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Wildcats win picking CottonTweet
PERTH Wildcats have scored a coup recruiting Bryce Cotton, who only even became available less than three weeks ago after leaving Anadolu Efes Instanbul in the Turkish and Euroleagues.
It opened the door for the Wildcats to again axe Jaron Johnson (below) who played a blinder last week against Adelaide and did his best to retain his spot, showing a desperation lacking in a few of his established NBL teammates.
But Efes' loss is Perth's gain, Aussie star Joe Ingles, Cotton's teammate at the NBA's Utah Jazz, where in the 2014-15 season he played 15 of his 23 NBA games, with only good things to say.
Ingles tweeted: "The @PerthWildcats got themselves a great player & person in Bryce Cotton. He will dunk on someone that doesn't expect it. #bounce"
Cotton, 24 and 185cm, should be in Wildcats' red for next round's match against the Sydney Kings at Qudos Bank Arena.
When pressed for more on his former Jazz teammate, Ingles said: "Just a really good guy, a hard worker, super talented!
"I think he will be really good in the NBL.
"(I'm) excited for him!"
Seeking further analysis, we sourced more on Cotton from Salt Lake City Dunk's website and it sent the following for B.O.T.I. readers.
"He's an energetic athletic guard. And he's able to throw down stealthy alley oops because people do not expect the PG to cut to the rim in the air.
"I would say that he is more gifted offensively than he is on defence.
"And he's able to attack defences with his driving ability.
"He was a four-year NCAA player which means that he really didn't have the highest of upsides. But he's worked on expanding his range and he is OK at the 3-point shot. Not great by any means.
"He was pretty comfortable in the NBA D League, and like all players who go there - an impact player in China. But in Europe he did not set the leagues on fire.
"Now that he is older, I believe that he has a better handle of when to attack and when to pass. He has a mature shot selection.
"For a player like him, I would suspect that he is at his peak right now."
JOE AND DANTE: Get the inside word from Utah coach Quin Snyder.
That's good news for the Wildcats who tonight again showed great grit to beat Illawarra in Wollongong 95-87, the margin inflated by the sadly usual questionable calling when the Hawks were trailing 87-90.
It was a quality road win nonetheless, bringing Perth back to 8-9 and clinching its season-series with the Hawks to boot.
With Damian Martin ahead of schedule (naturally) in his recovery from a knee injury, those commentators and pundits quick to want to bury the Wildcats as playoff contenders will be ducking for cover and backtracking at a rate of knots in the coming weeks.
Cotton (above) will ensure Perth joins Adelaide, Melbourne, New Zealand and Cairns in boasting a quality import playmaker.