When San Diego State guard Jamaal Franklin alley-ooped to himself back in January during the Aztecs' first Mountain West Conference game of the season, the dunk went viral.
The Huffington Post picked it up. USA Today. Yahoo! Sports. The Los Angeles Times.
Even Oklahoma's players saw it.
“Oh, yes” Sooner freshman Buddy Hield said when asked about Franklin's dunk. “But it's not going to happen against us.”
It might not happen because a guy like Amath M'Baye may block it. It might not happen because it is quite a risky shot to take in an NCAA Tournament game. Regardless, there's more to Franklin than his one-man alley-oop.
Franklin leads the Aztecs in scoring (16.7 points per game), rebounding (9.5 per game) and assists (3.2 per game). Oh, and don't forget about steals (1.5). He was named the Mountain West MVP in 2012.
There's more. He is the only player in the nation this year who leads his team in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals.
Oklahoma senior Sam Grooms said Franklin is a guy that gets overlooked because he plays in the Mountain West.
“If he played in a big league like the Big 12 or the Big Ten or something like that I think he would get much more attention,” Grooms said. “But as far as a player, I think he is extremely good. He rebounds extremely well for a guard and just plays hard.”
Grooms further defined Franklin as a “rugged, blue-collar guy.”
Franklin came to SDSU as a zero-star recruit on Rivals.com. Now, he has a chance to be a first-round selection in the NBA Draft.
Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger is well-versed on Franklin's many talents. The former UNLV coach saw the then-freshman score seven points in eight minutes against his Rebels during a semifinal game of the Mountain West Conference Tournament in 2011. SDSU went on to win that game 74-72.
“He's a good basketball player,” Kruger said. “He rebounds it. He picks up loose balls. He scores. He'll knock down a three when they need it. He'll drive or get to the free-throw line. Block a shot. He just does a lot of stuff. Other guys around him benefit from that and a lot of good players around him. He's a terrific kind of a stat stuffer. He does everything.”
Including throwing an alley-oop to himself. While the world saw Franklin do that for the first time, it wasn't his first attempt at the dunk. Franklin pulled the maneuver during high school, an AAU game and several summer league games, according to an article in Sports Illustrated.
“He seemed like he was confident in finishing it,” Oklahoma walk-on James Fraschilla said.
Fraschilla is the guy on Oklahoma's team known for making trick shots, although he said he would never be able to make that dunk. When Fraschilla saw the clip, he could see two people on Oklahoma's team trying it: freshmen Isaiah Cousins and Buddy Hield.
“The first thought in my mind was that probably Isaiah would try something like that,” Fraschilla said, “and if he missed it he wouldn't play the rest of the season.”
So add confidence to the list of Franklin's many on-court qualities. Mark it down right next to “everything else.”
“Good shooters shoot the ball well; good players impact the game when they do other things when they're not shooting the ball well, and that is certainly him,” Kruger said of Franklin. “He's going to impact the game regardless of how he's shooting the ball.”