Slam-dunk standouts to watch in 2012-13

August, 16, 2012
8/16/12
10:32
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Editor's note: The art of dunking has brought excitement to the game. It also has created chaos in arenas around the nation and provided plenty of challenges for coaches, says Myron Medcalf.

The 2012-13 season is just a few months away. If you’re searching for walking highlight reels, follow these rising (literally) stars. Or, just turn on “SportsCenter” throughout the year. You’ll probably see them.

This isn't a comprehensive list, but here are some guys who can really throw down a dunk (in alphabetical order):

Deuce Bello (Baylor) -- Last season, ESPN captured Bello’s behind-the-back, 360 dunk during a shoot at Baylor. Yes, a behind-the-back, 360 dunk. He made it look easy, too. Next season he’ll play a lot more, and that extra time should translate to more highlights.

Ryan Boatright (Connecticut) -- The 6-foot guard doesn’t look the part of a high-flier, but Boatright gets up. The second-year Huskies guard is one of the most explosive guards in the country. He can beat defenders with his speed and ballhandling, and he's not afraid to climb and go to the bucket.

Markel Brown (Oklahoma State) -- Last season, Brown was ejected after earning his second technical foul in a Big 12 game. His crime? He stared at a defender after his one-handed alley-oop slam set Stillwater on fire during a matchup against Missouri.

Ramon Galloway (La Salle) -- The La Salle guard is versatile. He averaged 14.1 ppg for the Explorers and shot 44.2 percent from beyond the arc. But he unveiled another element of his game -- an arsenal of ridiculous dunks -- during an NIT matchup against Minnesota in March.

Nick Johnson (Arizona) -- The 6-3 shooting guard created an archive of highlights in high school. He added a few more to his collection last season, his first at Arizona. He’s an athletic young star with surprising bounce.

James Michael McAdoo (North Carolina) -- The Tar Heels lost a lot of talent to the NBA this offseason, but McAdoo returned and should be a star. With Tyler Zeller and John Henson in front of him, McAdoo logged 15.6 minutes per game last season. But the 6-9 spectacle showed flashes of his above-the-rim potential throughout the campaign.

Mason Plumlee (Duke) -- You know what they say about guys like Plumlee: Big men can’t jump. Well, Plumlee dispels many myths with his leaping ability and aggressiveness. The 6-11 senior can glide with the best of them. Check out his infamous “three-ball” dunk on YouTube.

[+] EnlargeMinnesota's Rodney Williams
AP Photo/Kiichiro SatoMinnesota's Rodney Williams is worth watching any time he has the ball near the rim.
Marshawn Powell (Arkansas) -- Last year, Powell tore his ACL in practice. Before his injury, the Arkansas star was one of the most athletic players in the country. He’s back this season. Look for him to take to the air again.

Andre Roberson (Colorado) -- Roberson goes to the rim with bad intentions. Colorado’s 6-7 wing is always forceful when he attacks the rim. He’s not limited to dunks, either. But it’s definitely an entertaining component within his game.

Victor Rudd (South Florida) -- I was in Dayton for the First Four when Rudd rocked the rim in South Florida’s lopsided win over California in March. The 6-7 forward is a special athlete. Earlier this week, I asked Rudd the feeling he gets when he dunks. “I kind of like that noise,” he said. He’ll hear it often this season.

Rodney Williams (Minnesota) -- As a freshman, Williams was listed as a potential NBA draft pick in various mock drafts. He certainly has NBA-level athleticism. He can dunk over you. He can glide from the free throw line. He can twirl in midair. When he has the ball with room to fly, you shouldn’t blink.

Patric Young (Florida) -- Young is a 6-9 forward who always goes hard to the rim. His biggest problem last season was the limited touches he received in Florida’s guard-heavy offense. But the 247-pound big man tries to rip the rim off whenever he’s in position for the dunk.

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