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Bryce Cotton Named Top Prospect Of The Month For January

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Following a strong start to the new year, Austin Spurs' guard Bryce Cotton has been named's "Top Prospect of the Month" for January.

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

On January 17th, 2015, Austin Spurs' Bruce Cotton logged the game of his young life at the annual NBA D-League Showcase. Scoring an eye-popping 40 points, the guard did so, all the while also grabbing 11 rebounds and knocking down eight daggers from long range en route to his scoring explosion.

Such a performance is quite the impressive outing for anyone, but at the minor league's annual event, it was clear relatively quickly that this effort was by far the best by any athlete hitting the hardwood by a landslide. Cotton undoubtedly turned heads and assumedly subsequently received more NBA interest. Despite being all the way out in Santa Cruz, California, the guard even had his own little individual cheering section as well.

While the rest of the month didn't necessarily include as many eye-popping moments, Cotton still went to work and came out on top as one of the best point guards in all of the D-League this past month. Proving he can score with efficiency and authority, the 22 year old arguably owns one of the best first steps to the basket around.

As he continues to outperform those around him, one would have to assume Cotton's confidence has skyrocketed as of late. Or better yet, perhaps he's had such awareness in his most recently evident abilities all along. A strong and steady floor general, Cotton can drive to the basket, absorb contact, and/or even fade away to hit even the more surprising jumpers.

Over the month of January, all of that (and more) was on display as he hit the court each and every night with gusto. Cotton averaged 24.9 points, shooting efficiently across the board at 45% from the field, 48% from deep, and 91% from the charity stripe. He also logged 4.2 assists and 4 rebounds per contest along the way. An absolute defensive pest who hounds opposing ball-handlers with the utmost of pressure, Cotton also came up with 1.7 steals per game as well. He helped lead the first-place Austin Spurs to an 8-5 record to enter the new year.

For his efforts, Cotton has earned's first "Top Prospect of the Month" honors of the year 2015 (in January).

In the NBA D-League, it's almost impossible to build continuity from one year to the next with so many moves part across the board. On the flip side, a brand new season signals a fresh start for those previously struggling teams. With the help of Cotton, Austin quickly has risen up as one of the league's strongest squads.