When Adia Barnes and her staff were building the 2018 class, they didn’t just need to fill the gaps in the interior game. They also needed outside shooting and point guard play. In-state recruit Bryce Nixon was an answer to both of those needs.
Nixon has joined fellow freshmen Cate Reese and Semaj Smith, as well as sophomore Marlee Kyles, in the Richard Jefferson Gymnasium this summer to get a jump start on college life and college basketball.
Let’s get to know the Arizona Wildcats’ new guard.
Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona
High School: Arcadia High School
Position: Combo Guard
High School Career
Honors and Achievements
- 2017-18 5A All-Conference First Team and Defensive Player of the Year
- 2017-18 5A Northeast Valley All-Region First Team, Defensive Player of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year and Player of the Year
- 2016-17 5A All-Conference First Team and Offensive Player of the Year
- 2016-17 5A Northeast Valley All-Region First Team, Offensive Player of the Year and Player of the Year
- 2015-16 Division II All-Arizona Second Team
- 2014-15 Division II All-Arizona Honorable Mention
- In addition to Arizona, Nixon considered New Mexico, Oregon State, Gonzaga, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Washington State and Portland
- Recruiting analysts praise her size, which both enables her to get her shot off and defend multiple positions
- Averaged 4 steals per game as a senior, pointing to her importance on the defensive end of the floor
- Rated a four-star recruit by Prospects Nation and a three-star recruit by ESPN HoopGurlz
- While she played point guard for Arcadia High School, most recruiting analysts list her as a combo guard
- Played both point and shooting guard for Arizona Elite Basketball (Black) club team
- Film from her play with Arizona Elite Basketball is available on Hudl
What to expect in 2018-19 and beyond
While Washington transfer Aarion McDonald is widely considered to have the inside track on the starting point guard position next season, Nixon’s court vision and ability to shoot the 3 could help her get minutes. Her experience playing the off-guard position could allow her to play alongside McDonald, as well.
The Wildcats won’t face the depth problems that they faced last season, so Nixon will battle against a roster full of accomplished guards to get minutes. In addition to McDonald, Iowa State transfer Tee Tee Starks will also become eligible this season.
A redshirt junior, Starks struggled with injuries at ISU, but she also came out of high school highly-lauded with a reputation as a tough defender with good court vision. She has many of the same skills that made Nixon an attractive recruit.
In addition to the newcomers, returning starter Lucia Alonso also features outside shooting skill and the ability to find open teammates. Alonso shot 39.1% from beyond the arc last season, which was the 11th-best mark in the conference. She also ranked 14th in assists.
Nixon will have time to develop, playing behind or alongside the existing guards on Arizona’s roster. She’s excited to play in the Pac-12 and for Adia Barnes, so she should be ready for the challenge.
“I like the idea of building a program and I loved the coaching staff. And you can’t go wrong with the Pac-12,” Nixon said.
- Nixon also ran track and field at Arcadia, competing in the 100m and 300m hurdles, the long jump and the 4x100 relay
- She has already spent time with fellow freshman Cate Reese, who came to visit her in Phoenix after they had both committed to Arizona.
This is the third in our series of freshman profiles for the upcoming season. If you missed the previous one, check out Semaj Smith’s profile.
Cate Reese’s profile can be found here.