While the recently completed college basketball season was filled with plenty of memorable excitement and unpredictability, it also had its share of less-than-stellar moments. To celebrate the plays that won’t make their way into any end-of-season highlight packages, we rank the Top 10 Fails of the 2012–2013 CBB season.
10. Gophers Get Got
Ninth-ranked Minnesota was unable to upend No. 5 Michigan on January 17 in an 83-75 loss. The waning moments were an extra punch to the gut when Wolverines guard Tim Hardaway Jr. beat all four Gophers on the free-throw lane for a rebound of his own missed free throw despite the fact that the other Michigan players were at the other end of the court.
Whenever a coach preaches the importance of boxing out to his players, he should show his team this GIF.
9. Broken Windmill
Should highly-touted rising sophomore Montrezl Harrell go on to a standout career with Louisville, he’ll look back on the January 2 home game against Providence as a much-needed dose of humility.
Late in the Cardinals’ 80–62 victory, Harrell found himself all alone on a breakaway. With a previously displayed penchant for highlight-worthy dunks, Harrell tried throwing down a windmill slam. Alas, he didn’t get nearly high enough on his leap and got stuffed by the rim, sending his teammates on the sidelines into hysterics.
8. Cane’t Buy a Bucket
Miami (FL) guard Trey McKinney Jones was the closest thing to a standout player in the Hurricanes’ ugly 54–47 win over Maryland on January 13, recording 12 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and a steal. Yet he also provided the perfect analogy for a brick-heavy affair in which the two teams combined to shoot 33.3% (40-of-120) from the field.
With under 10 seconds left and the game well in hand, McKinney Jones started his leap for a game-sealing dunk just a little too far away from the basket. He got stuffed by the rim and was sent tumbling to the floor as the crowd at BankUnited Center groaned.
7. Florida Fail
Florida’s 67–61 loss to Kansas State on December 22 was summed up by quite possibly the worst inbounds pass we’ve ever seen in a college game.
Gators junior swingman Casey Prather — perhaps overly eager to inbound the ball and get it up the floor with under a minute remaining in the first half — failed to properly corral the pass from the referee. It slipped out of Prather’s hands and right to K-State’s Rodney McGruder, who was fouled by Prather while going up for the shot.
We’re going to go out on a limb and say that a player other than Prather was responsible for Florida’s next inbounds pass.
6. Short at State College
For Penn State sophomore John Graham, the residual damage of having made just 39.4% (13-of-33) of his free throws as a freshman was painfully evident on November 28 against Boston College.
After connecting on the first of his two shots from the charity stripe, Graham was <i>very<i> short on his second attempt, failing to draw either iron or net. Thankfully for him, it proved to be a small hiccup during a season that he ended as a 66.7% (16-of-24) free throw shooter.
5. Appala-Chain of Fools
On November 23rd, Jay Canty’s college teammates suited up for their game against Virginia Tech on behalf of Appalachian State. The sophomore swingman, meanwhile, did so for Appalachain State.
For some inexplicable reason, Canty’s Nike jersey was the only one that sported the typo. And oddly enough, he was also the Mountaineers’ best player on the floor that night, scoring 21 points and grabbing seven rebounds in an 87–76 loss to the Hokies.
4. (Penn) State of Embarrassment
The rarity of landmark basketball victories at Penn State makes it understandable if a Nittany Lion fan here or there is unfamiliar with how to rush the Bryce-Jordan Center court in celebration.
As the students poured onto the floor following PSU’s 84–78 shocker over fourth-ranked Michigan on February 27, one overeager reveler got his foot caught on a plastic chair he was attempting to hurdle and went tumbling — rather hard, from the looks of it — to the ground.
Here’s hoping he eventually made his way to midcourt, even if he had a bruise to show for it.
3. Trouble “Bruin” on Lay-Up
On his lay-up attempt during UCLA’s near upset loss to UC Irvine on November 13, Bruins junior Joshua Smith put up the hoops equivalent of a slider when he should have gone with a straight fastball.
The 6-foot-10 center had just stolen the ball and looked to finish at the other end, only to get his feet stuck on the Pauley Pavilion court and “hook” his shot attempt well left of the rim. (If the ball made contact, it was just barely.)
Don’t be shocked to see the 305-pound Smith – who transferred to Georgetown in January and will be eligible to play starting in December – shed some serious weight in the offseason in order to ensure that he gets the proper lift on his lay-up attempts from hereon in.
2. Gonzaga Gag Job
“Worst fan halftime shot ever” is a dubious distinction, considering that plenty of participants miss their shots by a wide margin. But we can’t remember anyone missing their shot as much as the fan at halftime of the December 1st Gonzaga-Pacific game.
The shot lacked both the trajectory (the ball didn’t rise more than a foot over the shooter’ head) and the distance (it failed to reach the foul line). All of it was exacerbated by the camera moving to the level of the net in anticipation of a shot that had actual arc (which this one hilariously lacked).
1. Worst … Free Throw … Ever
Poor Brian Okam. In previous years, the Appalachian State center’s embarrassing missed free throw on December 8th — the ball slipped out of his hands and didn’t even get halfway to the hoop — would have gone by the wayside, as it came in a game against Western Carolina that barely anybody paid attention to.
But because we’re in the YouTube Age, Okam’s miss — labeled by many as the “worst free throw ever” — lives on in posterity. As of noon ET on April 9th, our pick for the Top Fail of the 2012–2013 season has over 18 million views.
“It was just one of those crazy things where the ball slips out of your hand,” Okam later said. “You look back at it and laugh a little bit for sure, but it’s not something that will be in my mind the next time I step to the free-thrown line.”
Unfortunately that might have been wishful thinking on Okam’s part. Of the 10 free throws that the junior attempted on the season, he made just three.