The 2012 Battle 4 Atlantis tournament was very disappointing for the Memphis Tigers program. However, it was a coming out party for one member of the team, senior forward D. J. Stephens.
Fresh from making a decision to not redshirt for the 2012-13 basketball season, Stephens was a primary bright spot for the Tigers in the tournament. He established himself as a reliable bench player that plays with energy and intensity.
In the Virginia Commonwealth Rams loss, Stephens finished with nine points, two assists, two steals, a block and one rebound in 25 minutes off the bench. He scored a career-high 15 points to go with his seven rebounds, in the Minnesota Gophers loss. In the Northern Iowa Panthers victory, Stephens provided eight rebounds.
The most memorable Stephens’ performance from the Battle 4 Atlantis is the dynamic dunk off of the inbounds pass from Chris Crawford during the opening game against the Rams.
Stephens stood at the block directly in front of Crawford. He set a cross screen for a teammate. Then he received a down screen. He slips while curling and has the composure and athleticism to elevate over the 10 foot goal to catch the ball and throw it in.
It is one of the most freakish moves ever. See the video for yourself:
Stephens is an extremely athletic player with amazing vertical skills. He has won the Memphis Madness dunk contest two years in a row and also won the 2011-12 Intersport Dunks of the Year title.
Patosha Jeffery is the Memphis Tigers Featured Columnist at Rant Sports. Be sure to follow her on Twitter: @patoshajeffery and add her Google + to your circles for all of her latest articles and thoughts.