranking Wolverines' Best Dunkers from the Past Decade
During the last decade, the Michigan basketball program has witnessed quite the renaissance and part of that resurgence has been spearheaded behind the play of some athletic, exciting playmakers—and that, naturally, extends to players with great dunking ability.
Of course, the biggest reason the program has succeeded was because of the hiring of John Beilein prior to the the fall of 2007. He in turn has recruited some gifted basketball players who possessed a vast array of skills. Although dunking a basketball still counts as just two points, it doesn't mean it doesn't have any purpose. After all, a dunk always riles up the crowd and sends fans in a frenzy.
What follow in this slideshow are arguably Michigan's top five greatest dunkers of the past decade.
- Trey Burke
- Deshawn Sims
- Zack Gibson
- Graham Brown
5. Zack Novak
While known for his shooting ability and also helping Michigan get to the NCAA tournament in 2009 after a 12-year layoff, Novak was one heck of a dunker, too.
He had some impressive hops and brought the Crisler Center to its feet on more than a couple of occasions. He became the 28th Michigan player to score 1,000 points and grab 500 rebounds in a career.
Novak, who won Michigan's 2009 slam dunk contest during Midnight Madness festivities, will forever be remembered as a crowd favorite at Michigan.
4. Glenn Robinson III
At 6'6”, 220 pounds and blessed with above-average athleticism, Glenn Robinson III has the makeup to be a great dunker, and he did nothing to debunk that theory in his two years at Michigan.
Robinson, who was just drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the 40th pick in the second round of the NBA draft, had a fine career at Michigan—albeit a brief one after spending two yeas in Ann Arbor. He averaged 12 points and 4.9 rebounds as a Wolverine.
While he has to work on his outside shot to make a true impact in the NBA, his athleticism and above-the-rim play is a thing of beauty.
3. Tim Hardaway Jr.
Tim Hardaway Jr. just had himself a fine rookie year in the NBA with the New York Knicks while earning a spot on the NBA All-Rookie First Team after averaging 10.2 points and shooting .363 percent from three-point range. However, Michigan fans will remember Hardaway for his scintillating play above the rim.
Hardaway was an instrumental part in helping Michigan get to the 2013 NCAA title game with his ability to get to the rim at will. In his junior season, before he declared for the NBA draft, Hardaway averaged 14.5 points and 4.6 rebounds.
What Hardaway will be known for, though, was the way he attacked the hoop with some dazzling rim-rattling dunks. Check out the authoritative jam he put down in a game at Indiana above for proof.
2. Brent Petway
Whether it was because of his nickname “Air Georgia” (he was from Griffin, Georgia), or “Thunder Petway,” as he came to be known while he played with the Harlem Globetrotters, Brent Petway was a legend in his time at Michigan for his propensity to jump out of the gym.
Although he only averaged 5.8 points for his career at Michigan, Petway was known for his jaw-dropping vertical leap, which he used to throw down monster dunks while also swatting a fair share of shots.
Petway never made it to the NBA, but he has had a solid career otherwise, as he now plays on the Olympiacos team in the Greek league. He is also known for winning the inaugural NBA D-League Slam Dunk contest in 2008.
1. Manny Harris
If you could dunk on LeBron James, you are probably doing something right. Check the video above to see for yourself.
Save for his dunk on James, Harris hasn't done much to separate himself in the NBA, but he was quite the player in his days as a Wolverine. Harris finished his career 10th on Michigan's all-time scoring list with 1,668 points.
Blessed with a great first step and quickness to separate from defenders, Harris was a highlight reel just waiting to happen every night he stepped on the floor.
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