Arizona Basketball

Notebook: Palo Verde’s Cotton fourth NBA from Tucson high school



[table “” not found /]

[ezcol_1half id=”” class=”” style=””]

Former Palo Verde High School and Providence star Bryce Cotton will stay in the NBA with the Jazz the remainder of the season

Former Palo Verde High School and Providence star Bryce Cotton will stay in the NBA with the Jazz the remainder of the season

After Bryce Cotton’s second 10-day contract expired, the Utah Jazz saw enough of the former Palo Verde High School standout to make the determination they didn’t want to let him go.

The team announced Monday it agreed to a multi-year deal with the rookie point guard.

“I just signed it this morning,” Cotton told the Salt Lake Tribune. “It feels good to know I’ll be here the rest of the year, and I just want to continue to work and do whatever the team needs and try to keep getting better.”

Cotton has played in four games for the Jazz, including Monday night against Charlotte. He was averaging 22.4 points (third most in the D-League) and 4.6 assists a game with the Austin Spurs at the time of his call-up, and his scoring is something the Jazz value.

“It’s a wonderful feeling,” Cotton told the Tribune about the multi-year deal. “I’m just continuing to stay patient with the process and working and I’m glad to see somebody’s in your corner.”

Cotton follows Lafayette Lever, Sean Elliott, Dave Feitl

* * * * *

Texas Southern, Arizona’s Round of 64 opponent Thursday in the West Regional in Portland, knew it was going to the NCAA tournament by the time it reached the Southwest Athletic Conference tournament title game because its opponent, Southern, was ineligible for the NCAAs for failing to meet APR requirements,

Southern is one of five schools from the SWAC ineligible for the NCAA Tournament due to APR issues. The school presidents took a vote to allow the five schools to participate in the conference tournament, a departure from years past.

Texas Southern won the conference tournament and earned an NCAA berth last season. This marks the second time in school history the team will go to the tournament in back-to-back years, earning bids in 1994 and 1995.

* * * * *

Ohio State is a No. 10 seed — the worst seed of any tournament team in the Thad Matta era – in the same bracket as No. 2 Arizona. The Buckeyes and will face No. 7 Virginia Commonwealth in Portland on Thursday.

If Ohio State advances, there’s a likely date with the Wildcats, coached by Sean Miller, a former assistant to Matta, with a berth to the Sweet 16 on the line. states the reason for Ohio State being a No. 10 seed with a 23-10 record: “Because of inconsistent play from seniors, because of slow starts, because of poor shooting from the outside, because of mediocre post play, because the Buckeyes haven’t proven it can beat teams as good or better consistently.”

* * * * *


[ezcol_1half_end id=”” class=”” style=””]

Site founder and award-winning sports journalist Javier Morales has published his first e-book, “The Highest Form of Living”, a fiction piece about a young man who overcomes a troubled upbringing without his lost father and wayward mother through basketball and hope. His hope is realized through the sport he loves. Basketball enables him to get past his fears. His experience on the court indirectly brings him closer to his parents in a unique, heartfelt way. Please order it at Amazon (for only $4.99) by clicking on the photo:

Tweet from Cotton’s high school coach at Palo Verde, Chris Klassen


[ezcol_1half id=”” class=”” style=””]

Two years ago, polled coaches during the July recruiting period on various questions including: What coach younger than 45 is destined for the Hall of Fame? Miller was 44 at the time.

The results:

Shaka Smart (38 years old now): 33 percent
Brad Stevens (38): 18 percent
— Miller (46): 16 percent
Buzz Williams (42): 8 percent
John Groce (43): 5 percent
Fred Hoiberg (42 years old): 5 percent

If that poll was taken again today, Miller’s name would challenge Smart at the top with Hoiberg close behind. Williams left Marquette to try to rebuild Virginia Tech’s program. Groce has failed to sustain success with Illinois.

If Arizona and VCU meet in the Round of 32 on Saturday, expect plenty of hype of two of America’s best young coaches matching wits.

* * * * *

With more than 30 seconds left in the SWAC tournament title game Saturday, Southern had the ball and was trying to stretch a narrow 58-57 lead. They missed the shot, Texas Southern picked up the rebound, and the Tigers were in transition. Texas Southern’s Malcolm Riley went to the basket for a lay-in but Southern’s Trelun Banks thwarted his efforts with a brutal flagrant foul compounded by another Southern player falling on his head.

Banks was assessed a Flagrant 2 foul and ejected from the game, the final game of the year for him because Southern is ineligible for postseason play.

Riley, who led Texas Southern with 18 points and 10 rebounds in the game, was treated with a bandage on his head securing a cut that required stitches. He is expected to play Thursday.

“I just took one for the team,” Riley told the Associated Press. “It was kind of, it was dirty, but it’s all a part of the game. It comes like that. I just took one for the team.”


[ezcol_1half_end id=”” class=”” style=””]

[/ezcol_1half_end] publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He has also written articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

To Top