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

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HIGH SCHOOL PLAYERS FROM ARIZONA IN THE NBA (23)

Player Yrs HS City HS Name College
Mike Bibby 14 Phoenix Shadow Mountain Arizona
Richard Jefferson 14 Phoenix Moon Valley Arizona
Sean Elliott 12 Tucson Cholla Arizona
Fat Lever 11 Tucson Pueblo Arizona State
Brad Lohaus 11 Phoenix Greenway Iowa
Channing Frye 9 Phoenix Saint Mary's Arizona
Steve Colter 8 Phoenix Union New Mexico State
Jerryd Bayless 7 Phoenix Saint Mary's Arizona
Arthur Becker 6 Phoenix Camelback Arizona State
Scott Lloyd 6 Phoenix East Arizona State
Mark Alarie 5 Phoenix Brophy College Preparatory Duke
Dave Feitl 5 Tucson Santa Rita UTEP
Bernard Thompson 5 Phoenix South Mountain Fresno State
Rudy White 5 Phoenix Union Arizona State
Greg Smith 4 Phoenix Westwind Academy Fresno State
Ron Davis 3 Phoenix Maryvale Washington State
Larry Owens 2 Mesa Westwood Oral Roberts
Gerald Brown 1 Phoenix Carl Hayden Pepperdine
Bryce Cotton 1 Tucson Palo Verde Providence
Shane Edwards 1 Phoenix Mountain Pointe Arkansas-Little Rock
Carrick Felix 1 Goodyear Millenium Arizona State
Jamaal Franklin 1 Phoenix Westwind Prep San Diego State
Steve Malovic 1 Phoenix Alhambra San Diego State


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.

Cleveland.com 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.”

* * * * *

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


Two years ago, CBSSports.com 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.”


ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com 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.

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