Cotton thriving in Austin


Cross-posted from

For most people, a period of ten months doesn’t bring about a ton of change. For former Providence Friar Bryce Cotton, 10 months has brought drastic change.

In March, Cotton was in San Antonio for the NCAA Tournament catching the eye of San Antonio Spurs GM RC Buford. Cotton then went undrafted in the NBA Draft, was signed to apartially-guaranteed contract, played in the NBA Summer League and spent time with Coach Gregg Popovich and Co. in training camp before finally becoming one of the final players waived, and then allocated by the Austin Spurs.

Oh and he found time to graduate and get married in the middle of it all.

Playing on his fourth squad in under a year and moving from the East coast to Texas is quite the transition itself, but now he’s playing on a team full of other professional athletes looking for an opportunity to get noticed enough to get called up for an NBA stint.

But Cotton’s also taking the new change, and team, in stride and seems to be in no immediate hurry. Every D-League team can seem like a revolving door, constantly bringing in new talent as other talent goes out to other teams, gets called up, or players sign overseas. While the San Antonio Spurs brought back their entire team in the offseason and added a rookie, the Austin Spurs bring back less than a handful of players.

This means players like Cotton are looked to for leadership in the ever-changing D-League landscape.

After recently covering an Austin Spurs game in Cedar Park, TX, I had the chance to talk to Cotton about his role and what he was trying to accomplish on the floor. Instead of sounding like the rookie point guard leading a group of fringe NBA players, Cotton sounded like he might have months ago, leading his Friars as the senior starting guard.

Just six games into his Austin Spurs rookie campaign, Cotton was already talking about the transition of his team after a tight overtime victory over the Oklahoma City Blue.

“It feels great. I think its a testament to our team’s character being able to close out games, and persevering through tough games down the stretch,” he said. “It just shows that we’re growing and or maturation is at a good point right now.”

On that night, Cotton got off to a rapid start, racking up 18 points alone in the first half, and hitting four of his five three-pointers. He finished with 34 points and seven rebounds. While he was only credited with one assist, he was responsible with many passes that led to assists and showed off great vision and passing ability.

“I think it’s going pretty well. It’s still a bunch of athletic guys, strong and fast,” Cotton said. “It’s pretty much the same game but you’re learning the system and I’m learning as I go.”

Cotton is certainly looking like a fast study.

Through his first ten games, Cotton is also proving to be a consistent contributor in several areas. He’s averaging 17.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game. He’s leading his team in both scoring and assists, and his rebounding numbers at his position are amongst the highest in the D-League.

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