HUNTINGTON -- Jamir Hanner's critical offensive rebound and dunk at the Conference USA tournament last March hasn't faded from memory - his or his Marshall teammates.
By the midpoint of the second overtime in the quarterfinal game against Tulsa, the Thundering Herd had five players foul out and was pretty much stuck with a lineup of DeAndre Kane, Dennis Tinnon, Dago Pena, Hanner and fellow freshman Chris Martin.
Hanner didn't even enter the game until the 1:25 mark of the first of three extra periods. Early in the second OT, he showed why - he had two free throws that would have broken a 74-all tie and missed both.
But what followed next was one of the game's most memorable plays, and showed why coach Tom Herrion recruited him. As the ball bounced to the left of the basket, Hanner rushed to it, pulled it off the floor in a crowd of bodies, rose up and dunked it.
That play didn't win the game, but every basket counted heavily in the Herd's 105-100 victory.
"He has a high motor for basketball," said Tinnon, MU's rebounding machine. "He never quits on any play. That could be the play of the year."
But Hanner, whom Herrion often referred to as "Bambi on ice skates," clearly had work to do in the offseason. Apparently, work hasn't been a problem with the 6-foot-8, 210-pound native of Philadelphia, and his teammates have noticed.
"He was really raw at first, but he continued to stay in the gym, just do extra," Tinnon said. "He always was that person who wanted to do extra, wanted to get better every day."
Shooting was the most obvious item on Hanner's work agenda. He is showing a respectable midrange jumper, one which Hanner has flattened out with some extra lift.