Five Things To Know About Utah's Newest Scorer: Collin Sexton

Ryan Kostecka
Digital Content Writer

Welcome to Utah, Collin Sexton

In what has become one of the biggest offseason trades, the Jazz sent three-time all-star Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for multiple first-round picks and a bevy of young and talented players.

Among that group is Sexton, a former first-round pick out of Alabama who has really blossomed the past couple of years.

Here are five things to know about the explosive guard, Sexton:

1.) Alabama Legend
Before Sexton became one of the premier young guards in the NBA, he was making national headlines as a freshman guard at Alabama.

During an early-season game against No. 14 Minnesota, Sexton finished with a career-high 40 points, adding six rebounds and five assists. While the stat line alone is impressive, what happened during the game is what made him a legend in Tuscaloosa.

Those numbers came with the Crimson Tide playing with just three players for almost the entire second half. Due to foul trouble and ejections, Sexton was forced to play 3-on-5 against Minnesota and nearly led Alabama to the win before falling 89-84.

ST LOUIS, MO - MARCH 09: Collin Sexton #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates in the 81-63 win over the Auburn Tigers during the quarterfinals round of the 2018 SEC Basketball Tournament at Scottrade Center on March 9, 2018 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

2.) McDonald’s All-American
Even before Sexton’s legendary exploits at Alabama, he thrived in the state of Georgia as a high school basketball phenom.

After attending Hillgrove High School for his first two years, Sexton transferred to Pebblebrook High School for his last two years and found instant success, leading the team to the state title game.

He parlayed that success into a five-star ranking by all recruiting websites, becoming a consensus top-10 player and one of the best guards in the nation.

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 27: Collin Sexton dunks during the 2017 McDonald's All American games POWERADE Jam Fest on March 27, 2017 at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

3.) Impressive College Season
Although Sexton only played one year at Alabama, he made the absolute most of it.

Apart from the game against Minnesota, Sexton averaged 19.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game, leading the Crimson Tide to a top-25 national ranking.

Most impressively, his game elevated every time the lights shone brightest. In five postseason games — SEC and NCAA Tournament — Sexton averaged 24.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game.

He was named the SEC Freshman of the Year and made the All-SEC Second Team and SEC All-Tournament First Team.

ST LOUIS, MO - MARCH 08: Collin Sexton #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide dribbles the ball against the Texas A&M Aggies during the second round of the 2018 SEC Basketball Tournament at Scottrade Center on March 8, 2018 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

4.) All-Time Rookie Year
After being taken with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft, Sexton more than lived up to the billing for the rebuilding Cavaliers.

He played in all 82 games, quickly becoming a starter (72 games) as the team’s point guard and averaging 16.7 points per game on 40.2% shooting from beyond the arc.

Sexton quickly proved that he was a future star in the making as he became the first rookie to score 23+ points in seven consecutive games since Tim Duncan did so in 1998. He was also the only rookie in league history to amass 2,000+ minutes while averaging 16+ points per game, 40%+ shooting from deep, and less than three turnovers per game.

He was named to the 2020 Rising Stars All-Star game, finishing with 21 points, five rebounds, and three assists.

5.) Bright Future
Before a knee injury derailed his year last season, Sexton looked like one of the legit up-and-coming guards in the league.

He averaged 24.3 points, 4.4 assists, and 3.1 rebounds per game on 37.1% shooting from deep. His ability to positively affect the game in transition, create his own shot or ones for teammates and knock down three-pointers proved why he was a near all-star selection that season.

Fully recovered from the knee injury, Sexton is poised for a massive year and should be a major contributor for Jazz teams in the present and beyond.