‘Punch it:’ Dalton Knecht explains highlight dunk in Tennessee basketball vs Michigan State

EAST LANSING, Mich. − Dalton Knecht made his presence felt in his first game with Tennessee basketball with a highlight-reel dunk.

The Vols guard jammed a monster one-handed dunk over Michigan State‘s Malik Hall during an exhibition in East Lansing, Michigan.

“Pretty much (Vols assistant coach Rod Clark) told me to set a lane and step up, just go up and punch it, go up and dunk it, and that’s what I did,” Knecht said.

Knecht’s dunk landed him with the No. 3 play on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” on Sunday after No. 9 Tennessee beat No. 4 MSU 89-88.

How Dalton Knecht got on “SportsCenter” with a dunk

Knecht’s highlight sequence started with a Jahmai Mashack block of MSU’s Jaden Akins. Knecht snared the ball and took off. He dribbled behind his back after crossing halfcourt to get around MSU guard Tre Holloman.

Knecht, who transferred from Northern Colorado, gathered himself after the dribble. He shot off his left foot and threw down a dunk with his right hand over Hall, who contested the dunk at the rim and fouled Knecht.

“I just seen it, it was a two-on-one with me and (Josiah-Jordan James) and I just kind of took off and put that thing down,” Knecht said.

Dalton Knecht had 28 points for Tennessee against Michigan State

Knecht flexed after the dunk, while James approached him with his hands in the air and his mouth open. He strutted back to the Tennessee huddle, high-fiving his teammates.

He walked out of the huddle after a timeout to shoot the free throw still smiling about the play. The senior guard had 28 points for Vols in the win, hitting 8-for-16 from the field and making 3 of 9 3-point attempts. He also made 9 of 11 free-throw attempts. He also had seven rebounds.

Mike Wilson covers University of Tennessee athletics. Email him at michael.wilson@knoxnews.com and follow him on Twitter @ByMikeWilson. If you enjoy Mike’s coverage, consider a digital subscription that will allow you access to all of it

This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: Dalton Knecht on highlight dunk for Tennessee basketball vs Michigan State

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