Guard Collin Sexton Emerges As Prime Tar Heel Target

Georgia guard has been one of the hottest names on the circuit this summer.

LAS VEGAS — Although he hasn’t yet spoken to Roy Williams or received a confirmed scholarship offer, Collin Sexton nevertheless slots as a key senior target for North Carolina.

Based on Roy Williams’ frequent viewings of Sexton this week at the Las Vegas Classic — and particularly given the multiple simultaneous priorities in other gyms — we can state safely that the explosive guard looms as a factor in UNC’s late summer recruiting plan.

And for very good reason. Sexton’s quickness, aggression, body control, shooting touch and spirited competitive style have made him a fan and coaches’ favorite here in Sin City.

His ascent began in earnest during USA Basketball’s run through the 17-unders earlier this summer. He believes that trip and his overall success during the past few months have enabled him to catapult among the national elite.

”(This travel season) just showed that my hard work, it's paying off,” Sexton said. “I had a great spring and summer, and everything is just coming over. I thought USA Basketball was a great experience because I'd never been coached by some of the best coaches in the world.”

Sexton is at his best making plays off the bounce, where he either rises for jump shots or explodes all the way to the rim. His aggressive driving style and power make him a frequent visitor to the free throw line as well.

The next step will be to manage an increasingly wild recruitment. Coaches love a late bloomer, and Sexton’s pursuit surged beyond his ability to manage. Thus, he announced this week a list of finalists that includes (alphabetically) Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia Tech, Iowa State, Kansas, North Carolina, N.C. State, Oklahoma State and Villanova.

”It was getting a little nerve wracking,” Sexton said. “Everybody calling me, morning and night. I just thought I needed to (cut my list). I'll probably finish up here, and then probably in August make another cut. I want to take my five officials.”

North Carolina assistant Hubert Davis has been the contact point for the Tar Heels. It’s possible — and perhaps likely — that Roy Williams himself will become involved soon, but Davis’ influence has been sufficient to reserve a spot on Sexton’s list.

”He’s told me to just keep playing and they would be here watching,” Sexton said. “Roy was here. (Davis) wants me to come up there (for a visit).”

Whichever school lands Sexton will be getting a player who can make an immediate impact as a scorer and an overall energy presence. In order to prevail in his recruitment, the schools will need to demonstrate — via their current athletes — that their school is a desirable fit.

”I'm going to ask other players how they feel about the coaches, first and foremost,” he said. “If they say that it's great, I want to talk to some of the business people in the business department and see what direction they could lead me in.”

Sexton ranks No. 10 nationally in the Class of 2017.

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