The relationship between Iowa State and Mableton (Ga.) point guard Collin Sexton in some sense really began early last summer.
Though the recruiting side and an eventual Cyclones offer came later in the year when Iowa State watched the four-star, Top-50 prospect play in December, Sexton was initially introduced to Iowa State by Monte Morris much earlier.
And the relationship has evolved since.
“I talk to them a lot, every week pretty much,” Sexton said of Iowa State. “All the coaches — the assistants, the head coach — they call and text and make sure everything is going good. I talk to Monte [Morris] a lot. Pretty much all the time.”
Morris and Sexton first became acquainted earlier last summer when the Cyclones point guard traveled to Georgia to work out with his trainer, Flint (Mich.) native Nick Stapleton, who also trains the well-regarded Sexton. He quickly came to know the youngster Sexton and took the rising point guard under his wing.
In the months since the two worked out together, Morris and Sexton have in some ways developed a mentor, mentee bond. They call and text each other, and when school lets out in May, Morris will head to Georgia to work out.
“It’s been a minute since I met him,” Sexton said of his friendship with Morris. “He came down this past summer to work out with us for the whole summer when he was free. We just grew from there. We don’t talk about recruiting. We just talk about working out and stuff like that. If he has a good game… he’ll call me up and we’ll talk about how he played the night before. He’s become a big help. Any questions I have to ask him like pick and rolls, anything off the court or on the court, because he deals with it a lot.”
Now, Iowa State hopes he might replace Morris.
The Cyclones have prioritized the point guard position in the 2017 class with hopes of landing a talented prospect to replace the departing Morris following the upcoming 2016-17 season. Sexton is one of a few prime candidates.
Ranked as the No. 46 overall prospect in the class (the eighth-best point guard), Sexton has a laundry list of interest. His offers come from the likes of Clemson, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss, Virginia, Kansas State and Texas Tech in addition to Iowa State and a host of others.
Iowa State is one showing major interest.
“They talk pretty much about best fit. They think I could fit their style of play and come in and be able to have an impact on the team,” Sexton said. “I can fit their system pretty good. [Coach Prohm] likes the way I attack and come down hill. He spreads the floor and lets the guards play, which is pretty good. And he did great this season.”
While assistant William Small is the lead assistant on Sexton, Prohm has also been heavily involved and stopped at Pebblebrook High School on Tuesday to watch the highly regarded prospect work out. Afterward, he had a brief conversation with Sexton.
“We talked about the next four years and what big tournaments they’re playing and how they play one of the top schedules [and] aren’t afraid to play any of the big-name schools,” Sexton said. “And just how hard they work at it and how they’re trying to find players that can fit their program and be able to grow.”
Sexton, who plans to take all five official visits, said he hopes to visit Iowa State on an unofficial trip, “probably when we’re free in the summertime.” He doesn’t currently have any favorites or a timeline for a decision.
For now, the Top-50 prospect is focused on basketball. When his mentor Morris called him Monday night, he continued to focus him on that task.
“Just keep working, keep taking it day by day, keep working and try to find the best fit pretty much,” Sexton said of what Morris told him. “Then he talked about how he’s coming down here and how we’re going to battle it out.”