Dunk and 3-point contest highlight Big Blue Madness festivities

Sophomore PJ Washington competes in the dunk contest during Big Blue Madness on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018 at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

The men’s basketball scrimmage at Big Blue Madness features little defense and no competition, so to spice things up this year, the team hosted a three-point and dunk contest to feed their competitive side and excite the crowd.

After the introductions and annual John Calipari address, the team opened up the festivities with a three-point contest, which Immanuel Quickley won in a final round duel over fellow sharpshooter Tyler Herro.

The competition featured five racks with five balls each, and each made shot counted as one point, except for the final yellow “money ball” on each rack, which counted for two points.

In the head-to-head style competition, all players competed in the three-point contest and many struggled to get through all the racks before the buzzer. E.J. Montgomery did not get to his final rack of balls in the corner and finished with a team-low five points.

Herro and Quickley posted the highest scores in round one to move to the finals. Herro scored 21 points to beat P.J. Washington while Quickley had 19 points to beat Reid Travis.

In the final round, Quickley got off to a hot start, but Herro closed well with his final shots to barely lose to Quickley 22-21. This wasn’t Quickley’s first three-point contest victory, as the freshman from Maryland was a co-champion with Duke’s Cameron Reddish at the McDonald’s All-American three-point shootout.

Following the three-point contest was the dunk contest between Washington, Herro and Keldon Johnson. Washington would take home the win in convincing fashion, collecting 3,678 total fan votes compared to 2,407 for Johnson and 780 for Herro.

Washington started the dunk contest with a fan favorite, a windmill off the backboard one-handed dunk starting from the left wing. Following the dunk, Washington found a camera and flashed his infamous “mean mug,” which drew loud applause from the crowd.

Johnson followed Washington’s dunk with an off-the-bounce, between-the-legs right-handed dunk as time expired on his 30-second shot clock.

In the second round, Washington posted another strong dunk, with the help of 6-foot guard Quade Green. Green stood next to the basket motionless as Washington came running from up behind with a right-handed flush into the net.

Johnson would one-up Washington with his dunk, jumping over Green and one of Kentucky’s managers while throwing down a right-handed slam on his first attempt.

At the end of round two, Washington had a huge fan-vote lead thanks to his two successful dunks, but the votes for Johnson were skyrocketing as the competition moved into the third round.

Herro would post his best dunk of the competition in this round, as he paid homage to former Kentucky basketball player Rex Chapman. As the third round opened, Herro swapped his Kentucky practice jersey for an antique Chapman jersey, which he donned as he made an off-the-backboard, one-handed dunk.

Washington again used Green’s help in the third round, but Green was in a less dangerous spot for this dunk. Green lobbed the ball off the bottom left corner of the backboard while Washington soared in, caught it and threw the ball down through the rim after a windmill.

Johnson’s final dunk was a simple right-to-left between-the-legs dunk from the right wing to increase his fan votes.

It did not work, as Washington’s three dunks were enough to declare him the Kentucky dunk king for this season.