San Diego State guard Jamaal Franklin is expected to make a big jump next season in his sophomore year with the Aztecs in rebuilding mode, and he recently showed off his high-flying abilities by attacking the rim. Unfortunately for the 6-foot-5 Franklin, the rim fought back and hit him right in the mouth.
Here is a picture of Franklin after losing a tooth.
Franklin told AztecSportsReport.com he needed five hours at the dentist on Tuesday to put the front tooth back into place and also had this recollection of hitting his mouth on the rim.
"LaBradford Franklin [a teammate] threw me an oop," Franklin said. "And I went to dunk it, and my tooth got caught in between the net and the rim and as I was coming down, it just came out."
Franklin said there was a lot of blood, and the reaction from fans watching the Aztecs play in SDSU's on-campus gym ranged from "grossed out" to "surprised."
"I think that's probably the highest I've ever jumped," Franklin said.
It's San Diego State coach Steve Fisher who should have a wide smile after hearing about the incident and the athleticism he has coming back next season. Kawhi Leonard leaving school for the NBA draft meant the Aztecs would lose four starters off their Sweet 16 team and need the underclassmen to play larger roles.
Franklin is perhaps best remembered for being whistled for a controversial dead-ball technical foul while making contact with UConn's Kemba Walker in the Sweet 16, but he was also relied upon in those moments to guard Walker. His leaping ability gives San Diego State another dimension, and he'll be needed to play more than the 8.1 minutes he averaged as a freshman.
So smile, San Diego State. Or at least manage a gap-toothed grin. There's still plenty to be excited about.