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Dunk the Funk!

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 12:47pm

The dunk is what many view as a symbol of athletic prowess in basketball. Few plays in basketball cause such a reaction as a beautifully orchestrated alley-oop, a fastbreak slam or a "poster" dunk on an opposing player. They may only be worth two points, but dunks can swing momentum, quieting an opposing crowd as well as cause a home crowd to erupt. Not surprisingly, players who typically play closer to the basket tend to amass the most dunks. DeAndre Jordan led the league in the regular season at 245 (nearly 3 per game), accounting for just over 70% of his total field goals. Some others who averaged over 2 dunks per game include Dwight Howard, Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond and Anthony Davis.

Cory JeffersonCory JeffersonIn this list of 100 college players, you will not see a single player that averaged 2 dunks per contest. This could be due to the tighter college game, though recent talents Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond and Anthony Davis all managed over 2 per contest in their final (or only) college season. Louisville returnee Montrezl Harrell was the only college player this season who broke the 2 per game plateau, with 88 total dunks. The list of current NBA Draft hopefuls gives a glimpse of how often they threw down this year. Indeed, the players who played closer to the basket are amongst the leaders. Size seems to play a part, though athleticism and strength, as well as ball handling also help in creating dunk opportunities.

While we may not have players who are going to be getting more than a couple dunks per game on average, there could be a number joining the NBA dunk leaders. Jabari Parker certainly has the size, strength and ability that should translate to his getting a high number of throw downs. Aaron Gordon should absolutely benefit from a more wide open court. Certainly, Andrew Wiggins could join the "100 dunk club" if he adds strength and is given the minutes, opportunities most expect for him in his NBA transition. The player who seems destined to average at least a couple per game at some point is Joel Embiid, who upon a hopefully healthy return from injury, seems destined to be an absolute post nightmare.

This list was gathered from the play-by-play statistics at Statsheet.com, who note that not all games have play-by-play data and there can be occasional errors. While this list may not be perfect, it gives an idea of who was dunking the most and how often. Unfortunately, due to lack of data, the list is missing potential draftees DeAndre Daniels, Melvin Ejim and DeAndre Kane. Dunks are not necessarily an "official statistic" and you can take from this what you will, though it is certainly fun to see who had the most out of these potential draftees. Listed are the number of dunks, number of games played and the average per game. Found some surprises among the leaders, plus maybe a possible debate into what these numbers mean and how they could translate to the next level. For NBA dunk numbers since the 2000-01 season, check the "Shooting" charts on player profiles at www.basketball-reference.com.

