As a Wichita State sophomore, David Kyles won the Shocker Madness dunk contest by jumping over a motorcyle, catching a lob and slamming the ball through the rim.
He doesn’t know if those kind of props are allowed in New Orleans tonight, but Kyles is preparing to use any advantage he can in the State Farm College Slam Dunk Championships tonight at Tulane University’s Fogleman Arena. The event also includes a three-point shooting contest.
“I might call and see what we can get going,” he said. “I might do the Blake Griffin and jump over a car.”
Kyles, a 6-foot-4 senior guard, tried to keep his basketball skills sharp since WSU ended its season in the NCAA Tournament on March 15. He wants to play professionally, so he gave himself one day off. Dunking hasn’t been a big part of his routine. He planned to watch highlights of past college and NBA dunk contests to steal some ideas.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
“I feel that if I get my legs back up under me I should be OK,” he said. “I have two or three dunks I know I can go to. I feel like I have a fourth one, but it depends. Basically, I’m going to go off what everyone else does.”
WSU freshman Tekele Cotton offered a bit of advice for Kyles, but only a bit.
“Use the crowd and do what you do,” he said. “He knows how to do it better than I can.”
Kyles is experienced in these exhibitions of bounce. He competed in dunk contests in high school and said he won one in a summer tournament. In one, he said he jumped over two small children and caught the ball dropped from above the basket and dunked. In high school, he risked relationship harmony when he pulled a cheerleader out of the stands and jumper over her to dunk.
“I asked (my girlfriend) if she would do it and she said no,” Kyle said. “She still was (mad).”
At WSU, he won the Shocker Madness contests as a freshman and sophomore. He warmed up for the 2009 motorcycle dunk by catching a pass off the back of the backboard and rising from under the glass for a two-handed dunk.
He declined to disclose specifics about his planned dunks to maintain a competitive edge. He also wants the freedom to go off script.
“I just try to make it fun more than anything,” he said. “A lot of crowd interaction. If the crowd is going crazy, I’m going to try something crazy.”
Duke’s Miles Plumlees, DeQuan Jones of Miami (Fla.), Auburn’s Kenny Gabriel, Oregon’s Alu Ashaolu, Northwestern State’s William Mosely and James Justice of Martin Methodist will also compete.
On Friday, WSU center Garrett Stutz will play in the Reese’s Division I College All-Star basketball game at the Superdome after the finish of the Final Four practice sessions. The game starts at 4:35 p.m. Friday. It will be broadcast at noon Saturday on TruTV, Channel 64.
Anacreon leaving — WSU junior forward James Anacreon is leaving the team, coach Gregg Marshall confirmed in a text message Wednesday night.
Marshall said Anacreon may transfer closer to his home in New York, in part to be closer to family. He missed five days of practice in the fall, returning home after his mother became ill.
Anacreon, who averaged 2.1 points and 1.2 rebounds in 12 games, announced the decision on Twitter.