ESPN - The story of the season so far

In March 2015 ESPN’s creative director Neil Jamieson asked me to create a bunch of .gifs to illustrate some short articles about the first part of the NCAA season.

Here they are, with their related articles.

Year: 2015

ESPN

ILLUSTRATION AND MOTION DESIGN

NEIL JAMIESON

JASON HUTTON

Jerian Grant is from out of this world

You know that moment that makes you stop and think,Wait, did he just do that? There have been plenty in a season that is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the first dunk in a college basketball game. But on Jan. 3, when Notre Dame’s Jerian Grant flew through the sky against Georgia Tech, that was the did-you-see-that moment of the season. For a moment, you wondered whether he’d ever come down.

Gonzaga has the whole world in its hands

Gonzaga has perhaps its best team ever, and its dream of that first Final Four appearance in plain sight. And if the Zags get there, the celebration will extend beyond Spokane. Look at the roster of a team that has gone 29-2 so far and won the WCC regular-season title. See him? That’s Przemek Karnowski from Poland. And Domantas Sabonis from Lithuania. Look over there — it’s Kevin Pangos from Ontario and Dustin Triano from Vancouver. And right here, it’s Kyle Wiltjer from Portland and Byron Wesley from Rancho Cucamonga. Winning can bring nations together.

Life in the Big 12 is tough 

One day, it looks like Kansas is unstoppable. Not long after that, Texas appears to be a challenger. Then Iowa State. Then Oklahoma. Then Oklahoma State. Then Baylor. Then … well, you get the idea. It’s been like that all year, the constantly shifting Big 12. That’s what happens when teams keep beating up on each other in a league where the teams spend an entire season pushing each other around.

Kentucky’s pursuit of perfection

It was clear from the moment the season began: You should be afraid of Kentucky. Nobody has beaten the Wildcats. And so the run for the first perfect season since Indiana in 1975-76 barrels forward. And for those who think they can take down the giants, this reminder: Don’t go in the paint, because Willie Cauley-Stein and Karl-Anthony Towns will be waiting.

In defense of Virginia

Go ahead, try to score against Virginia. The Cavaliers dare you. And they made it clear very early that life was going to be unpleasant for opponents. On Nov. 29, Rutgers scored 26 points — yes, for the entire game. A couple of weeks later, Harvard scratched out a measly 27. Yep, the best defense in the nation has offenses everywhere cowering in fear.