pcloudy.png
Wednesday May 22nd, 2019 3:29PM

Alabama freshman guard Collin Sexton declares for NBA draft

By The Associated Press

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Avery Johnson and his wife went to watch one of his former NBA teams play recently and couldn't help but think Collin Sexton would fit right in at the next level.

Now, Alabama's fleet-footed freshman point guard is aiming to prove them right after helping deliver the Crimson Tide to the NCAA Tournament in his lone season.

Sexton announced Friday he will enter the NBA draft and that he plans to hire an agent. A projected lottery pick, he led Alabama to its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2012, thanks partly to a personal hot streak in the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

"I think in some of his individual workouts, he's going to blow some of these general managers and coaches away," said Johnson, a former NBA point guard and coach who played for San Antonio. "His style fits.

"I went to a game last week at the Final Four and the Spurs played against Oklahoma. And my wife and I looked at each other and we said, 'Collin can play in this game.' His style of play, his speed, it translates to the NBA."

Sexton arrived as Alabama's most highly touted recruit in recent memory, a consensus top 10 prospect out of Mableton, Georgia. He was the SEC's No. 2 scorer, averaging 19.2 points per game. The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder was also tied for fifth with an average of 4.5 assists.

NBA scouts flocked to Alabama games in greater numbers than usual. Now Sexton says he's going to "bring confidence, leadership and a will to win" to the league.

"On the court as well as off the court, I'm going to do everything that's right and try to lead by example," Sexton said.

He would be Alabama's first draft pick since Richard Hendrix was selected in the second round in 2008. The Tide hasn't had a first-rounder since Gerald Wallace was picked by 25th overall by the Sacramento Kings in 2001.

Flanked by teammates when making the announcement, Sexton said he plans to remain in school this semester. He's working out daily with football strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran and ex-Tide football players for some 90 minutes.

And still going to class. His siblings have degrees "so I feel like I have to get mine. I can't be left out."

"His goal is to continue to get straight A's," Johnson said.

Outside the classroom, Sexton's goal is to follow in the steps of some of the NBA players he hopes to emulate, like Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul and Allen Iverson "because of the heart he played with and that's how I play the game every time I'm on the court."

Johnson said Westbrook is a fair comparison for Sexton. The Tide star's speed stands out even to a guy who played 16 years in the NBA and spent six-plus seasons as a head coach.

"I've said all along out of all the guys I've coached in the league, played against in the league, he was arguably the fastest guy I've seen with and without the basketball," Johnson said. "That's a strong statement.

"But he's got a lot of room to grow. He's going to get better."

Sexton began and ended his Alabama career on a low note but mostly created highlights in between.

He was held out of the first game thanks to a one-game suspension / by the NCAA related to a federal investigation into corruption in college basketball. Sexton finished on the bench after drawing a late technical foul in an 81-58 loss to eventual champion Villanova in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Sexton scored 40 points against Minnesota in just his fourth game — when he was one of three Tide players available to finish it out because of ejections and injuries — and also held his own against Oklahoma's own star freshman, Trae Young, in an Alabama victory .

With Alabama's NCAA hopes on the line, Sexton delivered in the SEC Tournament. He had 27 points and drove the length of the floor for a game-winning floater at the buzzer against Texas A&M.

Sexton also came up big again in the NCAA's first round. He scored 22 of his 25 points in the second half of a win over Virginia Tech for his fifth straight game with 20-plus points.

He set the NBA goal early in life, rising early to work on his dexterity with the ball or his shooting form or to hit the track with father Darnell. Darnell Sexton said his son once asked for an alarm clock for Christmas so he could get to work and predicted his future career when he was 4 or 5 years old.

"One day after church, he said, 'God told me I'm going to have an opportunity to play in the league someday,'" Darnell Sexton said.

___

More AP college basketball: https://collegebasketball.ap.org ; https://twitter.com/AP_Top25 and https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-special-events

