Two games into the Alabama basketball season, Kira Lewis Jr. stands out as a potential star who could surpass Collin Sexton.
Alabama basketball is 2-0 with wins over Southern University and Appalachian State. Crimson Tide coach, Avery Johnson is faced with an odd rebuild. The Alabama basketball roster is filled with experienced players but replacing one player, Collin Sexton, is Avery’s biggest challenge.
Last season, most Crimson Tide possessions revolved around Sexton, despite Collin not being a true point guard. In fact, the normal PG role of distributing the ball to teammates was not Sexton’s strength. What he could do was create his own shot. A combination of speed, toughness and determination allowed him to get the ball to the basket at a high level.
Sexton’s greatest attribute was a will to battle every second on the court – at both ends. He embraced every challenge with an expectation of success.
Now a 17-year old, Kira Lewis Jr., steps in to fill Collin’s shoes. Kira finished high school early to accelerate his college career. Most college basketball experts predicted Avery would ease the young man into a key Crimson Tide role. Two games into the season, Avery has done the opposite.
Kira Lewis Jr. is the Alabama basketball starting point guard. Actually, it is more accurate to define him as the lead guard. A single guard does not trigger Avery’s offense, on the break or in half-court sets. Kira will share that role with Herbert Jones, Dazon Ingram, at times even John Petty.
Two games are insufficient to predict a college career. But it is not too early to notice some indications. Kira Lewis is fast, maybe as fast as Collin Sexton. He is also a better shooter and a better passer. Sexton was a better defender from his first college game. Collin was more fearless, but Kira plays with confidence and poise. Sexton attacked the basket unlike few college players, but Lewis can get to the rim as well.
Stats don’t lie and Kira’s early numbers are posted below. The sample is too small to extrapolate to a full season, BUT, an early hunch is Kira Lewis Jr. will become a better overall, college basketball player than Collin Sexton. Part of that hunch rests on Lewis getting his teammates more productively involved than did Sexton.
Kira Lewis Jr. Stats
Stats from rolltide.com.
- Minutes Played – 60 minutes, highest on the team by 12 minutes
- Scoring Average – 13.5 points, third highest behind John Petty and Donta Hall
- Field Goal Percentage – 47.8 percent, third highest behind Donta Hall and John Petty
- 3-Point Percentage – 44.4 percent, third highest behind Alex Reese and John Petty
- The sample is not large enough to compare assists but Kira’s assist-to-turnover ratio is 2.00. Anything at 2.00 or higher is a strong team stat. Duke currently leads the nation at 5.50 (that number will go down considerably with more games). Alabama basketball is at 0.80. – a dreadful number aided considerably by Kira’s eight assists versus four turnovers.
For Alabama basketball fans just getting up to speed on the 2018-19 season, the SEC will be very tough again. Tennessee and Auburn are very good. On comparing the Tide to the Vols and Tigers on assist-to-turnover ratio – the Vols are at 2.3 and Auburn is at 1.7 to lead the conference.