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UK Basketball: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is the best PG in the 2018 NBA Draft

Many mock drafts have Shai Gilgeous-Alexander behind Trae Young and Collin Sexton. Shai is going to prove everyone wrong.

Buffalo v Kentucky Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The majority of mock drafts have Shai Gilgeous-Alexander being selected in the late-lottery, though the top-10 buzz is (rightfully) starting to grow.

While the debate over who is the best point guard in this year’s draft can rage until the calendar reaches June 21st, there's no denying that Gilgeous-Alexander is in that mix with Trae Young and Collin Sexton. Both Young and Sexton may be viewed as better scorers, but Gilgeous-Alexander is the better overall player, especially on the defensive end.

Trae Young was the darling of college basketball last season. He dazzled fans with 40-plus points in four games last season. He would get to the foul line often, sometimes as many as 18 times in a game.

And on top of all that, Young was perceived as a fearless shooter, as he would jack up Steph Curry-like three-pointers. What most people and pundits won’t tell you, however, is how turnover prone the former Sooner was. Young had games where he committed 7, 8, 9, even 12 turnovers.

Granted he had the ball in his hands a lot, but as a guard in the NBA, you cannot turn the ball over 5.2 times per game. With a less than 2-1 assist to turnover ratio, Young cannot be counted on early in his career to run an offense.

Collin Sexton is a bit more polished than Young, and fits the mold of a prototypical point guard. Sexton is just a bit larger than Young, though he’s still a few inches shorter than Shai. Sexton is a fiery competitor on the court and plays with a lot of emotion.

A few pundits have compared his play to that of former Wildcat Eric Bledsoe.

Sexton, like Young has an assist to turnover ratio below 2-1. In fact, it’s way below. Sexton assisted on 119 buckets last season, while turning the ball over 92 times. He’s a streaky shooter and is at his best when he finishes at the rim. That task will become more difficult at the next level with the likes of Anthony Davis, Rudy Gobert and Clint Capela.

All of Big Blue Nation knows just how skilled Gilgeous-Alexander is. As the leader of the Wildcats last season, his abilities were on full display. Shai, like Young and Sexton, has an assist to turnover ratio under 2-1 as well. However, his is much better than Sexton, and better than Young’s as well.

Shai is an underrated shooter, having shot better from downtown than both Young and Sexton. Gilgeous-Alexander’s height and length help him on the defensive end. Shai had 18 blocks last season, more than Young and Sexton combined (11).

All of these point guards are far from a finished product, and all three could have outstanding pro careers.

But, if I’m in the market for a point guard during the NBA Draft, I’m taking Shai over Young and Sexton.

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