Alabama basketball was forced to play 3-on-5 for the final 10 minutes of its game against Minnesota after the Crimson Tide’s entire bench was ejected, a player fouled out, and another sprained his ankle. Bama was trailing by 10 at the time. This game should have been over.
Somehow, it wasn’t. Alabama would eventually fall, 89-84, but not before a Herculean effort from their three players against a Gophers team ranked No. 14 in the country.
Alabama outscored Minnesota 30-22 while playing 3-on-5. Most of the credit belongs to top freshman Collin Sexton, who dropped 40 points in the loss.
Sexton was already considered the best recruit in program history. Now he’s officially a legend.
Sexton is likely to be an NBA lottery pick in June, and he showed why in this game. The point guard was completely fearless playing 3-on-5, scoring at will against a Minnesota defense that was one of the best in the Big Ten last season.
I am dead LMAO Collin Sexton won't be denied pic.twitter.com/UhxAnr6uVB— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) November 26, 2017
Alabama had the ball down three in the final minute. This made no sense.
So what did this game even look like?
Minnesota’s offense was run entirely around the perimeter as the team was gifted wide-open jump shots. Alabama opted to pack its three players in the paint to clog the middle in a sort of make-shift zone. Minnesota was taking the type of open three-pointers it does in warmups, but it still couldn’t convert.
On the other end, Sexton managed to keep his motor running and operate as if he had a full team to play with. He dropped shot after shot despite being triple-teamed at times. He was picked up defensively as soon as he crossed the halfcourt line, but with solid handles and limitless range, Sexton was at his best playing with nothing to lose.
Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino joked after the game that Sexton could beat an entire team on his own.
Maybe he wasn’t kidding.
Sexton should put this game on every NBA general manager’s desk. He finished with 40 points, but the buckets he was draining by himself were the most impressive. Even when the Tide were down to just TWO other options, the Gophers couldn’t contain the potential lottery guard.
He’s THAT real.
Alabama basketball fans have a lot to look forward to this season, considering this team pulled THIS close with 60 percent of a dang lineup.