Gleeson wants changes to MVP voting system

Wildcats' Bryce Cotton looks certain to land the NBL's MVP award for the second season running.
Wildcats' Bryce Cotton looks certain to land the NBL's MVP award for the second season running.

Perth coach Trevor Gleeson believes his star import Bryce Cotton is still the best player in the competition, but thinks the NBL has erred in leaving MVP voting up to the league's coaches.

Cotton won the MVP award last season with a system that saw votes given by a selection of people after each game.

This season, only the eight coaches cast votes, from a list of nominated players; not after each game. They were not allowed to vote for players from the own clubs.

And deadline for voting was about two weeks before the end of the season.

Cotton has starred in come-from-behind wins in each of the two games since some of the votes were locked away.

Gleeson said he wasn't comfortable with the system.

"I think it should be taken out of the coaches' hands. There is too much bias; 'I don't like that player' and the votes don't go that way," he said.

"It has happened in the past. I don't have the solution, but I don't think the coaches should take the responsibility of voting for MVP; it has to be the media, or umpires or a combination."

Cotton has had another great year, averaging almost 23 points, three assists and almost four rebounds per game - all figures close to or better than he produced last season.

And as long as Perth don't get thumped by Melbourne on Sunday, they will finish on top of the NBL ladder.

Gleeson said he thought it was rare to find someone with Cotton's skills in the NBL.

"I think he is the most valuable player in the league," he said.

"I have seen what he does - not only that, but the attention... other coaches make a game plan to try to stop him.

"He delivers. When you shoot 10 of 16 from the field and five of six from the three-point line and be able to flush a bad quarter and have the confidence to keep going, that is a special type of player.

"To have a skillset to catch and shoot and off the dribble, is pretty rare."

After Cotton scored 24 points in the second half against Adelaide on Friday night, 36ers coach Joey Wright may have given a hint as to where his votes went.

"Bryce is what you try to teach every basketball player; to play every single second of every single possession of every single game of every single season and most people don't have the focus to do that," he said.

"He is watching and looking where you're going, where you are guarding him. He's summing you up. He's reading you and he's waiting.

"He puts hours in at the gym so he knows 'eventually I'm going to get going'.

"And if he doesn't that game, it will happen next game. If it doesn't happen for two games, I would hate to be the team playing him in the third game."

Australian Associated Press