On Tuesday we listed our honorable mentions and No. 10-6 plays from the past school year. Now it’s time for No. 5-1. If you missed the previous story, here’s a link to it. Once again, feel free to comment below about the list in a civil manner. Now on to No. 5
No. 5 Divine Oduduru Dances To NCAA Title
Why This Was Chosen?: Unlike the other plays on this list, this isn’t terribly difficult. Not the time, but the running 200 meters. However, because of when it happened and the finish of the race, it absolute deserves to be a Top 5 play.
The Nigerian sophomore qualified for the 200 meters at the National Championship, and was able to get a Top 8 finish in the heats to clinch a spot in the 200 meter final. He was placed on the outside lane, which isn’t a great position, but it didn’t matter.
He started off a little ahead of everyone because of positioning, but on the straightaway he was neck and neck with the best runners in the field. Eventually it came down to Oduduru and Andre Ewers of Florida State, who both crossed the finish line at nearly the same time.
It was so close that they needed to wait for the times to appear on the screen. Smartly, Oduduru leaned as he was crossing the finish line, which barely was ahead of Ewers to clinch a National Title. Just a fantastic performance by Divine Oduduru.
No. 4 Grant Little Hates Florida Too
Why This Was Chosen?: Because Grant Little can catch anything hit at him. A couple days ago, we highlighted how Little made two great catches against Oklahoma State in the same game against the same player. This time, he does it against No. 1 Florida.
Although both catches weren’t in the same game, these two catches were outstanding and perhaps better than the ones at the Big 12 tournament. They were also in bigger moments, as this was at the College World Series against the top ranked seed.
On the first catch, Deacon Liput hit a liner over the head of Little to begin the game, but the Midland outfielder quickly tracked the ball, ran back and made a stretched out diving catch. The catch didn’t allow Florida to get off to a hot start like they wanted to.
The second catch was in an elimination game tied at zero apiece in the third inning. Just like against Oklahoma State, literally the SAME EXACT BATTER ONCE AGAIN hits a liner towards Little. However, this one is a bit further and appears to be headed for the wall.
But Little got a great read on it, sprinted towards the warning tracked, realized he was going to have to brace for impact and dove into wall, securing the catch. It was near the top of the wall, so that ball would have been at least a double, and maybe a triple or worse if he doesn’t catch it.
The College World Series named those plays the fifth and second best plays of the weekend. Some incredible moments from the Padres draftee.
OUTRAGEOUS! Texas Tech’s Grant Little makes an UNBELIEVABLE catch! ⚾
— ESPN Player (@espnplayer) June 18, 2018
I don’t know what to say about what just happened on that play at second base, so let’s just marvel at this Grant Little catch pic.twitter.com/GlaTJ0nBof
— Teddy Cahill (@tedcahill) June 22, 2018
No. 3 Zach Smith Lights Up Slam Dunk Contest
Why This Was Chosen?: Even though it was not in a real game, these are some pretty impressive dunks, even for a dunk contest. Zach Smith entered the dunk contest and came away finishing second. He would have won if the athlete who won hadn’t had so many good dunks as well.
Let’s recap his three impressive dunks (one of the four was a “I’m running out of time, I need to dunk it quick” dunk).
The first of which was a very underrated dunk (at the 2:02 mark), and the announcers thought so as well. Smith jumps towards to the rim, cranks back like he’s going to throw it down, before going into a windmill. What?!
The third was off the side of the backboard (at the 5:00 mark), where a helper bounced the ball off the side of the backboard, and Smith stretched his arm back and slammed it down. His left arm was parallel with his shoulder. It was highly impressive and was compared to this Zion Williamson dunk (at the 1:35 mark).
His final dunk was just unbelievable (at the 6:33 mark). It was similar to his third dunk, but instead of cranking it back off the backboard, he caught it, put it between his legs, then threw it down. It would’ve won if Joseph Kilgore didn’t do so well.
I knew after seeing Zach Smith in a Friday showcase before his freshman season we needed to see him a dunk contest. Glad we were able to see that.
No. 2 TJ Vasher Defies Physics
Why This Was Chosen?: This was probably the most ridiculous football play I’ve seen since Jakeem Grant absolutely tore up Oklahoma State in 2015 and Patrick Mahomes had that insane throw against Louisiana Tech. Too bad it was on the road.
It was also an important play too. The Red Raiders were down and needed a win in Austin in order to play in the postseason. Down 10 at the beginning of the third quarter with a second and 15, McLane Carter dropped back and threw it up for the 6’5″ TJ Vasher.
Unfortunately, the ball was thrown a little far. No worries. Vasher realized the ball was thrown a little far, backpedaled a little bit, reached back and caught the ball. With one hand. While falling down. It was a 40 yard play that put the ball in enemy territory.
The reactions were pretty crazy to. The announcer stated “I think he got it. HANDS OF VELCRO. HANDS OF VELCRO.” He started freaking out when they were showing the replay at well.
That play helped put Texas Tech in position for a field goal and gave the Red Raiders a chance to win it. It was needed in the end. Just a crazy play. Probably would’ve been No. 1 for me most years. But…
No. 1 Zhaire Smith Pulls Off In Game 360
Why This Was Chosen?: I was there live for the last play and this play. Both were ridiculous. But when you hear “360 dunk off an alley oop”, you’re thinking it’s either in a dunk contest or in a blowout win over low competition. Nah.
This was in the middle of a close NCAA tournament game, when the crowd had gotten a tad quiet due to SFA coming out strong. All of sudden, the arena just erupts (except for me, who was literally speechless) and the announcers go berserk, stating “OH, NO HE DIDN’T. HOW DID HE DO THAT!”.
It starts off with Keenan Evans recovering a turnover, and running towards the three point line. Both Smiths were headed towards the basket and Keenan looked like he was going to throw it Zach, but threw a bad pass behind Zhaire.
Before jumping, Zhaire’s feet were facing the basket. He starts to turn because the pass is behind him, so he does a 180 to catch it. Then, instead of just landing and taking the ball back out, he turns all the way around to throw it down. He just mean mugs the SFA bench and stunts back on defense after the play.
I’m not sure I’ll ever see something like that again live. It absolutely deserves to be the top play of the school year because it was extremely difficult, in a very important game, and the reactions from the crowd, announcers and players were fantastic. Hopefully we’ll see Zhaire in the NBA dunk contest and win the damn thing.