Anthony Collins came into No. 15 Texas A&M’s game Wednesday against Alabama as one of the premier free throw shooters in the country.
He was 28 for 30 on the season for a cool 93 percent before the game, then had added two made free throws to knock that percentage up to 94.
That’s what made what happened with two seconds left in the game all the more shocking.
With Alabama leading Texas A&M 63-62 with two seconds left, Collins patiently probed his way into the lane and was clearly fouled while going up for a lay-in. That gave him two shots at the line to not just extend the game, but possibly even end it for the Aggies.
The first shot came up short. That’s fine, he still had one to tie it, and the miss only knocked him back to 30 for 33 on the season — 91 percent.
Seemingly compensating for the first miss, Collins sent the second shot sailing long off the back of the iron. The ball was then deflected by Jalen Jones out of bounds and Alabama threw the ball long to seal it on the inbounds.
Yup, a player with two free throw misses the entire season missed two free throws with just two seconds left. The odds of that happening statistically? About 0.3 percent. You just have to feel for Collins in what has to be one of the unluckier moments in recent SEC play.
The loss to Alabama is Texas A&M’s fourth in its previous five games following the Aggies being ranked in the top-five just two weeks ago. I don’t know that it’s fair to call this a tailspin or anything, but it’s clear the Aggies have some issues to work out moving forward. Particularly, turnovers on the offensive end have become a problem for Texas A&M. They’re now 135th nationally in turnover rate following tonight’s 13 turnovers. Seniors Alex Caruso and Danuel House have combined for 31 turnovers in the last five games. Given that those two are A&M’s main offensive creators on the perimeter, that’s a pretty significant issue to fix.
Things don’t get easier for A&M either. The Aggies now have to go to LSU to take on a Tiger team that is still tied for the lead in the league. That will be an important one for both teams heading down the stretch, as both will be looking to pad their resumes and build confidence going toward a run in March.