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Collin Sexton, Trae Young presage future NBA duels to come

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The future of the NBA is in good hands.

NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma at Alabama Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

If you were among the 50 NBA scouts in attendance at Coleman Coliseum on Saturday afternoon, there was one showdown that had been circled on your calendar for a few weeks: Alabama’s Collin Sexton vs. the nation’s leading scorer and assist-man, Oklahoma’s Trae Young.

For Young, this matchup was a chance to show his NBA doubters how he’d be able to overcome his underwhelming wingspan and 6’2 build against a wealth of lengthy guards. He succeeded at that with 17 points and seven assists.

For Sexton, this matchup was a chance to leap his name into top-5 pick consideration for his defense against Young, and showcase his scoring talents against one of the nation’s best teams. He also succeeded with 18 points on 14 shots.

Hope you got your popcorn: Trae Young, the more polished passer on a team that runs more aggressively than the Tide, dished more dimes than Sexton (seven-to-three), but Sexton edged him in points (18-to-17) and the two finished with three boards apiece. In the Tide’s 80-73 victory, the two showcased that the future of the NBA is in good hands, and these two for very different reasons are the first two guards given a flat bill cap and a shake of the Commissioner’s hand.

The mothership has painstakingly broken down the pluses and minuses of both players’ performances on Saturday, and it’s worth reading the long analysis in its entirety.

From Sexton’s defense, game-changing speed and ability to finish that is drawing allusions to Russ Wesbrook, to and Trae Young’s ridiculous footwork that allow him to create separation and generate his own shot a la Steph Curry, the conclusion is the same: we could not have asked for a better performance between these two hyped lottery players:

If there’s any single takeaway from Alabama’s upset, it’s that both of these prospects are well worth high lottery consideration. Among guards, these are the two to pick from.

Sexton may be the safer choice based on his current skill-set and NBA build, but Young has proved time and time again that he has ways to compensate for his size. Neither has separated his name far from the other in the draft just yet.

Get used to these names, because Trae Young and Collin Sexton are the future of the NBA.

If you were able to witness it, count yourself fortunate. They’re the real deal, and we’re going to be seeing a whole lot more of them in the future.