Trey Alexander commits to Auburn

Trey Alexander committed to Auburn Nov. 12, picking the Tigers over Arkansas and Kansas. His commitment likely finishes Auburn’s 2021 basketball recruiting class, barring an unexpected early departure.

Alexander is a 6-4, 185 lb. four-star combo-guard from Heritage Hall High School in Oklahoma. He was ranked as high as No. 32 in the 247 Composite and in the top 40 during the summer, before falling to his current ranking of 61.

AU Hoops News projects Alexander to be a top 50 recruit by the end of his senior year.

While Alexander isn’t ranked as high as he was, he shows a lot of potential as a combo guard and defender.

Alexander is a three level scorer, with a smooth jumper from three and midrange. Alexander has excellent body control and uses it to make tough fade away shots and finish through contact around the rim.

Alexander scores like a shooting guard, but he also has a decent handle in transition and a good handle in isolation situations, making him more of a combo guard. As far as an Auburn comparison goes, AU Hoops News compares his projected long-term role to one like to Samir Doughty‘s and someone who can provide an immediate impact as a bench scorer.

It’s hard to tell what Alexander can do defensively. While he is a guard, he’s also his high school’s most athletic player. He even does jump balls for his team and plays as a power forward/center on defense for the same reasons. However, Alexander shows good instincts jumping passing lanes and good timing for blocking shots. Pair those with his athleticism and good frame, and it’s reasonable to expect Alexander to be a good defender.

After averaging 26.6 points per game as a junior, Alexander played for Next Page Force over the summer and on the same Pangos team as fellow 2021 Auburn commit Jabari Smith Jr. Nov. 7-8. Smith won the tournament’s MVP and Alexander averaged 17.5 points per game and recorded 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists in the championship game his team won by seven points.

In addition to being a top-60 guard for scoring, athleticism, size and more, Alexander also fits with Auburn’s playing style. 

Alexander constantly pushes the ball in transition, whether it’s with outlet/full court passes, dribbling or leaking out early. His tendency to play fast, matched with his ability to score at all three levels and win isolation matchups and mismatches on the perimeter are some of the attributes that make him a good fit at Auburn.

Alexander has potential to develop into a great scorer and a good guard in college, even if he doesn’t hit that mark as a freshman. That being said, Auburn’s roster might not need Alexander to hit that mark as a freshman, but here are some of the improvements he needs to make to get there and some of the skills he already has that suggest he will sooner rather than later.

Trey Alexander breakdown

Scoring:

  • Three point shooting – Alexander is a good three point shooter. He has a quick release, jumps high and gets good arc on the ball. His form could be more compact, he sometimes dips the ball too low, but his it seems very workable and great for his age and ranking. Alexander has good range and the ability to shoot threes off the dribble or in catch and shoot situations.
  • Midrange: Alexander’s midrange game stands out in the era of three point shooting. The threat of Alexander pulling up from three and his ability to create space between himself and his defenders with jab steps, pinpoint stops, hesitation moves and other tricks gives Alexander a lot of good midrange looks. It also creates new passing lanes and other opportunities for his teammates as defenses scramble to contest his open looks.
  • Isolation: Alexander seems to thrive in isolation situations. In line with how we saw Jared Harper, Bryce Brown, Samir Doughty and others play a “give me the ball and let me score” role at times, Alexander also has the ability to turn into that kind of player. I think he needs to make a lot of improvements to get there consistently at the college level, but many of those improvements seem attainable, especially with Auburn’s recent track record of development.
  • Tough shot maker: Not only is Alexander good at winning one-on-one matchups, but he’s also good at making tough shots out of them or when double and triple teams come. This is another area we see a comparison to Doughty in. Heritage Hall relied on Alexander a lot, at times, to go get a bucket on his own and he excelled in doing so quite often.
  • Transition – Alexander uses a lot of his skills—and his gathers and euro-step moves—to find points in transition and on fast breaks, which will fit in well with Auburn’s style of play. His length and craftiness will always make him a weapon on the break.

Other guard skills:

  • Passing – He has good vision and likes to push the ball. His passing will give him the ceiling of playing a lead guard role, even though I think his handle and other guard skills need to improve to get him there. Alexander does a good job of finding open teammates when defenses converge on him and when driving. However, his handle hinders his passing on drives at times.
  • Alexander also shows the ability to push the ball in transition with good vision and passing.
  • Handle – Alexander’s handle is tricky to judge based on his junior season film. Alexander has a great handle when it comes to creating space on the perimeter and breaking defenders down (think sophomore/junior Bryce Brown in terms of isolation dribbling ability), but he gets lost at times dribbling through traffic and in transition. He seems to already have most of the individual moves he’ll need moving forward, but Alexander will need to tighten his handle. That seems like an attainable improvement, though. Improving his handle in traffic will also allow Alexander to take better advantage of his body control and ability to make tough shots around the rim and should let his scoring ability flourish.
  • Rebounding – Rebounding isn’t always lumped into the guard skills category, but it’s one I think Alexander will display often and early. Alexander’s ability to rebound also gives him a lot of put backs and tip ins, and his defensive rebounding starts a lot of fast breaks. The ability to kick start offensive initiation that quickly while remaining under control is a huge weapon that Coach Pearl loves to utilize.

Defense:

  • Athleticism let’s Alexander get a lot of blocks and steals, even though he’s playing out of position. He’s a good athlete. Not Isaac Okoro/Chris Moore “good,” but he can play above the rim, has great body control on layup and tough shots, and he even contests some shots at the rim. Like with his rebounding, notice how many of Alexander’s steals and blocks turn into fast break opportunities and points in transition.
  • He’ll have to adjust to defending guards at the college level. This was a transition Auburn has had players such as Allen Flanigan make flawlessly, but Alexander likely won’t be the same level of athlete as Flanigan on day one and will need to add some agility to get there.

Alexander projects to be a well rounded, high caliber, multi-year guard/wing at Auburn, in our opinion. Alexander has the potential to turn into a leading scorer throughout his career while providing immediate scoring in a non-primary scorer role.

During the summer, Alexander played for Next Page Force and helped upset a team with Smith, JD Davison, Matthew Cleveland, Skyy Clark and others.

Smith scored 19 points (with two threes) and helped take his opponents’ five-star guards out of the picture. His play with Next Page, and his Peach Jam championship winning run with Team Griffin on the 16U circuit the year before bodes well for his ability to translate skills against high level competition. It also fits in line with the recruits Bruce Pearl has targeted. Even when they aren’t five stars, many have played top level AAU and high school competition for years.

Alexander’s handle and vision will also let him play as a true combo guard at Auburn, like Doughty and others have in the past. His desire to have the ball in his hands in crunch time is another similarity to Auburn’s recent guards. Alexander is not afraid to take big shots and knocks them down frequently.

Alexander’s frame, length and athleticism gives him similar potential on defense, however we expect him to shine on offense. He is one of the more versatile scorer’s in his class. Developing more consistency and refining his skills will be a key part of Alexander’s progression, but there is not much that he can’t do offensively.

Auburn’s 2021 class will provide immediate scoring for the Tigers with Smith and Alexander on board.

For more on Alexander, check this thread and others from Drew: