MINNEAPOLIS — Just a day ahead of the biggest game of the season, Michigan State kept things light during Friday’s practice.
The Spartans have created an annual traditions of finishing practices with a dunk contest. The high-flying showcase never fails to get the fans excited, but nobody on the team is claiming the title of best dunker:
“Not me,” Matt McQuaid said.
“Not me, I’ll tell you that right now,” Kenny Goins continued.
“I’m not one of those,” Xavier Tillman said. “I can dunk, I don’t got any tricks though, I got power dunks.”
Ask anybody on the team about who else is the best dunker, and everyone has an answer. Ask if they want to claim the title for themselves, it’s a different story.
"I really don't know why. I really do not know why,” Gabe Brown said.
None of the guys want to say they’re the best, but they are willing to offer up their teammates.
"I would say X, Xavier (Tillman) or Aaron Henry, Gabe Brown — he gets up,” McQuaid said.
"Kenny got trick dunks when he acts like knee doesn't hurt neither,” Tillman said.
"I'm starting to get old, it's definitely going to be one of the younger guys. Maybe Gabe, Aaron's got highflying ability. Let's see, X maybe, Nick's got a little something in his bag,” Goins said.
"Gabe's got trick dunks,” Tillman said.
"Not the best. I can dunk a little, but I would say that's Gabe. Gabe can dunk,” Henry said.
Brown said he doesn’t agree with Henry’s assessment of his dunks.
"I just do what I do, I didn't even know he was going to say something about my dunks, he's the best dunker on the team,” he said.
As far as the least-impressive dunker on the team, many of the guys found some common ground: All-American point guard Cassius Winston.
"I would put Cassius at the bottom, he can't even touch the net,” Henry said.
At the end of the day, it’s all about having a good time.
"We have a lot of fun when we are doing it, especially when we get hyped and around each other and got that type of vibe and somebody just do a nasty dunk it is just more energy,” Henry said.