Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Blue-chip recruits consider package deal

Kansas University basketball recruiting.

Kansas University basketball recruiting.


Three of the blue-chip high school senior prospects who attended Kansas University’s Late Night in the Phog — Carlton Bragg, Jaylen Brown and Brandon Ingram — are talking about attending college as part of a package deal, Bragg told on Monday.

Bragg, 6-foot-9 from Villa Angela St. Joseph High in Cleveland; Brown, 6-7 from Wheeler High in Marietta, Georgia; and Ingram, 6-8 from Kinston (North Carolina) High, each have KU, Kentucky and UCLA on their lists of schools.

“We’re not for sure yet,” Bragg said, asked by Zagsblog which schools are in the mix for the trio. “We’re going to take our five official visits first (including Kentucky this weekend) and then we’re going to start talking about it again. We don’t want to rush anything.”

Of the impact the three could have on a single program, Bragg said: “It would be amazing.”

Bragg, who is ranked No. 14 nationally by, has a list of KU, Kentucky, UCLA and Illinois; No. 2-rated Brown is considering KU, Kentucky, UCLA, North Carolina, Georgia and Georgia Tech; and No. 18 Ingram is looking at KU, Kentucky, UCLA, North Carolina, Duke and N.C. State.

Another player who visited KU and will be visiting Kentucky this weekend, 7-footer Stephen Zimmerman, also could be part of the package deal. He has KU, UK, UCLA, North Carolina, Arizona, Indiana and UNLV on his list.

“They did talk about that a lot,” said Lori Stevens, mother of the No. 10-rated Zimmerman. “I wouldn’t say there is any package deal or anything, but the four of them all get along so well and Stephen said he really liked being there with them.”

Bragg, who like Brown and Zimmerman will not choose a school until the spring, acknowledged the prospects did watch some of Kentucky’s NBA Combine on Friday on ESPNU.

“That was amazing,” Bragg told Zagsblog.

Bragg singled out KU coach Bill Self for being “the top in the country for developing bigs at my size, my position. He said he can develop me better than any coach in the country.”

Big man excels: Zimmerman recently played well at USA Basketball’s mini-camp for top prospects.

“Zimmerman had a new found energy about him at the camp in Colorado. The highly skilled post player ran the floor, finished transition buckets and also swatted shots away in the lane,” wrote Jonathan Hemingway of and “Zimmerman reaffirmed our opinion that he stands near the top of the class with this performance. His specialty at the next level will be able to provide a team a legitimate scoring threat in the pivot. Zimmerman showed his ability to score over defenders in the paint while also being able to shoot the reverse pivot jumper with accuracy. The left-handed post projects to be a post player who can tandem well with another post player on the floor because of his skill. He passes and handles as well as any big man in the class, which gives a team the luxury to move him to the top of the key if needed.”

Spring decision: Jaylen Brown’s mom, Michelle, to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “Jaylen waiting (until spring) is still on the table at this time. This is a very difficult decision, and I want Jaylen to be at peace with his choice and not be rushed. I also want him to feel comfortable that his choice covers where he can excel in both academics and athletics.”

Of the visit to KU, Jaylen Brown told “They have a very family-type atmosphere going on there. I enjoyed being a part of that.”

Soph Brown nets offer: Troy Brown, a 6-6 sophomore point guard from Las Vegas Centennial who is ranked No. 2 in the Class of 2017, received a scholarship offer from KU last weekend. His sister, Jada, plays for KU’s women’s team.

“At first, when it happens, it’s so surreal, especially with me being so young. It takes a couple of hours to finally hit me and to actually know that all of this hard work is working out for me,” Brown told “It just humbles me and makes me want to work harder.”

He is being recruited by KU, Duke, Arizona, North Carolina, UCLA, UNLV and others.

Wiggins update: Former KU guard Andrew Wiggins of the Minnesota Timberwolves heard chants of “overrated” from Indiana Pacers fans in the Wolves’ 103-90 loss on Oct. 7 in Indianpolis. Wiggins had 18 points off 4-of-11 shooting (2-for-2 from three) in that game, which was his preseason debut.

