Bama Hoops Hype

2017-18 Season Preview: John Petty

Photo by Johnathan Anderson - Bama Hoops Hype

One of the biggest X-factors for the success of the Crimson Tide this season, John Petty has a lot of expectations resting upon his shoulders. The two-time Mr. Basketball for the state of Alabama decided to stay at home, choosing the Tide over a number of proven programs like UConn, Kansas, and Kentucky. Playing the role of hometown hero isn’t easy, and Petty will be carrying a lot of weight on both ends of the floor for the Tide this season. However, Petty is proven on the court and will look to be the face of Alabama basketball.

Petty did not receive as much hype as Collin Sexton coming in, but given his style of play and effort on both sides of the ball, could easily prove to be a more critical signing for Avery Johnson than many scouts may realize.

Petty is deadly from range. He went 6–8 from three in his debut with the Tide against McGill University during Alabama’s preseason tour in Canada, leading the team in scoring with 22 points. He can spread the floor with his range, while still managing to attack the rim. Petty has natural scoring abilities and will be a main source of points for the Tide throughout the season.

While Petty’s scoring ability isn’t surprising, his work on the defensive side of the ball is what will really separate him from the crowd. Petty is an extremely long defender, capable of causing trouble to ball handlers and shooters alike. Averaging over 1.5 steals a game throughout his high school career, Petty demonstrated time and time again his quickness and defensive awareness. His 6’5, 195-pound frame allows him to guard not only the quicker, perimeter guards, but gives him the ability to battle with some forwards in the paint.

Though Sexton is making the headlines, don’t be shocked if Petty is the player making the plays for the Tide this season. Expect him to lead the team by example, as well as many statistical categories. It may not be too long before we see two Alabama players in 2018 NBA Mock Drafts.

Johnathan Anderson covers Alabama Basketball for Bama Hoops Hype. You can follow him on Twitter for coverage and analysis throughout the season.

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