Entering the season, Oregon State guard Jared Cunningham was established as one of the nation’s most dangerous defenders after finishing fifth in the country with 2.8 steals a game in 2010-11.
This year, though, Cunningham has been making more of a splash on the offensive end.
The Beavers’ leading scorer (17.2 points a game) pulled off one of the flashiest dunks of the season last night in a home romp against Howard. Early in the first half, junior forward Joe Burton took a pass in transition and lofted an alley-oop to the wide open Cunningham, who twisted into a picture-perfect reverse over the stunned Bison defenders.
Sadly, the gorgeous slam was one of just two field goals Cunningham hit on the night. He finished with only 10 points, though he did dish out six assists in the 93-72 win.
Cunningham’s improved offensive presence hasn’t hurt his defense any—he’s up to 3.0 steals a game this year—but the Beavers could still be in for a rough season in 2011-12.
One of their two losses so far was a 14-point pummeling in Corvallis at the hands of a lackluster Idaho team, during which Cunningham himself scored a season-low seven points.
Still, with highlights like this one, Cunningham should give OSU fans something to cheer about this year, regardless of the squad’s other problems.