I Can't Stop Thinking About That Tyler Cook Dunk

By RossWB on March 15, 2019 at 9:32 am

© David Banks-USA TODAY Sports


Good morning! Friends, I have a confession to make: I can't stop thinking about that Tyler Cook dunk. You know which one I'm talking about: 

Go ahead and watch it a few dozen more times. We'll wait. 

That dunk demands that you sit up and take notice. That dunk sucks up all the oxygen in the room. That dunk doesn't ask for respect -- it takes it. Cook's dunk was an injection of NOS in a game that had begun to settle into a back-and-forth rhythm of trading buckets. 

It's a beautiful play, beginning with the great design from McCaffery and following through with perfect execution from Jordan Bohannon (throwing the inbounds lob pass) and Tyler Cook (finishing that pass by spiking the ball into the floor). Cook hits a perfect spin move to get ample separation from his Illinois defender (left guarding air), then hits the rocket boosters in his legs to elevate for the pass. Bohannon throws a perfect, high-arcing lob that Cook grabs at the top of his jump. And then Cook finishes with an absolute hammer-throw of a one-handed dunk. 

Seriously, what a terrific call and what a magnificent finish. 

Straight flames. 

And that got me thinking: is that the best in-game dunk by an Iowa player? Maybe it's recency bias talking, but I'm having trouble thinking of a better one. The perfect execution of the play call, Cook hanging in mid-air, arm cocked back after catching the ball, the punishing finish... it's all so, so good. 

Tyler Cook has had a lot of great dunks in his Iowa career, to be sure. Aaron White was a prolific in-game dunker as well and a maestro at finishing off alley-oops  with two-hand slams. Eric May had tremendous leaping ability and great athleticism and produced some excellent in-game dunks. And "Thunder" Doug Thomas was renowned for rattling rims with powerful jams back in the late 00s. 

But I can't think of a better in-game dunk than Cook's gorgeous one-handed hammer finish off an inbounds lob last night. That was a spectacular dunk and one I'm going to be thinking about for a long, long time. If I've gone mad and clearly forgotten other better in-game dunks, let me know in the comments. But if you'll excuse me, I need to go watch a certain highlight a few dozen more times.  


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