The Orlando Magic have a need at point guard. But fans are afraid of a repeat of a non-shooting guard. Collin Sexton asks those and many other questions.
One story dominated the Thanksgiving weekend set of games. It was a historic performance. The kind that tends to stick in your mind and you keep coming back to. Something you hope says something bigger about a player.
Six minutes into the second half, a brawl broke out ejecting five players. The Alabama Crimson Tide only had four players left. An injury knocked out another a few minutes later. The Tide were down to three on five.
Collin Sexton did not care. Alabama was down 57-50 at the time. Sexton scored 21 points as the Alabama Crimson Tide played the Minnesota Golden Gophers even. It was an impressive performance. Sexton finished with 40 points overall.
And it was that game that put Sexton firmly among the top-10 prospects early on in the year. This was Sexton at his most competitive and his best. He was not going to go down swinging.
That is quite an impression. A game and a performance that will go down as one of the greatest individual performances in NCAA history. Even in defeat.
The game seemed emblematic of the will and the desire to win within Sexton. That is stuff no one can teach. The question is whether his play can match that.
The buzz around Sexton died down in the middle of the season as he struggled to get himself going with the same eye-popping numbers. Only for him to pick it up in the NCAA Tournament and SEC Tournament. He seemed to rise to the occasion of the big stage.
Sexton’s scoring numbers are gaudy. He has great end-to-end speed and attacks the basket with strength and finesse. When he gets going, few teams are going to be able to stop him.
A point guard more in the vein of John Wall than a pure passer. Sexton does not have a lot of frills to his game. It is just an onslaught on the rim.
That can work. Plenty of players have been able to make a living off of sheer will and determination to the get to the basket. — John Wall and Russell Westbrook to name a few. Sexton may not quite be those players. He still has a lot of growing to do offensively.
Still, that memory lingers. What he did on the court at Barclays Center back in November leaves a lasting impression. It is something NBA teams will not ignore. When it comes to making a draft pick Sexton has a lot to like and plenty of signs of improvement.