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, College Sports, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Sports - Men's College Basketball, AP Sports - NBA
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
3 killed by Israeli fire, dozens hurt in Gaza border protest
Israeli troops killed have three men in the second mass protest in a week along Gaza's volatile border, as Palestinians torched piles of tires to create a smoke screen to block the view of snipers
11:13AM ( 19 minutes ago )
California storm may test spillway at nation's tallest dam
Heavy rain is moving across Northern California, prompting at least one city to bring in additional emergency crews as authorities warn morning commuters to drive slowly
11:04AM ( 28 minutes ago )
UFC star McGregor facing criminal charges in New York
Ultimate fighting star Conor McGregor is facing criminal charges after a melee; injuries to fighters forces removal of three fights off UFC's card on Saturday night
10:58AM ( 33 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
UFC star McGregor facing criminal charges in New York City
Ultimate fighting star Conor McGregor is facing criminal charges in the wake of a backstage melee he allegedly instigated; forces removal of three fights off UFC's biggest card of the year
9:48AM ( 1 hour ago )
Golf fashion maven Hackel ranks the players at the Masters
On the 50th anniversary of Roberto de Vicenzo's famous scorecard mistake that cost him the Masters, the hosts of "AP Sports Special Events" podcast make a few mistakes of their own
9:29AM ( 2 hours ago )
Davis Cup: Zverev gives Germany 1-0 lead over Spain
Alexander Zverev has cruised past David Ferrer 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 to give Germany a 1-0 lead against host Spain in the Davis Cup quarterfinals
9:04AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
East top 8 unchanged, Wolves fall to No. 8 in West
It's down to six days left in the NBA's regular season, and five West playoff spots are unclaimed
2:46AM ( 8 hours ago )
New man: Lue returns to coach Cavaliers after health scare
Cavs coach Tyronn Lue returns to sideline after chest pains prompted medical leave
12:08AM ( 11 hours ago )
LeBron scores 33 points, Cavs rally to stun Wizards 119-115
LeBron James scores 33 points as Cavaliers rally to stun Wizards 119-115
11:00PM ( 12 hours ago )
AP Online Basketball
"Paterno" movie a polarizing story with unanswered questions
"Paterno" aims to tell the polarizing story of a legend's fall, when the most essential question can never be answered
2:38PM ( 20 hours ago )
Philadelphia to cheer NCAA champs Villanova with parade
Philadelphia is getting the chance to celebrate yet another sports championship with a parade, this time for Villanova University's Wildcats
12:02AM ( 1 day ago )
WNBA coaches, GMs tab A'ja Wilson for top pick in mock draft
A'ja Wilson likely first pick in the WNBA draft next week, according to panel of coaches and general managers
9:53AM ( 2 days ago )
College Sports
AP Online - Georgia News
Villanova students gear up to welcome home NCAA champs
Students at Villanova University are gearing up to welcome home their men's basketball team, which is returning with its second NCAA championship in three years
12:37PM ( 2 days ago )
Villanova students, fans celebrate title, 2 arrests reported
Students at Villanova University flooded the streets around campus to celebrate the Wildcats' second NCAA men's basketball championship in three years, and police reported two arrests following the partying
8:47AM ( 3 days ago )
Villanova's 6th man breaks out in starring role vs Michigan
Donte DiVincenzo's biggest contribution to Villanova's 2016 national championship was made at practice, often playing the role of the opponents' best player
4:09AM ( 3 days ago )
AP Sports - Men's College Basketball
76ers win 12th straight, eliminate Pistons 115-108
JJ Redick scored 25 points, and the Philadelphia 76ers won their 12th straight game, eliminating Detroit from playoff contention with a 115-108 victory over the Pistons
10:44PM ( 1 day ago )
DeRozan scores 16 points as Raptors beat Celtics 96-78
DeRozan scores 16 points as Raptors move closer to clinching top seed in East by beating Boston 96-78
10:32PM ( 1 day ago )
New game in town: NBA tips off NBA 2K League with draft
Dimez slipped on his draft hat, shook hands with Commissioner Adam Silver, and began life as an NBA league's newest athlete
6:22PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - NBA
3 killed by Israeli fire, dozens hurt in Gaza border protest
Israeli troops killed have three men in the second mass protest in a week along Gaza's volatile border, as Palestinians torched piles of tires to create a smoke screen to block the view of snipers
11:13AM ( 19 minutes ago )
California storm may test spillway at nation's tallest dam
Heavy rain is moving across Northern California, prompting at least one city to bring in additional emergency crews as authorities warn morning commuters to drive slowly
11:04AM ( 28 minutes ago )
UFC star McGregor facing criminal charges in New York
Ultimate fighting star Conor McGregor is facing criminal charges after a melee; injuries to fighters forces removal of three fights off UFC's card on Saturday night
10:58AM ( 33 minutes ago )
Violence breaks out near Syrian capital as truce collapses
Syrian opposition activists and state media are reporting airstrikes and shelling in and around the rebel-held town of Douma after days of calm
10:50AM ( 41 minutes ago )
The Latest: Adviser says, 'Blame China, don't blame Trump'
The top White House economic adviser is saying, "Blame China, don't blame Trump," for any trade fight
10:49AM ( 42 minutes ago )