NBA Draft 2011: Kenneth Faried and the 10 Best Dunkers in the Draft
One of the most exciting plays in basketball is a jaw-dropping dunk. The 2011 NBA Draft features a number of players that can pull off some outstanding dunks.
Some of the players who make this list were introduced to us in the NCAA Tournament like Kenneth Faried.
Others, like Derrick Williams, are players whose vertical and athleticism were showcased throughout the entire college basketball season on national television.
Regardless of the coverage these players have received, there is no denying that these 10 players have what it takes to amaze NBA fans with their highlight dunks.
Let's take a look at the top 10 best dunkers in the upcoming 2011 NBA Draft.
10. Chris Singleton: Florida State
Chris Singleton was the emotional leader for the Florida State Seminoles throughout the 2010-2011 season.
He impacted the game with his outstanding defensive play by grabbing key rebounds and swatting shots back at the opposing player.
While he is most known for his defensive skills, Singleton also utilizes his great vertical leap on the offensive side of the ball too.
Singleton was often able to rise above anybody who tried to contain him in the paint and he provided some great highlights throughout the season.
Look for Singleton to be an impact player in the NBA with his excellent dunking and rebounding capabilities.
Here, Singleton shows off an intricate dunk for the fans during the pre-season.
9. Scotty Hopson: Tennessee
At 6'7", 200 pounds, Tennessee forward Scotty Hopson has dazzled Tennessee fans throughout his career with his ability to rise up and throw down.
He is projected to be picked in the second round, but Hopson believes his game is ready for the NBA.
Over the past year, he has consistently worked to improve his jump shot and has become an above average jump shooter which is a nice compliment to his athleticism.
But Hopson has always been athletic and that will definitely carry over to the next level.
He has made defenders look silly when he blows by them for a dunk (for example, the dunk above).
There is no doubt that he'll continue to impress fans with his athleticism for years to come in the NBA.
8. Keith Benson: Oakland
Keith Benson was one of the most talented big men in the entire 2011 NCAA Tournament.
He absolutely dominated conference opponents, claiming the Summit League's Player of the Year and breaking numerous conference and school records in rebounds, blocks, and points.
Benson isn't the flashiest player in the draft and that carries over into his dunking style.
He won't pull off 360 windmills or anything of that nature, but when Benson gets close to the rim, watch out.
He can rise up and slam the ball down with ferociousness.
Benson has the potential to be a big-time post player in the NBA and he will show other players very quickly that he can hold his own down low with anyone.
7. Matthew Bryan-Amaning: Washington
Matthew Bryan-Amaning is a very quick and athletic forward who utilizes those qualities when driving to the rim for a dunk.
Amaning rises up just as good as anyone in college basketball and is No. 7 on my list of the best 10 dunkers in the 2011 NBA Draft.
He is a very raw player who hustles hard for rebounds and to block shots.
But in order to succeed in the NBA, Amaning must persistently work on his shooting mechanics so he can become a more consistent shooter.
However, there is no question that Amaning will bring speed, hustle and extreme athleticism to whichever team drafts him.
In this video, Amaning almost jumps completely over his defender in order to get to the rim.
6. David Lighty: Ohio State
Although it seemed like twenty years, forward David Lighty's career has finally come to a close at Ohio State.
Lighty was riddled by injury while with Ohio State, but that did not stop him from making highlight plays for the Buckeyes.
He's a great defender with his length and has a great all-around game.
And with all of his experience, Lighty has the ability to be an effective leader on the floor as someone other players can look to.
Even with all of these great qualities, perhaps Lighty's best moment as a Buckeye came when he threw down this gorgeous dunk against Cleveland State.
It's dunks like these that prove that Lighty is one of the best dunkers heading into the NBA Draft later this month.
5. Kenneth Faried: Morehead State
Kenneth Faried instantly became one of the most beloved players in the 2011 NCAA Tournament.
Part of the reason was because he was the star player on a cinderella Morehead State team that upset Louisville in the first round.
But it was mostly due to Faried's tenacity that he showed in all aspects of the game.
Simply put, he rebounds the basketball like a mad man.
He pulled in 20 or more rebounds in five of Morehead State's games this past season and got at least 10 rebounds in all but four games.
Scouts say that Faried reminds them of Dennis Rodman because of his aggression on the boards.
With that said, Faried is also one of the most athletic players in the draft and he shows this through some of his dunks over the years.
Watch him pull off an outstanding windmill dunk in the middle of a regular season game this past season.
4. Kawhi Leonard: San Diego State
Sophomore forward Kawhi Leonard was the star player of the upstart San Diego State Aztecs this past season.
Leonard could do it all. He has a reliable jump shot, enough to stretch the defense outside.
He has a 7'1" wingspan, so Leonard can be a relentless rebounder as well as shot blocker. And he can be an above average dribbler for a man at the forward position.
But his best quality is his speed and athleticism with his 6'7" frame. This is best seen when Leonard rises up for a dunk after running the court flawlessly.
Leonard's style of play has often been compared to Shawn Marion of the Dallas Mavericks.
In this video, the most impressive thing is how Leonard is able to hustle to save the ball as it goes out of bounds and then gather himself in order to slam it through the basket.
3. Alec Burks: Colorado
Alec Burks is a dynamic player that not too many people have heard of outside the state of Colorado.
In fact, Burks is so good that he is expected to be a first round pick and maybe even a lottery pick come late June.
He is an explosive player who has a great talent for getting to the rim.
Burks has a great shot as well and can force defenders to guard him beyond the three-point line.
He can do it all on the offensive side of the ball and will make an instant impact in the NBA.
Make sure to keep an eye on Burks next season and look out for his highlight dunks that Colorado fans have become so accustomed to seeing this past season.
2. Josh Selby: Kansas
Josh Selby was arguably the best high school prospect coming into college basketball this season.
Although, his expectations did not quite come to fruition at Kansas, Selby still declared himself for the draft.
Teams are high on his athleticism and pure potential, but Selby has some character issues that he must address in order for teams to feel comfortable selecting him.
Regardless of his character issues, there is no denying that Selby is one of the premier dunkers in the 2011 NBA Draft.
He only had 13 games to show it this season, but Selby is a dynamic scorer who can beat you with his jump shot or his athletic moves to the basket.
Selby is a truly gifted athlete and he shows it off here in the video above.
1. Travis Leslie: Georgia
Travis Leslie is a freak athlete.
Although he could never lead Georgia to much success in the NCAA Tournament, Leslie was an individual star for the Bulldogs.
He can absolutely jump out of the gym,as you'll see here in this dunk video.
There is no question he is the best dunker out of this class of prospects in the 2011 NBA Draft.
He'll be instantly one of the top dunkers in the NBA next season and look out for him to make many appearances in the Slam Dunk Contest.
This guy is just exciting to watch, especially when he posterizes DeMarcus Cousins.
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