Analysis: Enough with the missed dunks

I love the energy. I love the passion. I just wish that every play didn't have to be potentially a spectacular play when it comes to Indiana's Troy Williams. Some times you just have to take the easy points, too.

As I took a step back and regurgitated Wednesday’s 68-66 loss to Maryland, I couldn’t help but go back to two plays that to me seemed pointless and senseless from an Indiana standpoint.

Both involved Troy Williams.

Both were wide open dunk opportunities.

In both cases, Indiana got zero points instead of a total of four free points.

And the Hoosiers lost a key Big Ten road game by two.

I understand all the good things that Williams does for this basketball team. And his double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds Wednesday played a big role in why the Hoosiers were in a position to potentially win the game on Yogi Ferrell’s 3-pointer at the end.

I get all of that.

What I don’t get, and I have been saying this over and over all season long, is why does it feel like every Williams play around the basket has to be a ESPN SportsCenter nominee?

Why can't you just take the simple two-handed flush dunk sometimes instead of the spectacular one that is going to be the instant hit on social media?


I’m not saying that those two missed dunks Wednesday night necessarily cost Indiana that game. They certainly didn’t help both in terms of momentum at the time and simply from a common sense standpoint. You have two easy points right there on two occasions and things are rarely easy in college basketball road games in the Big Ten.

And yet you get caught up in the moment and miss the dunks.

Here’s the other thing that really eats at me about this inability to make an easy play: How does it happen twice?

I get the fact it can happen once. We’ve seen that before. Somebody gets open for a spectacular play and the ball caroms off the heel of the rim or something goes wrong and the dunk is missed. But normally when that happens, the person says to themselves ‘Man, that can’t happen again.’ And honestly, I can’t remember many times when I’ve seen a player miss two dunks in a game.

Sorry, but that just can’t happen.

I know there were other plays in this game that were costly, too. The missed layup near the end by Collin Hartman that could have put the Hoosiers up by two in the final 90 seconds was crucial as well. It was a play that had to be made in that situation. I get that. But it wasn’t a dunk either and the missed dunks just take it to a different level for me.

So can we just tone down the spectacular and take the easy points when the situation presents itself?

Is that really too much to ask? Top Stories