One year after Alabama finished tied for fifth in the SEC and earned a No. 3 seed in the NIT, the Crimson Tide are tied for third in the conference and poised to earn an NCAA tournament bid. What changed from last season to this season? The addition of a talented freshman class, headlined by 6-3 guard Collin Sexton.

Sexton, one of the most talented freshmen in the country, is averaging a team-high 18.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.1 steals per game. He has scored at least 20 points in nine of the 18 games he's played this season, including a career-high 40 points in a loss to Minnesota, when Alabama played the final 10-plus minutes with only three players.

The Mableton, Ga., native is one of the highest usage players in the country and he's among the best at drawing fouls and getting to the free throw line. Sexton draws an average of 7.5 fouls per 40 minutes. One hundred and six of his 333 points this season have come from the free throw line.

Sexton is also a productive distributor with an assist rate of 24.4, meaning he earns the assist on roughly one of every four Alabama baskets when he's on the floor.

Andy Wittry has written for SI.com, Sporting News, the Indianapolis Star, Louisville Courier-Journal and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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