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Arizona basketball recruiting: Five-star PG Collin Sexton a high priority for the Wildcats

Collin’s older brother chats about the guard’s recruitment and what he likes about the U of A.

NCAA Basketball: California at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

In late February, Georgia guard Collin Sexton was the 111th ranked player on 247 Sports’ composite rankings. Now, he’s 18th. Furthermore, he is the second-rated point guard, and arguably the fastest rising player in the entire country.

Sexton, who led the Nike EYBL league in scoring at just a tad over 30 points per game, recently made the Team USA U17 squad, both of which were among his five goals for the 2016-2017 season. Oh, and he also led the team to a Gold medal and was named tournament MVP.

The point guard told Scout earlier this month that the recruiting process has “been crazy.” While many teams have been vying for him ever since his EYBL outbreak, he has narrowed it down to ten schools: Villanova, Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma State, North Carolina State, Arizona, Alabama, Florida, Georgia Tech, and Iowa State.

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I spoke to Collin’s older brother Jordan who, along with their parents, is helping with the recruiting process.

The schools in question, Jordan said, are “all good schools as far as education goes and you don’t usually see anything bad about them in the news.” With a 3.7 GPA, education is obviously a high priority for Collin. He once told Scout.com school is “first and foremost” and is leaning towards studying business.

In terms of a timeline going forward, Collin will “enjoy the last couple tournaments this summer, take all of his visits, and see what school fits him best,” Jordan explained. “He’ll choose his school before the high school season starts so he has no pressure.”

Jordan also said that Collin’s official visits should be announced within the next couple of weeks. While his brother didn’t elaborate on potential visits, the point guard said two weeks ago “I’m trying to get to Arizona for sure, Florida, ... and Iowa State.”

In terms of what the electric point guard is looking for, aside from being great academically, is “a great relationship with his coach.” Jordan added that the schools that “reached out to him the most” were the schools included in his top ten. While some schools, Nova for instance, came on late, they still showed enough to be noticed (and for good reason) by the younger Sexton.

As for Arizona, they fit right in with a great coach and university ranked highly in academics. While the coaching staff hasn’t gotten him on campus yet, “Arizona contacts Collin a lot and their up-style play is amazing and he likes a great coach,” Jordan said. He added how 2016 recruit Kobi Simmons also left Georgia for Arizona, something that shows great trust in the coaching staff, and is something Collin really relishes.

On the court, everyone knows Sexton can score the ball with ease. While with Team USA, he tried to show off more of his playmaking and “true point guard” abilities by getting his teammates involved. Jordan even said Collin held off on some shots he might have ordinarily taken in order to distribute more to his teammates. When it comes down to it, his ability to become a shutdown defender is key to his long term success. Jordan says he has told Collin, “As long as you play great defense, it don’t matter. The offense will always come.”

He added, “If you lock up your opposition, you’ll win games. What motivates him [Collin] a lot is being that [all around] point guard because everyone only thinks he can score.”

In addition to his two goals stated above, Sexton has a couple more goals to accomplish before he heads to college: Win a state championship, and be selected to the McDonald’s All-American Game and Jordan Brand Classic, both of which happen next April.

To make these a reality, Collin spends hours in the gym, focusing on improving his jump shot, increasing his speed, and fine-tuning all aspects of his game. He also reviews game film with his parents, breaking down the pro’s and con’s of each decision and seeing if there was a better option or open teammate that he may have missed.

However, none of this would have been possible without his parents.

“His mom and dad were a huge reason for his success,” Jordan said. They kept saying the time will come, the time will come. They are his biggest motivators and push him to succeed and go farther. After games, he’ll come home and rewatch games and breakdown the game with his family – something no one gets to see. Family is so big to him.”

The guidance and support they offer him and the family is crucial to his development thus far. Even on work nights, you can find his mom and/or dad in the gym, rebounding for their son in hopes they can see him one day play in a college arena in front of thousands of adoring fans.

For Collin, it appears the sky is the limit.

His brother even ventured a comparison: Allen Iverson. He prefaced that, saying “There’s a difference between saying it and actually doing it.” While he’s no doubt a long way off from being one of the best scorers the game has ever seen (Iverson ranks sixth all-time with a 26.7 points per game average), Sexton’s natural scoring ability does bring credence to that comparison.

Overall, this recruitment seems to be wide open, but I do feel confident in saying I expect Arizona to get a visit (mainly from what Collin has said in the past), which means U of A would be in his top five schools. In my recruiting update post from last month, the point guard was quoted saying the staff wanted to get him on campus “real soon” and Sean Miller “is a guard-friendly coach. He lets Allonzo Trier go and that’s big.”

If Arizona is able to land the top-ranked Sexton, it will put them on pace for another top-ranked recruiting class, and one which will hope to come in with a goal of reaching a second straight Four Final.