Chicago Not long after Carlton Bragg put on his Kansas cap, mistakenly said he was going to Kentucky, then declared himself a Jayhawk after all, the power forward from Cleveland set his sights on Brandon Ingram.
There was a time Bragg thought he had Ingram convinced, and he may yet help Bill Self land the long, lean small forward out of North Carolina.
Up to 6-foot-9 after starting his senior year at 6-7, Ingram’s stock is making a similar rise with outstanding showings this week at the practices leading up to tonight’s McDonald’s All-American Games at the United Center.
He’s ranked in the teens by both Rivals and Scout but has been better than that, and his uncommitted status has made him popular with his peers this week.
“I talk to Carlton a lot, I talk to Jaylen Brown (uncommitted) a lot,” Ingram said. “I talk to Luke Dennard (Duke) a lot. Me and Chase Jeter (Duke) talk a lot, Stephen Zimmerman (uncommitted). I talk to a lot of the people on the circuit. I’m just trying to make the best decision for me.”
Ingram still has Kansas on his list and said he “loved the visit when I went out there,” but Self is going to need all the help Bragg can give him with Duke, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Kentucky and UCLA also in the mix.
“I’ve been leaning on him a lot,” Bragg said. “He said he doesn’t know. It’s getting harder and harder for him.”
Embiid comparison: The comparison to Joel Embiid is unmistakable — born in a different country (Mali), relatively new to the game, long wing span, big-time shot blocker.
They even look more than a little alike.
Cheick Diallo, who averaged 19 points, 14 rebounds and four blocked shots at Our Savior New American in Long Island, New York, as a senior, said he has spoken to Embiid, who has said good things about his year in Lawrence.
Kansas is on the 6-9 power forward’s unusual list, which also includes Kentucky, Iowa State, St. John’s and Pitt.
Whether he chooses to follow in Embiid’s footsteps may depend on whether Perry Ellis remains in them.
“I’m looking for (playing) time,” Diallo said. “I don’t want to go to a school and play five minutes.”
Bragg’s roommate: Bragg has not had to go out of his way to recruit 7-footer Stephen Zimmerman of Las Vegas Bishop Gorman.
They’re roommates this week.
“I really like Kansas,” Zimmerman said. “Unfortunately they couldn’t go further in the tournament. They are going to have some good players coming back.”
Zimmerman’s final five include Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA, Arizona and UNLV. Like most of the uncommitted All-Americans, he’s waiting for the dominoes to start falling.
“A lot of us have similar schools so we want to see who goes where and if we want to play with them or not,” Zimmerman said. “I’ve talked about it with some guys. I can play with anybody and I’m able to play unselfish and win.”
Thorne to visit: Former Charlotte center Mike Thorne Jr., who has announced plans to transfer to a yet-to-be-determined school for his final season, tells 247sports.com he will visit KU on May 1. The 6-foot-11 Thorne will visit Illinois April 17-18. He’s also considering Virginia Tech, Pitt, Arizona and others.