Alabama basketball

Alabama guard Collin Sexton helped hold Oklahoma's Trae Young to 17 points Saturday.

Robert Sutton/Alabama Athletics

TUSCALOOSA — Collin Sexton’s freshman season earned conference-wide acclaim.

The Associated Press named the Alabama point guard the league’s Newcomer of the Year and a first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection Tuesday, while the league’s coaches tabbed him second-team All-SEC and Co-Freshman of the Year, along with Kentucky’s Kevin Knox.

“It shows that all my hard work has paid off, but I wouldn’t get it without my teammates or the coaching staff putting me in the right positions all season,” Sexton said Tuesday. “I’d like to thank them, too.”

Tennessee’s Rick Barnes was named Coach of the Year by both voting bodies. Georgia’s Yante Maten was tabbed the conference’s Player of the Year by the AP, while Tennessee’s Grant Williams won the honor from the coaches.

Ties were not broken in the voting done by league coaches.

Sexton is the program’s first SEC Freshman of the Year winner since Mo Williams won the award in 2002. It’s the second straight season Alabama has put a player on the All-Freshman Team, too, after Braxton Key was honored last season.

The conference’s second-leading scorer despite missing three games due to either suspension or injury, Sexton averaged 18.3 points a game and dished 3.6 assists. He scored 10 or more points in 24 of the 28 games he played, including 12 20-point performances.

Sexton scored 20 or more points in each of the first three games of his career — the first freshman in the modern era of Alabama basketball to do so.

Against Minnesota on Nov. 25, Sexton set the school’s new freshman record with a 40-point performance in an 89-84 loss — a game in which Sexton was one of three eligible Alabama players who finished the game following a benches-clearing skirmish.

Sexton was the first Alabama player to score at least 40 points since Reggie King in 1979.

Crimson Tide forward Donta Hall was one of five men named to the league’s All Defensive Team.

“I got to give thanks to the coaching staff, my teammates,” Hall said. “I couldn’t have done this without them, and to the man above.”

The lanky, 6-foot-9 junior averaged a team-leading 2.3 blocks a game. His 68 total blocks currently sit 10th in the program record books. The Luverne native leads the team in blocked shots, rebounds (6.9) and dunks (65).

“Those guys have worked awfully hard,” Tide coach Avery Johnson said of the award-winning duo. “They should be commended for their hard work. Obviously we’re thrilled they decided to come to the University of Alabama and be a part of our program. Both of those guys could have gone anywhere. They’re a joy to coach and I know their teammates are going to be awfully proud of them.”

Contact Anniston Star Sports Writer Chandler Rome at Twitter: @Chandler_Rome.