2017-18 SEC Player Preview: John Petty

In Features by Andrew Parrish

Three words can be used to describe John Petty’s game:

He gets buckets.

His arsenal of scoring moves, as well as his athleticism, was quite impressive, drawing comparisons to current NBA stars, such as the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Jamal Crawford.

The Tide might not need him to be a starter to begin the year, which could allow Petty to work off the bench early in the season.

However, if Petty is scoring efficiently at an extremely high rate, that could force Riley Norris to move to a bench role and Petty to move into a three-guard starting lineup with fellow incoming freshman Collin Sexton and sophomore Dazon Ingram.

Inside the Numbers

Petty is a consensus 5-star recruit that was ranked No. 22 overall in the ESPN Top 100 for the 2017 recruiting class.

His scoring ability was fully on display during the Crimson Tide’s foreign tour to Canada, where he averaged 16.3 PPG during the three-game tour.

The most impressive part of his skillset that he displayed while on the Canadian tour was his ability to drain three-pointers from way beyond the arc.

Petty routinely took and made shots from well behind the FIBA three-point line (the international line that is used in Canadian college basketball), which is about one foot longer than the American college line.

That range, coupled with his ability to gain separation from his defender, allows him to create his own shot late in the shot clock without the need for any prior offensive action.


Petty, a former five-star recruit out of Mae Jemison High School in Huntsville, AL, was the leader of a team that won the 2017 AHSAA 5A state championship under legendary head coach Jack Doss.

For his efforts, he not only won the Mr. Basketball award as the top player in his classification, but also won three state championships.

All of those accomplishments say one thing about him: the guy is a real winner.

His winning mentality will be a real asset to the Crimson Tide as long as he’s on campus in Tuscaloosa, and his skill set is unique to anything that Alabama has had in recent memory.

Given Alabama’s propensity to struggle on the offensive end in recent years, a scoring punch in the way of Petty and Sexton is a welcome addition to a team that was last in the SEC in points per game and 13th in three-point percentage and free throw percentage.

Even if Petty is not a day-one starter for the Tide, his scoring punch from the bench will be quite valuable.

So, when head coach Avery Johnson opts to use a more offensively-focused lineup, Petty should fit in flawlessly with Alabama’s new up-tempo style.

I cover general SEC basketball at Southeast Hoops. I am currently a sophomore at the University of Alabama, at which I major in Management Information Systems, perform with the marching band, and am an avid supporter of the athletic programs. I hail from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, but now reside in Glen Burnie, Maryland.