Total Dunks

1. Cory Jefferson, PF: 66 (38 games, 1.73 per game)
2. Jabari Parker, SF/PF: 60 (35, 1.71)
3. KJ McDaniels, SF: 59 (36, 1.63)
4. Ronald Roberts, PF: 57 (32, 1.78)
5. Aaron Gordon, PF: 55 (35, 1.44)
6. Sim Bhullar, C: 52 (30, 1.73)
7. Alex Kirk, C: 46 (32, 1.43)
t-8. Shawn Jones, PF: 44 (33, 1.33)
t-8. Richard Solomon, PF: 44 (30, 1.46)
10. Juvonte Reddic, PF: 43 (35, 1.22)
t-11. Khem Birch, PF: 42 (33, 1.27)
t-11. Aaric Murray, C: 42 (34, 1.24)
13. Jordan Bachynski, C: 41 (33, 1.24)
14. Adreian Payne, PF: 38 (31, 1.22)
t-15. Javon McCrea, PF: 37 (29, 1.27)
t-15. Julius Randle, PF: 37 (40, 0.92)
17. Ovie Soko, PF: 36 (30, 1.2)
18. James McAdoo, PF: 35 (34, 1.02)
19. Cameron Bairstow, PF: 34 (34, 1.0)
t-20. Glenn Robinson III, SF: 33 (37, 0.89)
t-20. JaKarr Sampson, SF: 33 (33, 1.0)
t-20. Andrew Wiggins, SF: 33 (35, 0.94)
t-20. TJ Warren, SF: 33 (35, 0.94)
t-24. Casey Prather, SF: 32 (37, 0.86)
t-24. Kyle Casey, PF: 32 (32, 1.0)
t-24. Talib Zanna, PF: 32 (35, 0.91)
t-27. Josh Huestis, SF: 30 (36, 0.83)
t-27. Shayne Whittington, PF/C: 30 (31, 0.96)
t-27. Joel Embiid, C: 30 (28, 1.07)
t-30. Nick Johnson, SG: 28 (38, 0.73)
t-30. Jerami Grant, SF/PF: 28 (32, 0.87)
32. Isaiah Austin, PF/C: 27 (38, 0.71)
t-33. Isaiah Armwood, PF: 26 (33, 0.78)
t-33. Patric Young, PF/C: 26 (39, 0.66)
t-33. Daniel Miller, C: 26 (33, 0.78)
t-36. Markel Brown, SG: 25 (34, 0.73)
t-36. Justin Jackson Cinci, PF: 25 (34, 0.73)
t-36. Jordan Morgan, PF: 25 (37, 0.67)
t-36. Jarnell Stokes, PF: 25 (37, 0.67)
t-40. Elfrid Payton, PG: 24 (35, 0.68)
t-40. Noah Vonleh, PF: 24 (30, 0.8)
42. Omar Oraby, C: 23 (32, 0.71)
t-43. Gary Harris, SG: 22 (35, 0.62)
t-43. Dwight Powell, PF: 22 (36, 0.61)
t-45. Zach LaVine, PG/SG: 21 (37, 0.56)
t-45. Tarik Black, C: 21 (33, 0.63)
t-47. Kendrick Perry, PG: 20 (32, 0.62)
t-47. Orlando Sanchez, PF: 20 (32, 0.62)
t-47. Johnny OBryant, PF/C: 20 (34, 0.58)
t-47. Sam Dower, PF/C: 20 (34, 0.58)
51. James Young, SG/SF: 19 (40, 0.47)
t-52. Will Sheehey, SF: 18 (31, 0.58)
t-52. Cleanthony Early, SF: 18 (36, 0.5)
54. CJ Fair, SF: 16 (34, 0.47)
t-55. Deonte Burton , PG: 15 (32, 0.46)
t-55. Walt Lemon, PG: 15 (32, 0.46)
t-55. Austin Hollins, SG: 15 (38, 0.39)
t-55. Jordan McRae, SG: 15 (37, 0.4)
t-55. Rodney Hood, SF: 15 (35, 0.42)
t-60. Nik Stauskas, SG: 14 (36, 0.38)
t-60. Taylor Braun, SG/SF: 14 (32, 0.43)
t-60. Roscoe Smith, PF: 14 (31, 0.45)
63. Marcus Smart, PG/SG: 13 (31, 0.41)
t-64. Cameron Clark, SF: 12 (33, 0.36)
t-64. Mike Moser, PF: 12 (34, 0.35)
t-64. Brendan Lane, PF: 12 (30, 0.4)
t-67. Semaj Christon, PG: 11 (34, 0.32)
t-67. Kendall Williams, PG: 11 (34, 0.32)
t-67. Jamil Wilson, SF: 11 (32, 0.34)
t-67. Alec Brown, PF/C: 11 (30, 0.36)
t-71. Devin Oliver, SF: 10 (37, 0.27)
t-71. Eric Moreland, PF/C: 10 (20, 0.5)
t-73. Joe Jackson, PG: 9 (34, 0.26)
t-73. Bryce Cotton, PG: 9 (35, 0.25)
t-73. Keith Appling, PG: 9 (35, 0.25)
t-73. Jordan Clarkson, PG/SG: 9 (35, 0.25)
t-73. Doug McDermott, SF: 9 (35, 0.25)
t-73. Devon Collier, SF/PF: 9 (30, 0.3)
t-79. Russ Smith, PG/SG: 8 (37, 0.21)
t-79. Drew Crawford, SG: 8 (32, 0.25)
t-79. Lamar Patterson, SG/SF: 8 (36, 0.22)
t-79. CJ Wilcox, SG: 8 (32, 0.25)
t-79. Jerrelle Benimon, PF: 8 (36, 0.22)
t-79. Jabari Brown, SG: 8 (35, 0.22)
t-85. Isaiah Sykes, SF: 7 (30, 0.23)
t-85. Kyle Anderson, SF: 7 (36, 0.19)
t-87. Roy Devyn Marble, SG: 5 (33, 0.15)
t-87. LaQuinton Ross, SF/PF: 5 (35, 0.14)
t-89. Spencer Dinwiddie, PG/SG: 4 (17, 0.23)
t-89. Jahii Carson, PG: 4 (33, 0.12)
t-89. Sean Kilpatrick, SG: 4 (34, 0.11)
t-89. Mitch McGary, PF/C: 4 (8, 0.5)
93. Justin Cobbs, PG: 3 (35, 0.08)
t-94. Tyler Ennis: 2 (34, 0.05)
t-94. Fuquan Edwin: 2 (29, 0.06)
96. Joe Harris: 1 (37, 0.02)
t-97. Shabazz Napier: 0 (40)
t-97. Aaron Craft: 0 (35)
t-97. Xavier Thames: 0 (36)
t-97. Jordan Adams: 0 (36)

