Just in time for fireworks, here's a list of a dozen of the most explosive players in college, listed alphabetically:
Baylor G Deuce Bello
Buzz: He was named one of the top 20 dunkers in the world – yes, the world – by DimeMag.com before he even stepped foot on Baylor's campus. He struggled with the pace and intensity of the college game as a freshman last season, but occasionally showed flashes of his enormous athleticism. He will play a bigger role for the Bears this season; what that means is that one year from now he should have a nice backlog of video of his college dunks.
Missouri F Laurence Bowers
Buzz: Bowers missed last season with a knee injury, but we haven't forgotten about the big man. He runs the court extremely well for a guy 6 feet 9 and is a ferocious dunker. He is good for at least one highlight-reel play – whether it's a dunk, a block or an impressive rebound – per game.
Murray State G Isaiah Canaan
Buzz: Canaan announced himself on the national scene last season, when he guided Murray State to the nation's best won-loss record and into the third round of the NCAA tourney. He has tremendous quickness and he also can fill it up in a hurry from 3-point range; he shot 45.6 percent from outside the arc and hit 98 3-pointers, 11th-most nationally. Canaan's defensive quickness is impressive, too, and often leads to easy Murray State transition baskets.
Baylor G Pierre Jackson
Buzz: The guy is a blur with the ball in his hands, blowing past opposing defenders and getting into the lane at will. He arrived on campus last season as a touted junior college recruit and lived up to billing. He led the Bears in scoring and shot 40.8 percent from 3-point range. He also can be a lethal on-ball defender.
Auburn G Shaquille Johnson
Buzz: He's a 6-5 freshman headed to Auburn. While the Tigers aren't exactly a basketball powerhouse, Johnson can do some amazing things in the air. He definitely is the most innovative dunker among the incoming freshmen; at times, it's as if the kid can fly. In winning the dunk contest at the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C., last season, Johnson skied over a 6-foot-11 teammate to take a lob pass and throw it down with a vengeance. His sequence of dunks in winning the contest is extremely impressive for an 18-year-old high school student.
Creighton F Doug McDermott
Buzz: He shoots and he scores – a lot. He was third in the nation in scoring, averaging 22.9 points per game. Statsheet.com shows that extrapolated over 40 minutes, he would've averaged 28.7 points, which was No. 2 nationally (Oakland G Reggie Hamilton was at 29.3 ppg). McDermott also shot 60.1 percent from the field and a sizzling 48.6 percent from 3-point range. When he's hot, all defenders can do is grit their teeth and watch.
UCLA G/F Shabazz Muhammad
Buzz: The nation's top incoming freshman plays with enthusiasm and passion, and can slash to the rim against anyone. He is a powerful athlete who can fill it up in a hurry from the outside, but also blow past defenders, get into the lane and finish at the rim.
Oklahoma State F LaBryan Nash
Buzz: The guy is a phenomenal athlete who can jump to the sky – and, oh, yeah, he is a nasty dunker. He struggled with his outside shot as a freshman last season but still was the Cowboys' No. 2 scorer. Expect big improvement next season – and expect a ton of jaw-dropping dunks as well.
Kentucky F Alex Pothyress
Buzz: Another incoming freshman, Pothyress is extremely athletic and can jump out of the gym; he uses that to his advantage on both ends of the court. He plays with a mean streak – and we mean that in a good way. He attacks the rim on offense and guards it with his life on defense.
Colorado F Andre Roberson
Buzz: The guy is a rebounding machine despite a lack of bulk. But where his explosiveness really shows is on his dunks. He gets way up, then throws it down hard. The Buffs were a surprise NCAA entrant last season, and Roberson's play was a big reason.
Louisville G Peyton Siva
Buzz: If there's a guy faster than Siva from one end of the court to the other while dribbling, he's in the NBA. The guy is a jet with the ball in his hands. In addition, the quickness he shows getting from the 3-point line into the lane is startling.
Minnesota F Rodney Williams
Buzz: The best dunker in college basketball? It might be this guy. He dunks with passion, flair and power. Don't believe us? Just search YouTube and be convinced. His all-around game is getting better, too.
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