Then a "mere" layup.
That dunk-you-very-much first half last March introduced Marcus Lee to Michigan and, perhaps, a wide swath of casual college basketball fandom. If it's possible to be a McDonald's All-American Kentucky player and relatively anonymous, Lee had managed that trifecta until a fateful Elite Eight game in Indianapolis.
"He was someone that the coaches (said) we don't have to worry about him too much," Michigan forward Jon Horford said afterward. "He's a great player, obviously. But he's not going to change the game.
"And he came in and he changed the game."
Going into the game, Lee had averaged 5.7 minutes and two points as a freshman. His starburst in nine first-half minutes against Michigan included 10 points, four rebounds and a palpable confidence boost.
"It showed me where I can be and how I need to get better each day," Lee said when asked to reflect on that first half. "That the next time people see me play, they know that I've gotten better. And that the one thing I've wanted to do is to make sure I've gotten better every time I've stepped on the court no matter if it's the practice court or the court with national television all around."
The game against Michigan featured a national television audience and a domed stadium filled with fans. Even with so many eyes upon you, it's possible to get lost in the moment. As Lee recalled, there's a momentary delay in a particular play in a game and a player's reaction.
"You don't realize what's happening until after it," he said. "And after it, you're, like, what just happened?
"But during the game, you're kind of, like, how can I help my team the best way possible? And I knew getting rebounds was what I needed to do. And that's how we can succeed."
Each of the dunks came on put-backs.
Horford noted how relative obscurity helped Lee get scores off offensive rebounds.
"We thought we could just help off him," he said, "but he finished with put-backs on the opposite side."
Lee gained a fuller sense of what he was accomplishing as he shifted from offense to defense.
"While the play is going on, you're just trying to get things done ... ," he said. "When you're running back on defense, you look up and you see everything happening behind you. You don't really understand until you start running back."
As if by magic, the people in the seats appeared. Their reaction to a play was sensed. Then they receded into a mental fog. The world outside Lucas Oil Stadium might as well have been in an alternate universe.
"As a basketball player, you learn that once you step on a basketball court, your mind is gone," Lee said. "Everything you've been through in class (and) everybody around you has kind of disappeared. It's just you, your team, the opposite team and the lines around you. And that's all you really see."
Upon reflection, Lee seemed a fitting player to test the boundary separating athletic hero and non-celebrity. Even a short conversation suggests a curious person with varied interests.
When asked if he ever wanted to shed his basketball persona, Lee said, "I've always had that problem where I was, like, all right, I just kind of want to be Marcus Lee, and not, Oh my God, it's Marcus Lee! I just want it to be, hey, it's Marcus Lee.
"But being a basketball player at UK, that just kind of goes away."