Eastern Kentucky University senior Marcus Lewis isn’t the Colonels leading scorer. At just 6’4, he’s not the biggest man on the team, nor is he the three-point threat head coach Jeff Neuabuer‘s teams are known for.
But despite that, he may be one of the best known faces in the Ohio Valley Conference. And it’s all for plays like this.
And especially this:
Lewis is currently in the second round of the 2014 “State Farm Dark Horse Dunker” Facebook competition, and spent a few minutes talking dunks on the phone today.
How does it feel that your dunks are getting national attention?
“It’s a good feeling when you get recognition for anything that you do. Just knowing that people like me and seeing what I do. All I can say is that’s it’s a really good feeling.”
Do you remember the first time you dunked in a game?
“It was my sophomore year of high school. I don’t remember who it was against. I do remember being really tired then.”
When it comes to your dunks, are these things you practice or do you just come up with them on the fly?
“It’s a little bit of everything. There’s stuff that I try. There’s stuff that I’ve been doing that I just have fun with, and there’s stuff ‘I really just want to do this’ so I try to do it each and every single day. Just trying to push myself.
Do you have a favorite dunk?
“It’s probably the ‘between the legs’ because it’s probably the most difficult dunk I can do at this point.”
When you get the ball on a fastbreak, and have a dunk opportunity do you know what you’re going to do or just come up with it right there?
“Whatever comes in my head at that moment. I have a lot of things I can do. I have to determine how close people are to me to determine what I can do. Like I’ve done windmills in games, but I can’t do that with people trailing me real close. So that’s the first thing I think about, but then it just comes to me on the break.”
The first time you saw your dunk on Sportscenter, the dunk against Southeast Missouri, (Video No. 4 above) what did you think?
“I was surprised, to be honest. I said this last year, I didn’t think it was that big of a deal until after the game when my teammates told me. I didn’t even realize I had made contact with him, to be honest with you, I just tried to catch the hoop, and I did. I didn’t realize how high I was. Once it did get on ESPN, we were on the bus on the way home actually, and I just smiled the entire way home.”
We also talked a moment about the Colonels game tonight against Tennessee Tech. Eastern Kentucky can guarantee themselves the final single-bye in Nashville with a win over the Golden Eagles. I asked him the keys to the game.
“Just rebound. This is the first time they’ve beaten us since I’ve been here. We beat them twice last year, home and away. Out of the gate, they came out, they got rebounds, and they got stops. They were almost up 20 within the first 10 minutes of the game, and we still came back, so I feel like if we don’t give them as big of a lead to start the game, and we outrebound them, or get close to outrebounding them, then we’ll be successful at home.
You can vote for Marcus once a day on facebook. His second round opponent is Mike Kaufman from Lesley University, the top vote-getter in round 1 of the competition. As of early this morning, when I voted, Kaufman had a narrow 52-48 lead over Lewis. The second round runs through Monday, March 3rd.