April 3, 2011
University of Louisville guard/forward Kyle Kuric's monster jam against Notre Dame on Feb. 9, 2011 was named the 2011 Papa John's Dunk of the Year, announced Sunday by Intersport on Papa John's Dunks of the Year on CBS.
The Papa John's Dunk of the Year was wholly determined by fan voting on Facebook. After 45,150 fans voted, Kuric nabbed a remarkable 45 percent of the fan vote, defeating impressive slams by Kentucky's Terrence Jones (17 percent), Tennessee's Scotty Hopson (12 percent), High Point's Shay Shine (nine percent), Indiana's Will Sheehey (seven percent), Missouri State's Jermaine Mallett (five percent), Kansas' Travis Releford (three percent), and Oregon State's Jared Cunningham (two percent).
Papa John's Dunks of the Year, a one-hour CBS special, celebrated the year in dunking and featured the biggest players, coaches, broadcasters, and legends in college basketball, including Kentucky's Terrence Jones and John Calipari, Arizona's Derrick Williams and Sean Miller, Dick Vitale, Gus Johnson, Bill Raftery, Julius Erving, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dominique Wilkins, Shaquille O'Neal, and Vince Carter. Also featured in the show were professional dunking sensation Team Flight Brothers.
Kuric started in 19 games at forward as the U of L men's basketball team exceeded expectations by tying for third in the BIG EAST Conference, earning 20 wins for the ninth-straight season, reaching the title game of the BIG EAST Championship, defeating seven Top 25 teams and rising to as high as 11th in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today polls. His winning dunk was one of 10 on the season for Kuric.
Kuric was third in the BIG EAST in 3-point percentage (.449) and sixth in field-goal percentage (.514). Over the last 13 games of the season, he averaged a team-high 15.1 points and 5.8 rebounds. His 70 3-pointers on the year were 11th most for a U of L player in a single season. Kuric has 19 career double-figure scoring efforts, including 16 as a junior (12 of the last 19 games) when he had six 20-point scoring games.
Intersport is also the creator of the 23rd annual College Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championships (ESPN2, March 31, 9-11 p.m. ET) and the inaugural National High School Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championships (CBS, April 3, 4:30-6 p.m. ET) - both held in Houston, Texas, the home of the 2011 Final Four.