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Elevation: Gary Payton II Soars For the Dunk of the Weekend

In our Campus Dribble-Drive college basketball column two weeks ago, we broke down the superfluous talents of the elite floor generals around the country and dubbed this season, "The Year of the Point Guard.

In our Campus Dribble-Drive college basketball column two weeks ago, we broke down the superfluous talents of the elite floor generals around the country and dubbed this season, “The Year of the Point Guard.” 

Providence’s Kris Dunn, the three-headed monster at Kentucky with Isaiah Briscoe, Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray, North Carolina’s Marcus Paige and Maryland’s Melo Trimble have the biggest names, but one young man we implored you to keep your eyes one was Oregon State’s Gary Payton II, the son of the legendary NBA point guard whose nickname was “The Glove.”

GP II is definitely his daddy’s son. He’s one of the most ferocious and physical defenders in the country and an exceptional all-around player who is currently averaging 16 points, nine rebounds, five assists and three steals per game.

But The Baby Glove seems to have an element to his game that his daddy didn’t, and that’s an insane flight game. Watch him catch the elevator to the roof and proceed to drop the ill hammer on one of the country’s best young shot blockers in Kansas’ stud freshman Cheick Diallo.


He rammed it so hard that the ball actually went in twice. The No. 2 Jayhawks, behind junior Wayne Selden Jr.’s 22 points, ultimately emerged victorious, 82-67 and moved to 8-1. But Gary Payton II’s left-handed leaner won the weekend. 


College hoops is playing the background right now, but once the college football and NFL playoffs are done, the hardwood will take center stage. There isn’t one dominant monster squad this year, which will make for an unpredictable, exciting season.

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Baylor, Providence, Arizona, Villanova, Miami, Xavier, Virginia, Iowa State, Purdue, Kentucky, Duke, Maryland, Kansas, North Carolina, Michigan State and Oklahoma are looking like the strongest teams right now, but we’ll see plenty of movement up and down the board as we inch closer to the greatest spectacle in all of American sports – March Madness.

Stay tuned to our college hoops columns throughout the season, The Campus Dribble-Drive, the keep you up to date with all you need to know. Right now, GP III and Texas freshman Kerwin Roach have the dunks of the year. Can’t wait to see who adds their names to the list.


Ali

Alejandro “Ali” Danois is the Editor-in-Chief of The Shadow League. His features “Humble Beginnings”, and “Rocky Flop” were mentioned in the Best American Sports Writing Anthology as among the country’s most notable stories of 2014 and 2015 respectively.

Ali is the author of the critically acclaimed book, The Boys of Dunbar, A Story of Love, Hope and Basketball, and he served as a Producer on the ESPN Films 30-for-30 documentary “Baltimore Boys”.

Follow him on twitter @alidanois