On June 21st, the NBA draft will begin and Alabama will have their first NBA draft pick in a decade and their first 1st round draft pick since Gerald Wallace in 2001. Collin Sexton, the one-year wonder out of Mableton, GA, was expected to be a top 10 NBA pick since before he even arrived on campus.
Despite the hype, however, Sexton has always been known as a blue-collar, no-nonsense kind of guy who thrives under pressure rather than buckle under expectations. He’s a fiery competitor on the court, and a perfect student-athlete off of it. He finished his one year of college with a 4.0 GPA, despite knowing from day one that he was only going to be there for one year. He doesn’t have any social media, and has never been involved in any sort of off-court drama that drags down so many famous athletes today.
Sexton is a rangy point guard at 6’2” 180 that has drawn comparisons to Russell Westbrook. He’s a slasher with the athleticism to go from a standstill to blowing past a hapless defender into the lane for an easy basket. In the words of your favorite grandfather, he’s “quick as a hiccup”. Sexton thrives on contact, and has no issue with barrelling into a much larger defender to either get the basket or draw the foul. He can effortlessly switch to his left hand in midair, and is coordinated enough to change course at the last second and go for a reverse lay-up if needed. He does sometimes get overzealous and begin charging into the lane like a bull in a china shop, rather than slowing down and looking for team mates.
He’s an excellent ball handler with the moves to put a defender on his backside. Combined with his elite quickness, and you’ve got a man that’s nearly impossible to defend one on one. As above though, his sometimes poor shot selection leads to him dribbling into bad situations and causing more turnovers than you’d like to see from a top NBA draft pick.
He’s got a smooth, effortless jump shot that he can knock down from any range, though he can be a bit streaky and start missing a lot on the outside once he misses one or two.
As a defender, Sexton is a tireless ball of energy that can absolutely wear out an opposing point guard with close, obnoxious defense. He’s a dangerous weapon to swipe a ball at the top of the key and be down on the other side of the court for a free layup before the other team his time to blink. He’s a little small, though, and can be pushed around by bigger players who post up on him.
All in all, whoever drafts Collin is getting a point guard that excels at using his elite athleticism to get the basket and just score points. Lots of them. He has some work to do to become a better distributor of the ball, but has shown flashes of ability, if not consistent attention to doing so. He’s an excellent defender and tireless playmaker, and a player who thrives under pressure and in big situations while also doing his best to get his own team and fan base excited around him.
Most predict him to fall somewhere in the #6 overall to #11 overall range. The Cavaliers at #8 and Knicks at #9 are both names that I’ve seen thrown out most often around the rumor mill as most likely to select the Crimson Tide defender.
Whoever does pick him, however, will likely become my new favorite NBA team (since I still haven’t recovered from OKC stealing the Supersonics out of Seattle).
Roll Tide, Collin.