In today’s YouTube Gold, we called Cam Reddish’s three point shot against Louisville in the 2019 comeback the greatest swagger play in Duke history and that got us to thinking: what were the best swagger plays in Duke history?
Well let’s go!
In no particular order...
- Christian Laettner’s 1992 shot against Kentucky in the Elite Eight. It is really more of a clutch play than a swagger play but undeniably legendary and so great that it’s still on CBS’s tournament coverage after all these years.
- Grant Hill breaking up a 4-on-1 break vs. UNC. Seriously, who does that?
- Kenny Dennard’s backwards dunk against Villanova in the 1978 runaway win over the Wildcats. It was the perfect capstone to a nearly perfect game.
- Gene Banks’s spectacular windmill dunk over Ralph Sampson. It might sound like meh today but Sampson was 7-4 and a three-time National Player Of The Year. Banks just took it in, went under his arm and slammed the hell out of it. Unreal.
- Bobby Hurley’s three against UNLV in the 1991 Final Four. After the game - we can’t remember - either that he’d been waiting for that shot all night or all year.
- Zion Williamson’s block at Virginia. It was the ultimate oh no you don’t play: Williamson started near the left side of the foul line, moved into the lane and took off from just outside it to block a corner jumper by a 6-9 guy? Seriously?
- Zion Williamson’s steal and 360 dunk vs. Clemson. At a certain point, when you see stuff like that, you just accept it: he’s not going to allow us to win.
- Austin Rivers’ game-winning three at UNC. Okay, we might have to change our minds and go for this one. Rivers, remember, was a freshman. He waved everyone off and got Tyler Zeller in a one-on-one situation and toyed with him, starting to drive, pulling back, starting to drive, pulling back...until he got him off balance and let go with a perfect three that fell through the net as time expired.
However you rate it, these were all brilliant plays. Which would you go with?
The Greatest Swagger Play In Duke Basketball History
The Laettner Shot
Grant Hill Breaking Up a 4-on-1 fast break vs. UNC
Kenny Dennard’s backwards dunk vs. Villanova
Gene Banks’s windmill dunk vs. Ralph Sampson
Bobby Hurley’s three pointer vs. UNC
Zion Williamson’s block at Virginia
Zion Williamson’s steal and dunk vs. Clemson
Austin Rivers’s game-clinching three vs. UNC