“That’s part of the game,” Wiggins told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “People are going to talk. You’re going to have people who love you, people who hate it. Playing college ball at KU, going to K-State, Iowa State, Oklahoma, all the fans get on you. I’m used to it.”

In his team’s home preseason opener, Wiggins had 11 points off 5-for-10 shooting (1-for-1 threes) in Friday’s 116-110 win over Philadelphia.

Black pots eight: Former KU center Tarik Black scored eight points off 2-of-3 shooting (4-for-6 from line) in Houston’s 95-92 win over Phoenix on Monday in Houston. He had seven rebounds in 25 minutes.


Rob Bedford III 7 years, 1 month ago

After Kentucky loses 5+ players to the draft it will be easy for them to take a package deal.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 1 month ago

Not so quick with that projection. If you look over, you'll see KY only has 2 lottery players in the draft .... With 3 (Oubre, Alexander, Selden) in the top 10, Kansas probably loses all 3. My guess is Kansas will need to sign 4.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 1 month ago

Suzi, after the year is over, and that team makes another run at a tittle, I expect 4-5 will be ready to move on. That means they will reload with 4-5, 5 star replacements and those that don't leave, will again make a run at a title with 8,9 or 10 Mcdonald's AA just like this year. KY will be a force as long as Cal is there, and with those facilities, my word it is like a luxury hotel the only thing missing are beaches and the ocean (don't put that past them), we will all be chasing them. I do not see him moving to the NBA, why should he? He has a history of violations, and can have an off year, but those are not things to really hope for.

There are only 21 recruits left in the Top 70. Of those 15 are in the Top 22 of that list. Cal cannot take them all, but like I have said before, he will get first choice.

Dirk Medema 7 years, 1 month ago

Not a beach or the ocean, but did you see the water park TT built for their dorms? It was on one of the news programs last night. That's not to say that TT will become ... It is crazy where uni living is headed, tho no one seems to make the correlation with skyrocketing student debt. Sorry, tangential soapbox comment. When are our new BB/FB dorms complete?

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 1 month ago

I don't think Bill Self will agree with you that KY will get the first choice.

I really like Cal/KY and enjoy the rivalry and chase to overcome them for most NCAA wins.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 1 month ago

Agree or not, we, and everyone else is chasing them. I would love to beat them early, it would sure give them something to think about.

Ryan Zimmerman 7 years, 1 month ago

This package deal crap is so prima donna... Immature and ego driven

Jack Wilson 7 years, 1 month ago

For KU, the best fits are Zimmerman, Bragg and Dorsey. It would be too much to ask to get all three.

Zimmerman a likely OAD, would slip in and start with Ellis in 2015-16.

Bragg, if we landed Zimmerman, would be the first or second big off the bench, then a starter as sophomore and junior (likely three year player). But if no Zimmerman, he could possibly start.

Dorsey would fight for minutes as a freshman, assuming Svi slips into Selden's 2 spot for 2015-16. Dorsey would be in a good position to compete to start his sophomore season at the 2, assuming Svi departs. But lots of competition on the perimeter, much more than in the post for incoming recruits.

As long as we get one highly talented post player, we'll be fine. We could miss on everything else. I prefer Bragg if we could only have one, because he'd give us a foundation for likely three years.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 1 month ago

I think Ellis might be gone after this season w/the emphasis on 'might'.

Robert Brock 7 years, 1 month ago

I am not sure that the Zimmer would leave after one year. He desperately needs to gain strength and some bulk - especially in the upper body - to play in The League. Two years working with Hudy would do wonders for the kid!

Rob Bedford III 7 years, 1 month ago

Don't be so sure on that Hudy thing. Hudy is good but Lucas looks like he has less muscle than when he arrived on campus.

Robert Brock 7 years, 1 month ago

Lucas' problem was never muscle. He has suffered from a lack of quickness. Weight loss may help a little. We'll see.

