AUBURN — Any Alabama fan who flipped to basketball after watching their football team’s loss at Auburn witnessed a once-in-a-lifetime performance, as Collin Sexton dominated #14 Minnesota despite playing three-on-five basketball to establish himself as the 16th most valuable player in the country according to www.valueaddbasketball.com.
Villanova’s Mikal Bridges is now the most valuable player in the country, playing in the “basketball-only” Big East, worth 11.93 extra points per game, but even the SEC Network lead anchor Saturday night said, “We do not show basketball highlights on a Saturday night during football season, except when this happens.”
When the Barclay’s Center championship in New York scheduled a tipoff during half-time of the Iron Bowl (in which #6 Auburn defeated #1 Alabama 26-14), it seemed questionable if any Alabama fan would watch what became an epic game (see CBS Sports highlights of the 3-on-5 here). A combination of ejections, a foul out, and an injury left 25th ranked Alabama short-handed for the final 12 minutes.
Minnesota was winning 63-52 playing 5-on-5, but once they were short-handed Sexton spent the next 10 minutes hiting four straight free throws, six of nine shots including three 3-pointers, grabbing four rebounds, and capping the run by assisting on a dunk to Galin Smith that cut pulled Alabama to 86-82 before finally running out of gas. The 30-23 advantage for the Tide during the stretch occurred despite Minnesota being able to double team two players at a time, yet the three-man defense held the Gophers to 8 of 18 shooting.
On a football weekend, Villanova blitzed Northern Iowa with a football type stat — turning the ball over just three times in a 64-50 win the day after beating an excellent Tennessee team by double digits to go to 6-0. Many football teams have three turnovers in a game, but in basketball where charges, 30-second violations and stolen passes or dribbles all count as turnovers, Villanova’s three was a 20-year low and helped Bridges top the Value Add ratings and teammate Jalen Brunson come in at 11th.
The following are the 25 most valuable players, based on the Value Add system that detemines how many points above replacement each player is due, and the rankings for 3,962 players from this season can be found or sorted by team or conference at www.valueaddbasketball.com.
|Rnk||Player||Team||Value Add v5.0 Pts/Game||Conf||Ht||Class|
|1||Mikal Bridges #25||Villanova||11.93||BE||6-7||3 Jr|
|2||Nick Weiler-Babb #1||Iowa St.||11.65||B12||6-5||3 Jr|
|3||Ben Lammers #44||Georgia Tech||11.63||ACC||6-10||4 Sr|
|4||Deandre Ayton #13||Arizona||11.47||P12||7-1||1 Fr|
|5||Bonzie Colson #35||Notre Dame||11.25||ACC||6-6||4 Sr|
|6||Devin Cannady #3||Princeton||11.08||Ivy||6-1||3 Jr|
|7||Ria’n Holland #10||Mercer||10.99||SC||6-1||4 Sr|
|8||Hayden Dalton #20||Wyoming||10.86||MWC||6-8||4 Sr|
|9||Jordan Murphy #3||Minnesota||10.86||ACC||6-6||3 Jr|
|10||Manu Lecomte #20||Baylor||10.8||B12||5-11||4 Sr|
|11||Jalen Brunson #1||Villanova||10.52||BE||6-2||3 Jr|
|12||Jordan McLaughlin #11||USC||10.45||P12||6-1||4 Sr|
|13||Shizz Alston #3||Temple||10.39||Amer||6-4||3 Jr|
|14||DJ Hogg #1||Texas A&M||10.3||SEC||6-9||3 Jr|
|15||Trae Young #11||Oklahoma||9.94||B12||6-2||1 Fr|
|16||Collin Sexton #2||Alabama||9.82||SEC||6-3||1 Fr|
|17||Shamorie Ponds #2||St. John’s||9.82||BE||6-1||2 So|
|18||Tyus Battle #25||Syracuse||9.77||ACC||6-6||2 So|
|19||Tony Carr #10||Penn St.||9.7||B10||6-5||2 So|
|20||Gary Clark #11||Cincinnati||9.64||Amer||6-8||4 Sr|
|21||Ethan Happ #22||Wisconsin||9.62||B10||6-10||3 Jr|
|22||Daniel Utomi #3||Akron||9.57||MAC||6-6||2 So|
|23||Nick King #5||Middle Tenn||9.54||CUSA||6-7||4 Sr|
|24||Luke Maye #32||UNC||9.42||ACC||6-8||3 Jr|
|25||Lagerald Vick #2||Kansas||9.38||B12||6-5||3 Jr|