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Willie Cauley-Stein’s slam at Florida named Best Dunk of Calipari Era

Over the past few weeks, the folks behind the official Kentucky Basketball Twitter account have been running a series of polls to determine the best dunk of the John Calipari Era. The fans have spoken, and by a very narrow margin, Willie Cauley-Stein’s dunk at Florida in 2015 beat out James Young’s slam in the 2014 National Championship game for the title:

I was fortunate enough to witness both dunks in person and, although Young’s was incredible, nothing will ever top Willie putting poor Devin Robinson on a poster. The energy in the O-Dome was at a fever pitch when Willie took flight, and the slam was so magnificent that even Gators fans got out of their seats. Looking back, it may go down as the perfect representation of how dominant that team was. We were all Rock Oliver:

What other dunks were on the list? Here were the original seedings:

  • No. 1 seed: James Young with the nasty slam in the 2014 National Championship
  • No, 2 seed: Willie Cauley-Stein’s throwdown from the SEC logo against Florida in 2015
  • No. 3 seed: Willie Cauley-Stein poster slam against Cincinnati in 2015
  • No. 4 seed: Jamal Murray climbing the ladder against South Carolina in 2016
  • No. 5 seed: Darius Miller’s one-handed lob against St. John’s in 2011
  • No. 6 seed: Darius Miller poster slam against Ole Miss
  • No. 7 seed: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist breakaway dunk against Portland in 2011
  • No. 8 seed: Anthony Davis’ throwdown vs. Louisville in the 2012 Final Four
  • No. 9 seed: Eric Bledsoe’s cram on Wake Forest in the 2010 NCAA Tournament
  • No. 10 seed: Marcus Lee’s off-the-backboard alley-oop from Tyler Ulis against South Carolina in 2016

I miss basketball.


Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

15 Comments for Willie Cauley-Stein’s slam at Florida named Best Dunk of Calipari Era

  1. snarkster
    1:44 pm June 10, 2019 Permalink

    The best WCS dunk by far was one he had at Auburn where he drove from way out on the left wing, but it’s now impossible to find a clip of it for some reason.

    • ClutchCargo
      2:21 pm June 10, 2019 Permalink

      It is evidence in an ongoing murder investigation.

  2. BUCats
    1:55 pm June 10, 2019 Permalink

    Terrence Jones had a nasty dunk against South Carolina in 2011 –

  3. ClutchCargo
    2:20 pm June 10, 2019 Permalink

    My personal favorite was the one against Cincinnati in the Yum! Center. It was special if only because of all the yapping they did prior to the game. I think there is still a chalk outline of that guy on the court.

  4. TrumanClaytor>BoLanter
    2:26 pm June 10, 2019 Permalink

    John Wall dunk in transition,jumping over and around Indiana player – still my favorite. At that moment, Kentucky officially became the cool team again!

  5. sincitycat
    2:53 pm June 10, 2019 Permalink

    Best and only dunk I witnessed during the Coach Rupp era: Dan Issel dunking on a breakaway during a freshman game in Memorial. Coach Rupp did not let his players dunk so the student section went bananas when Dan through one down. I met Dan in Colorado once and asked him about the dunk. He laughed and said Assistant Coach Harry Lancaster “suggested” he not do it again.

  6. natertatter
    2:54 pm June 10, 2019 Permalink

    this is to funny the best dunk in the cal era isnt even a dunk ,he threw it in and never touched the rim.

  7. Cousins Fake Tooth
    3:36 pm June 10, 2019 Permalink

    Repeat after me….


  8. UKSam
    4:09 pm June 10, 2019 Permalink

    Perry Stevenson’s dunk against UNLV was good (much better than the blocked free throw). But all time for me was the classic Dirk Minniefield looking into the rim dunk.

  9. UKinmyblood
    4:15 pm June 10, 2019 Permalink

    I look back at that team Willie was on and STILL cannot believe we lost to [email protected] Wisconsin.

    • Ol Jim
      5:32 pm June 10, 2019 Permalink

      I know. How the hell did that happen?

  10. mashman 93
    5:55 pm June 10, 2019 Permalink

    James Young actually dunked the ball. WCS had some great dunks in his career at Kentucky but that wasn’t one of them because he didn’t dunk it.

  11. dctawk
    11:10 pm June 10, 2019 Permalink

    Cous’, whether it’s a dunk or not, it just won the most epic 10 year long dunk contest this website has comprised.

    • dctawk
      11:17 pm June 10, 2019 Permalink

      And, yes, on the video replay, his fingers actually hit the rim. So, it was a dunk.