Jeff Kilgore 7 years, 1 month ago

Go to KU is mentioned by the vast majority of Top 20 players. That's all that matters. We'll get our share. It's crazy to try to figure it out like what I'm reading above. No one knows the future, and while it's fun to project, it's meaningless.

Dirk Medema 7 years, 1 month ago

It is encouraging to see the bulk waiting until spring to decide; find out how each of the top programs will change. It makes so much sense for an elite BB recruit, where 1 or 2 early players or the annual coaching carousel makes such a huge impact on the program. Coach Self always seems to recruit better in the spring than any other coach out there.

Also good to see Zimmerman being wise enough to publicly comment on choosing a grant in aid vs. NLI. Don't think it makes any difference for him (Coach Self leaving), but still great that he is stepping up and speaking out. Could lead the way to players coming out from under the one-sided committment relationship.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 1 month ago

I'm with you on that. So long as we are in the mix with a lot of the top players, Self will get his share. Whoever Self lands, he'll make them players, so I tend not to give recruiting much thought.

Regardless, Zimmerman is key.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 1 month ago

How many also mention KY? Look its simple KY gets first choice, then the rest figure out where to land. My concern is that we are the only elite program without a commit so far. I do not care about package deals, its legal and they can go where they want. 21 players left in the top 70.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 1 month ago

You make a good point though I think (speculation) that there are a couple of solid leans toward Kansas in the remaining 21 who are waiting to see who remains and who leaves.

I wouldn't mind if some of our newcomers stick around another season.

Jack Jones 7 years, 1 month ago

These package deals are a disturbing trend in recruiting. It reduces the competitiveness of the recruiting process by eliminating the number of schools for which a particular "package" just doesn't fit their situation in a particular year. Someone is giving these HS players some bad advice.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 1 month ago

Totally disagree. Generally speaking, I'm all for more choices for the players. More power to the kids that wants to attend a school with his friends.

It's been proven over centuries of data that kids fight harder when accompanied by family, neighbors and friends. Look at the Morri or the Harrisons, they have always been package deals

Jack Jones 7 years, 1 month ago

And, exactly how does going as a package give (in this instance) 3 players "more choices"? The opposite would be more likely. "It has been proven over centuries of data that................fight harder" ~ other than being a gigantic exercise in hyperbole,
(centuries of data is a lot) ???? you cite a grand total of two sets of brothers, as evidence. No, your's is simply an opinion ~ everybody's got one.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 1 month ago

Yes you are right, we all have opinions, which makes this comment section so much fun.

Chris Bailey 7 years, 1 month ago

I'm not going to worry about this one second. Self will get the players he wants and we'll compete for another Big12 championship.

As for Wiggins. What a great attitude. Such a good kid. Gonna miss seeing him play in a KU uniform. Best of luck Andrew. I'm not an NBA fan but will alway keep up with former Jayhawks.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 1 month ago

Yup, I only watch the NBA when the playoffs start and when tracking KU players in the NBA.

John Randall 7 years, 1 month ago

Misleading to say "Self will get THE players he wants." He won't get all of them, but his want list is quite different from just Rivals top 20 or 50. Coach Bill is better than most any other coach at finding character among the many recruits with plenty of talent. As well, player development at KU outstrips most other programs by a wide margin. No one hits on every selection, but Bill Self has fewer strikeouts than any other coach I can name.

Gerry Butler 7 years, 1 month ago

I have a tendency to agree about the package deals, but it looks like that's starting to be the trend. like I've mentioned before I feel pretty confident about carlton bragg, I dunno just this gut feeling something just tells me he is ours to lose maybe this whole package thing changes things but hope not. feeling better about Zimmerman at least better then before I didn't think there was any chance thought for sure he would stay back towards the west coast but even though it still might be slim I get a better feelings on the odds with him but having said that like others in here we will be fine with who ever self does a great job of getting these players developed GO HAWKS

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