Markquis Nowell, a point guard for the Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans, pulled off a head-turning exploit during the first-round game of March Madness against Michigan State. The freshman deceived the Spartans by getting into a mock argument with his coach, which made the defense let their guard down. Nowell, taking advantage of the lapse of concentration, threw a perfect alley-oop to his teammate for a dunk that became the highlight of the game. Here’s how it all went down.
The Perfect Alley-Oop: How Markquis Nowell Faked Out Michigan State
When Markquis Nowell stepped onto the court for the 2021 March Madness tournament, he was ready to make a statement. The sophomore guard for the Arkansas Little Rock Trojans had already established himself as a skilled player, but he had something special in mind for their first-round game against the Michigan State Spartans.
It all started during a timeout midway through the first half. The Trojans had fallen behind early, and Nowell was frustrated with the way things were going. As he sat on the bench, he began arguing with his coach, Darrell Walker.
Nowell knew that he had a play in mind, but he needed his coach’s help to make it happen. Walker was hesitant at first – he didn’t want to risk a turnover or miss an opportunity to score. But Nowell was insistent, and eventually, Walker relented.
With just under six minutes to go in the first half, Nowell stepped back onto the court, and the Trojans set up for their play. Nowell took the ball up the court, dribbling past two Michigan State defenders. He drove toward the basket, drawing the attention of the Spartans’ defense.
But instead of trying to make a layup or a jump shot, Nowell lobbed the ball high into the air, toward the rim. And there, waiting for it, was his teammate, Ruot Monyyong. Monyyong jumped up, catching the ball in mid-air, and slammed it home for an easy two points.
The crowd erupted, and the Trojans’ bench went wild. Michigan State was left stunned, unsure of how to react to the unexpected play.
In the end, it wasn’t enough to secure a win for the Trojans – Michigan State came back to win 65-49. But Nowell’s perfect alley-oop was one of the highlights of the game, and a testament to his skill as a player.
Nowell’s fake-out of the Michigan State defense was a daring move, but it was also a calculated risk. He knew that if he could draw the defenders toward him, he would be able to create an opening for his teammate. And he trusted Monyyong to be in the right place at the right time to catch the ball.
But it was also a move that required a lot of trust between Nowell and his coach. Walker could have easily vetoed the play, or told Nowell to focus on a more conventional approach. But by allowing Nowell to take the lead, he showed his faith in his player – and it paid off.
In the end, the Trojans’ loss to Michigan State was disappointing, but Nowell’s play will be remembered for years to come. It was a moment of brilliance, and a reminder of what can happen when players are willing to take risks and trust in their teammates.
Markquis Nowell may not have led the Trojans to a victory that day, but he showed that he has what it takes to compete at the highest level of college basketball. And with his talent and determination, there’s no doubt that we’ll be seeing more incredible plays from him in the future.