Latest posts by Ben Stinar (see all)
- Stinar: Hawks’ Young could still win Rookie of The Year award - February 15, 2019
- Source: Lakers’ Ball recovering nicely from ankle injury - February 12, 2019
- Exclusive: Cavaliers rookie Sexton finding way as point man, leader - February 11, 2019
Luka Doncic or Trae Young? Everyone has an opinion on the infamous trade that went down at the NBA draft last June. But while everyone is focused on how great those two rookie guards are, Collin Sexton has quietly been putting up very nice numbers as a rookie himself.
In fact, in a typical draft class he might be a frontrunner for Rookie of the Year.
The Alabama product is averaging 14.8 points per game, and shooting an outstanding 40 percent on 3-pointers and better than 85 percent from the free-throw line. Impressive, but even more impressive for the fact that he just turned 20-years old a little more than a month ago.
“I feel like being a rookie you just gotta make sure you take care of your body,” Sexton told Amico Hoops. “Come in each and every day and just work. Just push like you never know what’s going to happen. A situation, just be prepared for whatever it is.”
In high school he led his team to a Georgia state championship appearance, and during his one season at Alabama he took the Crimson Tide to the second round of the NCAA Tournament — something they hadn’t done since 2006. He’s been a winner, but this season the Cavs have done a lot of losing. They’ve compiled just 11 wins in 56 tries. The losing in Cleveland is one of the reasons why Sexton is flying under the radar among his rookie peers right now.
“Being able to shoot the three-ball,” Sexton said when asked what gets overlooked in his game. “A lot of teams go under, but I’ve been making it at a high clip, and I feel like I’m improving in that area, and also leading my teammates.”
Sexton is confident, but not cocky. There’s a fine line. He believes in his game, and believes in his leadership qualities. He even has a defensive speciality.
“Defensive end, I get a lot of offensive fouls from the other team,” he said.
The point guard position as a whole is the most competitive position in all of basketball, and maybe pro sports. There are no easy nights for point guards.
“A lot of good point guards in the league,” Sexton said. “Certain players, you try to take certain pieces of your game from.”
Coming into the NBA as a teenager is exciting, but it’s also hard. Just keeping it together off of the court is half the battle. Sexton’s salary is more than $4 million per year. That’s more than double what most people make in their lifetime, and that’s his starting pay.
“You just gotta be prepared. You’re surroundings, you never know what’s happening,” he said. “You never know who’s trying to do what. You have to always be prepared and make sure that you’re aware of your surroundings.”
Sexton is known as “Young Bull,” and has been cruising along under the radar in comparison to his rookie counterparts. But in the age of social media and instant gratification — under the radar might be the best thing for his development, and ultimate pursuit of a great career.
It seems to suit Sexton just fine.