Kentucky v Ohio State

List of college underclassmen who declared for NBA draft, so far

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Tuesday is the big day — at least the NCAA says it’s the big day. The NBA says April 29 is the big day.

Let me explain (if you want more details as always DraftExpress has them). If you scan below you will see a list, courtesy our fine friends at the Associated Press, of all the college underclassmen who have announced for the NBA draft up to this point.

Under a new, unilateral NCAA rule, those players (if they have not hired an agent) have until this Tuesday (April 10) to withdraw their name from the NBA draft. Meaning if your name is still on that list as of April 11 you are in the draft.

But here’s the kicker — the NBA says you do not have to declare for the draft until April 29. Anthony Davis, the lock No. 1 pick out of Kentucky, has said he plans to take up to that deadline to make up his mind. A lot of guys are going to take their time. The thing is, after April 10 if you add your name to the draft list there is no backing out.

Why would the NCAA do this? Why would the NCAA do a lot of things? But in this case it’s to pressure players to make an early decision so that when the spring National Letter of Intent signing period opens the coaches will have a better idea of how many spots to fill. Forget about letting young men test the waters of the draft, get a real feel from teams where they stand, then make an informed decision. That doesn’t help the schools. So screw the kids, try to make them decide early.

Anyway, here is the list. Anybody on this list can back out before Wednesday, although most likely will stay in.

Harrison Barnes, forward, North Carolina
J’Covan Brown, guard, Texas
Moe Harkless, swingman, St. John’s
John Henson, forward, North Carolina
Meyers Leonard, center, Illinois
Damian Lillard, guard, Weber St.
Kendall Marshall, guard, North Carolina
Fab Melo, center, Syracuse
Arnett Moultrie, forward, Mississippi St.
Austin Rivers, guard, Duke
Terrence Ross, guard, Washington
Renardo Sidney, forward, Mississippi St.
Jared Sullinger, forward, Ohio State
Hollis Thompson, forward, Georgetown
Dion Waiters, guard, Syracuse
Maalik Wayns, guard, Villanova
Royce White, forward, Iowa State
Tony Wroten, guard, Washington
B.J. Young, guard, Arkansas

Aaron Gordon both legs over the mascot, ball-under-the-legs dunk (VIDEO)

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TORONTO — Zach LaVine won the NBA All-Star Saturday Dunk Contest, but in an epic night for my money this was the single best dunk.

Orlando’s Aaron Gordon broke ground with this one — guys have jumped over mascots and other players before (and a Kia hood), but by splitting their legs apart. Gordon just put both legs over Stuff (that’s the mascot’s name, Stuff the Magic Dragon, I don’t make this up) — and took the ball off the mascot’s head, went under his legs, and threw it down.

Insane.

Gordon deserved a trophy for his performance in this dunk contest.

Zach LaVine edges Aaron Gordon in epic, insane Dunk Contest

Minnesota Timberwolves Zach LaVine slam dunks the ball during the NBA all-star skills competition in Toronto on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016. (Mark Blinch/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
Associated Press
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TORONTO — That. Was. Amazing.

In a dunk contest that will go down with the all-time greats — Jordan vs. Dominique, Dr. J from the free throw line — Minnesota’s Zach LaVine defended his dunk contest title. Barely. Because Orlando’s Aaron Gordon was doing dunks nobody had ever seen before.

And LaVine was bringing it just as hard.

The two men advanced to the finals — dismissing Will Barton and Andre Drummond, each of whom had good dunks — and that was when it got wild.

There were four second-round dunks, and four perfect scores of 50. (That was in spite of Shaq, who wanted to give nines for second attempts.)

“I was prepared for four (second round dunks),” LaVine said. “To tell the truth, he came with something that no one else has done. He did two dunks that were just crazy with the mascots, jumping over them. We just kept pushing each other until the last dunk. I’ve got to give it up to my boy Will “The Thrill” Barton. It’s because of him I think I won. Because he said try to go from the free-throw line. I’d never done that before, and I just tried it. So I guess it was a great dunk. I think it was the best one ever.”

The Air Canada Centre crowd was exploding with every dunk. The two men went to a dunk-off — and got two more 50s.

“If I knew it was going to be like that, I would have prepared better and we would have been here dunking all night, going back 50 after 50 after 50 after 50,” Gordon said. “We would have been here all night. I didn’t know it was going to be like that. I was just hoping Zach was going to miss, and it wasn’t going to happen. You could see as my facial expressions when Zach dunks it, it’s like okay, that’s a 50. Like I know we’re going to have to dunk again.”

So they went to a second-round of overtime, where LaVine put up another 50 and won the contest.

Gordon was close to perfect.

Zach LaVine can flat-out fly.

Magic’s Aaron Gordon with the over-the-mascot mad dunk

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TORONTO — Aaron Gordon was giving Zach LaVine all he could handle in the Dunk Contest.

He blew the lid off the Air Canada Centre with this dunk in the first round — and it wasn’t even his best dunk of the night. Never seen this before.

This dunk contest was awesome, so much more video to come.

Zach LaVine opens Slam Dunk Contest title defense with spectacular behind-the-back slam (VIDEO)

during the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge 2016 at Air Canada Centre on February 12, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
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TORONTO — Zach LaVine clearly heard all the talk that Aaron Gordon or Will Barton had a chance to upset him in the Slam Dunk Contest. He came out ready to prove his superiority right off the bat. This behind-the-back slam was his first attempt of the night:

Even better was the reaction, both from Andre Drummond and from LaVine’s Minnesota teammates: