Bryce Jiron Cotton (born August 11, 1992) is an American professional basketball player for the Perth Wildcats of the National Basketball League (NBL). He played college basketball for the Providence Friars.
High school career
Cotton attended Palo Verde High School in his hometown of Tucson, Arizona. In his senior season, Cotton averaged 23.6 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game, in a season where his team went 24-7, and made it to the state 4A semi-finals. For his performances, Cotton earned first team All-City and first team All-State honors in 2010. Despite his solid senior season and high-school career, Cotton was not evaluated by ESPN, Rivals.com, or Scout.com.
On September 2, 2010, it was announced that Cotton had been recruited to the Providence Friars. Cotton played in 32 games his freshman season, including one start, and averaged only 4 points per game. The following season, Cotton was named a starter, saw his minutes more than double, and his points per game improve to 14.3. In his junior season, Cotton was the Big East's leading scorer, averaging 19.4 points per game. For his efforts, Cotton was named first team All-Big East.
Before his senior season, Cotton was named preseason All-Big East by the conference's coaches. It was announced on January 20, 2014, that Cotton was named Big East Player of the Week, after averaging 22 points, 6 rebounds, and 7 assists in two wins over St. John's and Creighton. On February 13, 2014, Cotton was part of the Naismith Player of the Year trophy mid-season watch. The Friars finished the season with a record of 20-11, with a 10-8 conference mark, which resulted in a 4 seed in the 2014 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament. The Friars would go on to win the title, their first since 1994, with Cotton averaging 17.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 5 assists per game, en route to Cotton winning the tournament's MVP award. This resulted in the Friars receiving an auto-bid to the national tournament, the first and only tournament appearance in Cotton's career. Despite putting up 36 points, 5 rebounds, and 8 assists, Cotton and the Friars lost their first round match-up against the North Carolina Tar Heels 77-79, ending Cotton's college career.
After going undrafted in the 2014 NBA draft, Cotton signed with the San Antonio Spurs on July 7, 2014. On October 23, 2014, he was waived by the Spurs, and on November 1, 2014, he was acquired by the Austin Spurs of the NBA Development League as an affiliate player. On November 14, he made his professional debut in a 121–120 loss to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, recording 19 points, eight rebounds, five assists and one block in 35 minutes. On February 4, 2015, he was named to the Futures All-Star team for the 2015 NBA D-League All-Star Game.
On February 24, 2015, Cotton signed a 10-day contract with the Utah Jazz. Three days later, he made his debut for the Jazz in a 104–82 win over the Denver Nuggets, recording three points, two rebounds, one assist and one steal in seven minutes off the bench. He signed a second 10-day contract with the Jazz on March 6, and a multi-year deal on March 16. In 15 games for the Jazz in 2014–15, he averaged 5.3 points, 1.2 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 10.6 minutes per game.
After being waived by the Utah Jazz on October 20, 2015, Cotton was reacquired by the Austin Spurs for the 2015–16 season. On November 25, 2015, Cotton signed with the Phoenix Suns. Cotton failed to appear in a game for the Suns until December 30, making his first appearance for the team following injuries to Eric Bledsoe and Ronnie Price. In 21 minutes of action in his Suns' debut, he recorded two points, two rebounds and three steals in a loss to the San Antonio Spurs. On January 7, 2016, he was waived by the Suns after appearing in three games.
On January 27, 2016, Cotton signed with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers for the rest of the 2015–16 CBA season. In nine games for Xinjiang, he averaged 21.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game.
On April 1, 2016, Cotton signed to a 10-day contract with the Memphis Grizzlies to help the team deal with numerous injuries. Memphis had to use an NBA hardship exemption in order to sign him as he made their roster stand at 17, two over the allowed limited of 15. On April 3, he made his debut for the Grizzlies in a 119–107 loss to the Orlando Magic, recording two points in one minute off the bench. On April 11, he signed with the Grizzlies for the rest of the 2015–16 regular season pursuant to the NBA's hardship roster rules to make the roster stand at 16 players. He appeared in five games for the Grizzlies before parting ways with the team prior to the start of the playoffs.
On January 3, 2017, Cotton signed with the Perth Wildcats for the rest of the 2016–17 NBL season. He made his debut for the Wildcats four days later, scoring a game-high 26 points in an 80–74 win over the Sydney Kings. His 26-point effort set a Wildcats club record for most points scored by a player on debut, surpassing James Ennis' 25-point effort set in 2013. In his fifth game for the Wildcats on January 20, Cotton scored a season-high 27 points in an 84–78 overtime win over the Cairns Taipans. On February 3, 2017, he scored a game-high 25 points on 8-of-11 shooting, including five three-pointers, in a 94–63 win over the Brisbane Bullets. In the Wildcats' final regular season game on February 12, Cotton scored 19 points in a 96–94 win over Melbourne United. The win propelled the Wildcats into the playoffs as they finished the regular season in third place with a 15–13 record. At 22.09 points per game, Cotton ousted Casper Ware (22.06) for the NBL's regular season scoring champion. In Game 1 of the Wildcats' best-of-three semi-final series against the second-seeded Taipans in Cairns on February 17, Cotton had a 34-point effort to lead his team to a 91–69 win. His 34 points were the most points scored by a Wildcat in a post-season game since Shawn Redhage had 35 in 2008. He also had a team-high five assists and three steals. Despite Cotton only managing nine points against Cairns in Game 2 in Perth three days later, the Wildcats were successful in sweeping the series, winning 74–66 in Game 2 to move on to the NBL Grand Final. The Wildcats went on to sweep the best-of-five grand final series to claim their eighth NBL championship, defeating the Illawarra Hawks 3–0 behind a Grand Final MVP performance from Cotton. Over the three games, Cotton averaged 27.7 points, which included a 45-point effort in a 95–86 Game 3, title-clinching win. He shot 12/17 from the field, 7/12 from deep and 14/15 at the stripe in Game 3, with his 45 points setting the new all-time Grand Final scoring record in NBL history. In 16 games for the Wildcats, he averaged 23.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.3 steals per game.
After attempting to re-enter the NBA via minicamps and the Summer League, it was announced on July 14, 2017 that the Perth Wildcats had retained Cotton's services for the 2017–18 NBL season. He reportedly turned down an offer from Spanish club Unicaja Málaga in order to re-join Perth. In the Wildcats' season opener on October 7, Cotton scored a game-high 24 points in a 96–86 win over the Brisbane Bullets. On November 9, 2017, he had a game-high 26 points in an 88–84 loss to the New Zealand Breakers.
NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|