Thoughts on Mohamed Bamba and Collin Sexton’s Performances in the Texas-Alabama Game

January 2, 2018

By Alan Lu

I decided to take a look at a Texas-Alabama game that was played on December 22nd, as that featured two likely lottery picks in Texas’ freshman center, Mohamed Bamba, and Alabama’s freshman point guard, Collin Sexton.  It was actually a close game for most of the way, until Texas ran away with the game later on to get a double-digit victory.  I saw this game to get a better feel for Bamba and Sexton’s strengths and weaknesses, and I was able to do so with thanks to YouTube via College Sports.  Here are my thoughts on how Bamba and Sexton fared on this day, as well as how some of the other prospects played in this contest.

Texas’ 7-0 freshman center, Mohamed Bamba had a really good showing, as he helped catapult his team to get a road win over Alabama.  He did a tremendous job of finishing plays around the basket, and he also rebounded, blocked shots, and defended really well when he was on the court.  Bamba did a terrific job of scoring on hustle plays.  He was able to throw down numerous powerful dunks, as he would run the floor to get scores often on fast breaks.  Plus, he often scored on put backs, and he would usually throw down magnetic jams after grabbing offensive rebounds for his team.  In addition, he was able to catch an entry pass that was thrown his way, and he was able to go up strong to draw free throws, as he was able to make both of them when he was at the foul line.

However, he was unable to knock down jumpers when he would take shots from further out, as he missed two three-point attempts, and he also missed a mid-range shot off the catch.  Also, Bamba would set on-ball screens, and he was also enabled his teammate to score off of a drive once after doing so, but sometimes, Bamba can struggle to protect the basketball, as he had the ball ripped away from him when doubled in the post shortly after catching the ball, though his teammate, Matt Coleman didn’t tell him that the double was coming, so Bamba ended up getting blindsided that time.

Bamba did a great job of rebounding the basketball.  He hauled in many boards on both ends of the floor as he would leap up to get some tough rebounds in traffic, and he also would frequently capitalize on his offensive boards by quickly scoring afterwards.  He also played tremendous defense in this game.  Bamba blocked a multitude of shots to protect the paint for his team, and as he possesses a great blend of having the length, athleticism, and timing to do so, he made some of his blocks quite effortlessly, as opponents had trouble finishing plays on aggressive drives to the basket.  Bamba also has solid footwork, as he can stay with opponents out on the perimeter, and he also managed to block a three-point shot.   He has terrific timing, as he can swat numerous shots in the paint, and he easily swatted a floater attempt out of bounds late in the game.

Plus, Bamba did a very good job of contesting jumpers as well as shots around the basket to force a wealth of misses.  Also, he managed to poke a ball away when defending the post to get a steal.  Bamba has a really long wingspan, which allows him to make it tough for his opponents to get the ball in bounds, but every once in a while, he can get beat on a move off the dribble or when defending the post, which can lead him to commit fouls or allow scores on occasion.  In general, Mohamed Bamba had a terrific game, as he was able to help his team in many different ways to get them the win over Alabama.  He is a smart basketball player that could be a likely top 5 pick in the upcoming draft, as he may have the skills to be an elite rim protector in the NBA.

Alabama’s freshman point guard, Collin Sexton did not play nearly as well as he did against Arizona, and it seemed that he had trouble scoring consistently with Bamba in the lane to shore up Texas’ defense.  Sexton generally would play too fast as he seldom looked to change speeds, which would lead to some out of control misses when he would look to hoist up shots, but he did make some good shots off the dribble at times, and he also showed solid facilitation skills in his team’s loss to Texas.

Sexton showed an adequate ability to garner scores off the dribble.  He is really fast, and he is a deft ball handler that can get swift scores on drives as well as in transition.  Plus, he also can draw fouls upon the opposition.  He also managed to score on a put back after getting an offensive rebound due to possessing a great motor to do so, but sometimes, he may tend to play too fast, which may lead him to miss shots in traffic.  However, he struggled to consistently knock down jumpers.  Sexton did use a step back move to make a long two-point shot, but he had trouble scoring on pull-up jumpers throughout the game.

He also displayed solid playmaking skills.  Sexton has great speed, and he can throw an assortment of accurate passes to set up numerous scoring chances for his teammates.  He can throw crisp, lob passes to cutters, and he can throw very good interior passes, but sometimes, his passes can get deflected, and he also committed one turnover, as he lost a ball out of bounds after displaying some fancy ball handling due to playing too fast that time.  Also, Sexton did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  He really excelled at hauling in offensive boards, and he would frequently leap up to get some tough boards on both ends of the floor.

Plus, he displayed fairly average defensive skills.  Sexton can defend well when he is dialed in.  He excelled at collecting steals when he was on the floor, as he was able to poke a couple of balls away in the post.  Also, he showed good lateral footwork when defending an opposing ball handler, and he fought through a screen to get an opponent called for setting an illegal pick.  In addition, he also managed to contest a three to force a miss.

However, sometimes Sexton can over-help in the paint and lose track of his man, as he may tend to roam around, which can lead him to give up three-point baskets to the oppositions.  Other times, he had trouble defending drives, as he did not always show great footwork, and he would end up committing fouls and allowing scores.  There was also another time where he didn’t hustle back on defense, as his team allowed a dunk to the opposition on the break.

In general, Collin Sexton did not have his best game, but he still showed some solid skills even in a loss to Texas.  He is a speedy point guard that can get scores on strong drives to the basket, and he also may be a significantly better facilitator than he appears to be.  He also can be a good defender when he is locked in on that end of the floor.  However, Sexton can play too wildly on offense at times, and he also will need to improve his jump shot.  Still, he has a lot of skills and he may have a great deal of upside, as he could be a likely lottery pick in 2018.

Other Notes:

Texas’ 6-4 junior guard, Kerwin Roach II played very well, as he was able to help lead his team to a double-digit win over Alabama.  He showed off solid offensive skills, as he would throw down nifty dunks on fast breaks, and he even caught a lob pass to throw down an alley-oop dunk in transition.  Plus, he was able to make a three, and he also can score on drives to the basket.  Roach generally passed and handled the ball well.

Also, he also showed some defensive skills.  He can alter shots to force misses, he managed to heap on a loose ball to help his team get a steal, and he also drew a charge.  But sometimes, Roach would be out of position when defending drives, as he would get beat on moves, and he would commit some fouls and allow scores.  Right now, Roach is an athletic, skilled combo guard that has been a solid role player for Texas, and he could be an intriguing prospect to keep an eye on in the future.

Alabama’s 6-11 center, Daniel Giddens played well in his team’s loss to Texas.  He excelled at scoring in the post, and he showed off good footwork, strength, and shooting touch to do so.  He also threw down powerful dunks off of rolls to the basket.  Plus, he would set numerous screens, as he was able to free up a teammate to score on a drive, and he would consistently roll hard to the basket.

Plus, he generally rebounded the ball well, as he would particularly crash the defensive glass.  He also played good defense, as he was able to tip a high entry pass to at teammate to help get his team a steal, and he also would contest shots to force misses.  But sometimes, he would struggle to defend his man, which would lead him to allow scores on jumpers.  In general, Daniel Giddens had a solid game off the bench, and he could be a potential second round pick sometime down the road.

Alabama’s 6-5 freshman guard, John Petty also had a good showing in this game.  He was able to throw down an alley-oop dunk to score off of a cut, and he showed a good ability to knock down pull-up jumpers.  He also would run the floor to get scores in transition.  but sometimes, he would rush his shots, which would lead him to either miss in traffic, or to get his shot blocked on occasion.
He also played good defense.  Petty managed to deflect a pass out of bounds, and he also did a good job of contesting threes to force misses, but there was one occasion where he over-helped in the paint, and it led to a scramble where his team ended up giving up a three-point basket to the opposition.  In general, Petty played well in his team’s loss to Texas, and he could end up being a good prospect for the NBA if he continues to hone his overall game.

Texas’ freshman point guard, Matt Coleman played well in his team’s win over Alabama, as he particularly showed solid offensive skills.  He excelled at driving to the basket and at distributing the basketball to get assists, and he was able to score on a speedy floater off the dribble.  Plus, he was able to make a few jumpers.  However, he did commit some turnovers due to carelessness.

Also, he played good defense, as he would generally contest threes to force misses, and he was able to run in to intercept a bounce pass to get a steal.  However, he also would commit touch fouls due to over-aggressiveness, and he also lost track of a cutter to allow a dunk once.  Overall, Coleman had another good game in his team’s win over Alabama, and he could likely end up having a solid collegiate career.

Texas’ 6-3 junior guard, Eric Davis Jr. put forth a good showing in his team’s 16-point victory, as he really excelled at knocking down spot-up threes off the catch.

Donta Hall did not play very well as he was pretty much a non-factor offensively, but he did grab some rebounds and show some defensive skills.  Hall did a good job of intercepting passes to get steals, and he also was able to block a shot on a drive to a teammate.  Plus, he would leap up to get some rebounds in this game.  On the downside, he had some trouble defending drives, as he committed a foul once and allowed a score another time.

Offensively, he did not really do that much.  He did not look to score often, and he would miss shots wildly in traffic, but he did score on a running jump hook after using a pivot after catching the ball on a roll.  Hall showed some ball handling skills while handling in transition, but he set a moving screen once on offense, and he also threw a bad bounce pass back that got intercepted, as he was a bit turnover prone in this game.

Overall, Donta Hall did not play very well, but he still showed some rebounding and defensive skills, and he will still make some plays due to possessing a good motor.  He will need to improve his skill level offensively, but his skill set could perhaps allow him to be drafted by an NBA team in the second round on draft day.

Alabama’s 6-8 sophomore forward, Braxton Key played in this game against Texas, but he did not play very well.  He had trouble knocking down jumpers or drives to the hoop, and he would frequently miss on drives in traffic due to playing out of control.  He did manage to utilize a quick jab step in order to knock down a nifty pull-up, mid-range jumper, but that turned out to be his only made field goal of the game.  He did show some ball handling skills when he would dribble it up the court, as he also managed to find an open shooter to get an assist.   However, he also threw a couple of inaccurate passes that led him to commit turnovers.

Key was able to grab some rebounds, and he also played good defense.  He frequently was able to deflect passes, and he also managed to contest a three to force a miss, but he also got beat in transition a couple of times that led his team to allow scores at the rim.  In general, Braxton Key did not play very well, as he particularly struggled with his jump shot, and he had trouble scoring on drives due to Bamba’s presence around the basket.  He’ll still have time to string together good games later on this season, but so far, he is not off to a good start this year.

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