AAC Basketball Player Preview: Victor Rudd’s Top 5 Dunks
AAC Basketball Player Preview: Victor Rudd's Top 5 Dunks
When you search "Victor Rudd" on YouTube, you pretty much just get a bunch of dunk videos and not much else. It's awesome!
Wins were few and far between last season for the South Florida Bulls. The Bulls started their season with 9-3 record, a solid sign that their success in the NCAA Tournament in 2012 would carry over. Then came conference play.
The Bulls went an abysmal 3-15 the rest of the way. They finished second to last in the Big East, one loss short of DePaul for last place, they got bounced by Seton Hall in the first round of the Big East Tournament, and, in the end, they didn't even come close to getting a chance to build upon their March Madness run from the previous season.
The good news for South Florida is that with as big of a disappointment as last year was, there's nowhere to go but up, and no player on the Bulls takes that quite as literally as South Florida's senior forward.
Not content with just simply laying the ball in the basket, Rudd's ferocious dunks helped give Bulls fans something to look forward to last season, and they'll hope it continues this year. Rudd was chosen for the AAC Preseason All-Conference Second Team after leading the team in scoring and rebounding with 12.3 points per game and 6.9 rebounds per game.
Rudd's stats may show how capable he is on the basketball court, but what is most telling is when you apply the eye test. His athleticism and explosiveness are all too apparent to miss. His dunks highlight this more than anything, as Rudd soared numerous times for alley-oops and put-backs. These skills are important for a successful USF season, but in the very leas,t it makes the Bulls extremely fun to watch.
With that being said, here are Rudd's top five dunks from last season to give you a preview of what's to come.
5. Alley-Oop Vs. Bradley
Victor Rudd put up 15 points and 12 rebounds, his first double-double of seven on the season last year, to help lead the Bulls to an 82-63 win over Bradley. South Florida's win over Bradley was the first of a three game win streak in non-conference play at the beginning of the season. While it was only the third double-double of Rudd's career, what was most memorable might have been this alley-oop dunk set up by current junior guard and fellow 2013-14 AAC Preseason All-Conference teammate Anthony Collins. Rudd's athleticism is undeniable in this clip, as not only does he catch the pass thrown from half court, but he's able to put in the reverse slam.
4. Put-Back Dunk Vs. UConn
At No. 4, Rudd comes out of nowhere to slam home a three-point miss from Martino Brock against the Connecticut Huskies. South Florida shocked the Huskies with a 65-51 victory in the Bull's second to last regular season game behind the aid of Rudd's brilliant play (and the fact that star guard Shabazz Napier didn't play due to injury helped the Bulls a little bit too). Rudd lead South Florida with 17 points and 11 rebounds in only their third and last Big East Conference win of the 2012-13 season. Rudd shows his amazing reacting ability and awareness, as nobody realizes that he's swooping in for the put-back until it's already too late.
3. Put-Back Dunk Vs. Louisville
No. 3 is another put-back, as Rudd throws down a missed three-pointer from Jawanza Poland. Rudd only had seven points, but finished with a respectable nine rebounds, including one of the most spectacular rebounds you'll see in the following video. Rudd's right elbow is at the rim when he catches the ball before forcefully hammering it through the basket. What might be more impressive is how soon Rudd begins to pursue the rebound. Right when Poland releases the ball, you can see Rudd immediately take off from the opposite wing in anticipation of the basket. South Florida may have lost 59-41 to the eventual national champions, but fans can hang their hats on the same kind of effort that they hope to see Rudd showcase this season.
2. Poster Dunk Vs. St. John's
No. 2 comes from two seasons ago when Rudd posterized St. John's forward God'sgift Achiuwa with a dunk that probably caused Achiuwa to lose faith. Rudd's earth-shattering dunk was the highlight of a game where he posted 24 points and seven rebounds in a 64-49 win against the Red Storm. Rudd's pure athletic ability was on display yet again in this game, but what this video doesn't show you is how efficient he was shooting the basketball. Rudd went 8-15 from the floor, including an impressive 5-7 from beyond the arc. This is definitely against the norm for Rudd, as he only shot 28 percent from long distance last season, but at least he can consistently throw down dunks with the best of them.
1. Alley-Oop Poster Dunk Vs. Syracuse
A combination of an alley-oop and putting someone on a poster? That has to be No. 1. Rudd had 15 points and 11 rebounds in this January contest against Syracuse last season, but more importantly, Rudd had this dunk, courtesy of another Anthony Collins setup. There isn't much else to say, as this thunderous jam on Baye Moussa Keita speaks for itself. While South Florida didn't win the game against Syracuse, losing 55-44, any basketball fan that saw this alley-oop undoubtedly won.