Oops!


Posted Dec 28, 2005


The word "oops" is taking on a whole different meaning in Tennessee basketball these days.

In the old days the word was used mostly in the context of "Oops! Another turnover." It had a much more positive connotation in Tuesday night's 93-68 defeat of Alabama A&M, however.

With just under 13 minutes left, Stanley Asumnu saw JaJuan Smith dribble the ball out toward the top of the key. The two made eye contact briefly, setting the stage for a crowd-pleasing "alley oop" pass/dunk.

"I was on the wing and he was still on the baseline corner," Asumnu recalled. "Before he came outside, he looked at me and I knew he was throwing it (alley oop)."

That was Step 1. Step 2 was for Asumnu to get to the basket. He succeeded.

"I faked my man and got around him," Asumnu noted. "There was another man standing there but I just kind of went over him."

When you're blessed with a 40-inch vertical jump, you can do that. Regardless, Smith launched a rainbow pass a split-second before Asumnu launched off the playing surface. Ball and player reached the rim simultaneously, enabling Asumnu to ram home a thunderous dunk that widened Tennessee's lead to 67-38 and brought the crowd to its feet.

So, how does it feel to make a spectacular play that's sure to be featured in the 2005-06 highlight tape?

"It feels good," Asumnu said. "I just want to come out and put on a show, give the fans something exciting. I want them to go home and say, 'Man! Did you see Asumnu tonight? Did you see that lob?'

"We want to give them something to think about so they'll keep coming. We want to fill this place up."

A few more spectacular "oops" might do the trick.


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