mike_r232
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HAHA

HAHA to Jordan Adams at 0! That's just sad.

CavFanPR
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Mitch McGary @ 4? WTF, David

Mitch McGary @ 4? WTF, David Lee 2.0. Impressed that Wiggins only had 33 dunks and still averaged 17 PPG. That shows his game doesn't rely solely on athleticism. Surprised Parker had that many dunks too.

nill650
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it would be sad if he was as unskilled as zack lavine

yeah if all you want is an athletic guard who is a dunk machine draft deonte burton or markel brown.

Of course in defense of adams, thames being effective at the next level etc; when is the last time you saw kyrie irving dunk?

its irrelevant.

nill650
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why have mcgary even listed?

for a player out almost all season its kind of redundant.

Moon River
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Elfrid Payton

Wow- tied at #40 with Vonleh. I was hoping he would fall to the Bulls at 16 but don't think Payton will make it that far anymore.

mikeyvthedon
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Just showing Mitch McGary averaged one every other game

Did not think that was a bad thing. The year before, he had 28 in 39 games (0.72 average). Felt there was no harm in lising him as a draft prospect, obviously knowing there was a sort of "asterisk" with his only having played 8 games, which I listed.

Also, for Kyrie Irving, he has 9 in his NBA career (one every 20 games or so). He didn't have any in college. Certainly it is not the end all, especially in the case of smaller guards, some of whom never play above the rim. Just was a list that I thought might give some people a kick. Not much beyond that, just something that I know is not really listed anywhere and might be of interest.

ProudGrandpa
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McGary only played 8 games.

McGary only played 8 games. If he played a full season, yes, he would be below-average for a big man, but he would still post a respectable number.

Lindsey
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Look at Sim Bhullar and his

Look at Sim Bhullar and his beastly athleticism!!!

Windy City Assassin
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Mikey V.

First off I greatly appreciate this list and I will take it for what it's worth.

Going forward with my post now, I find it amazing that the guy I know so little of leads his position in dunks. Either Elfrid Payton has some hidden athleticism or just does what he wants to do on his level of competition. All in all, I'm it's very surprising seeing Payton leading the pack, I just hope it translates over to the preofessional level.

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What I hate most when it

What I hate most when it comes to the PG position, there are more than a handful of players who dominated and showcased the ability to dunk at will on the HS level, but once they move on to the next level they rarely dunk. (Not the best example) It's mind boggling seeing a guy like Brandon Jennings performing "J.R. Rider's" in HS warmups to now being lucky enough just to catch a basic jam.

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Jordan Adams

Sad because he's 6'5'' but I say very savvy of him because he's very effective without the athleticism. I believe he will last long in the league for this feat alone.

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