For my installment of the Tops of the Decade, I’ll be looking at the top 10 UK basketball shots from the last 10 years. Of course, this list is merely my opinion and probably omits some other truly great shots. I weighted them in no particular way, just what made me the happiest. And before you let me hear it in the comments, just know Jodie’s 54 doesn’t appear because that’s a whole list in and of itself. Enjoy!
#10 February 15, 2005 – Azubuike Hammers on USC
First, picking a favorite Azubuike dunk is like Will trying to pick his favorite Jonas Brother. There are just so many good ones commiting yourself to one seems silly. But I loved this one based on a couple things- 1. Definitely Azubuike playing like Tarzan. 2. He cocked it back before he threw it down. I wouldn’t have gotten in his way, either.
#9 November 16, 2009 – Legacy of Wall Begins
To me, it doesn’t really matter than John Wall has only been invovled with UK basketball for just over 6 months. When this season is said and done, and he rides off into the college basketball sunset, he will go down in the annals of UK history. Wall will always be one of us. He is ours. This is where his UK legend began.
#8 January 14, 2004 – E-Diddy Cleans Up The Mess
At the time, UK went to Starkville with a #5 ranking and an 11-1 record. They left by the skin of their teeth when Erik Daniels cleaned up a busted play. That’s what I loved about the guy. He always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. Not bad for a Tubby recruit signed late (like, really late) in the Spring period as almost an afterthought. Who knew he would become one of my favorite Cats?
#7 February 10, 2009 – Jodie Became Jodie
This shot meant more than just a W over the Gators. It stopped a 3-game slide that saw the Cats lose at home to both South Carolina and Mississippi State. Had UK lost this game, it would have ended the season on a 2-9 skid. Instead it was a much more respectable 3-8 (seriously, how did BCG last as long as he did?). But this shot is another testament to Jodie Meeks. He wanted the ball. Didn’t matter if his shot was closely guarded and off balance, he was taking it. Who in their right mind would tell this guy to stop shooting?
#6 March 17, 2009 – Perry Stevenson’s Crowing Moment
I think this dunk even surprised him. Give him credit, though, as he handled it like he’d been there before. It’s just a shame the announcer had to be a buzzkill by saying “What a crowd for a first round NIT game!” Jerk.
#5 March 12, 2005 – Hayes Upsets The Baby
When, during his senior season, the Athletics Department began promoting Chuck as an All-American, they used the slogan “All He Does Is Win”. Instances like this video prove that statement true. You know over his last 3 seasons UK went 87-15? Like Erik Daniels, Chuck was always in the right place at the right time. That comes from just outworking the competition. He’s still proving it true in Houston. I love Chuck. We all do.
#4 January 21, 2006 – Rondo For Three?
When you look at the underacheiving ’05-’06 Cats, who would you give the ball to if you needed a game-winning three? Patrick Sparks? Ravi Moss? Joe Crawford? All would be excellent choices. If you made a list of players that you would NOT want to take the shot, Woo, Randolph Morris and Rondo would top my list. I’m sure Tubby didn’t draw it up that way, either.
#3 March 27, 2005 – “And He Goes Over And Gives Billy Packer A High Five!”
The only thing that keeps this from being #1 is the fact we lost in overtime. How would the course of UK basketball history be different if we had won that game? Would Tubby still be here? Would we already have #8? But one thing is for sure- we don’t even get to OT if Sparks doesn’t hit this shot. I also love how he goes all 8 Mile after he hits it.
#2 December 8, 2001 – “He’s Got The Puppy Scent Off The Bus!”
I don’t even know what Bill Raftery was talking about when he said that, but I give hom a pass because he probably couldn’t form coherent thoughts after watching Tayshaun go off on UNC. I know I couldn’t. What I love most is “the look” on Tay’s face. It said “I can’t explain it, but for tonight, you can’t stop me.”
#1 December 18, 2004 – Happy Feet
–So #1 is not one shot but rather 3 free throws. Louisville fans can claim he walked twice in that 2.5 second span, but it doesn’t matter. They deserved to be penalized for their senior leader fouling a jump shooter. Somehow I think we won’t need late-game heroics to win this Saturday.
Hope these brought back some good memories. Go Cats!