November 24, 2011
Even though VMI was outscored by 33, out-rebounded by 21 and outplayed in virtually every aspect, the Keydets did leave Columbus on Wedesday with bragging rights over Ohio State in one area: They produced the best highlight.
VMI forward Stan Okoye earned the No. 1 spot on SportsCenter's "Top Plays" Wednesday night for a soaring one-handed follow slam of a missed three-pointer from teammate Keith Gabriel that bounced high off the front rim. Okoye blocked a layup attempt from Ohio State's Shannon Scott, trailed the play down court and capitalized on an open path to the rim created because the Buckeyes failed to box him out.
The dunk was part of a memorable night for Okoye, who scored 12 points against Ohio State to become the 36th player in VMI history to reach 1,000 points in his career. Alas it was not enough to keep the Keydets competitive in the second half and they fell 107-64.
"Things just got crazy in the second half," VMI coach Duggar Baucom said. "Bad turnovers and we couldn't find people and we didn't make nearly as many shots, either. I was disappointed the way we played overall. It wasn't very pretty, but it is what it is and we'll take what we can from it."
Previous Dunk of the Year nominees: