Thursday, April 6, 2017

Carlton Bragg Jr. leaving Kansas

Kansas forward Carlton Bragg Jr. (15) delivers on a put back dunk during the first half, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Carlton Bragg Jr. (15) delivers on a put back dunk during the first half, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.


If 6-foot-10 forward Carlton Bragg Jr., a former McDonald’s All-American from Cleveland who delivered a mixed bag of results during his first two seasons as a Jayhawk, is going to realize his full potential, it won’t be at Kansas.

KU coach Bill Self on Thursday announced in a press release that Bragg plans to transfer during the offseason.

“We appreciate Carlton’s efforts the last two years at Kansas,” Self said. “We certainly respect his decision to pursue other opportunities. We wish him nothing but the very best and hope he is able to reach his dreams and goals.”

A once-promising player with a bright future both at Kansas and in the professional ranks, Bragg struggled mightily — on and off the court — during his sophomore season that never really get on track.

A starter to open the season, Bragg made just five starts in 31 appearances and did not play at all in KU’s final game of the season.

Asked after the season-ending loss to Oregon in the Elite Eight what he learned this season, Bragg’s answer pointed more toward what he did wrong than right.

“There’s gonna be a lot of ups and downs,” he told the Journal-World. “But you’ve just gotta grind through it. I don’t know what else to say.”

Bragg hinted then about a possible departure, saying, “I don’t know what I’m gonna do,” when asked about his future. Asked what aspects of his game he hoped to fine-tune in the offseason, Bragg said, “Everything, just staying on the court, learning not to foul, helping my team any way possible.”

He finished the year averaging 5.2 points and 4.1 rebounds in 13.8 minutes per game, but often looked frustrated and out of sync on the court.

Despite his rough sophomore season, which featured two suspensions resulting from off-the-court legal issues, Bragg leaves Lawrence optimistic about his future.

“I really enjoyed my time here at Kansas,” Bragg said in the release. “Kansas has the best fans and I do love the program. This past year didn’t go as well as I thought it would and it’s in my best interest to get a fresh start. I want to thank my teammates, coaches and the fans for all their support these past two years. I will always cheer for the Jayhawks.”

Bragg’s departure opens up another scholarship and Self recently told the Journal-World he would like to add “a quick-twitch 4 man” to back up incoming freshman Billy Preston.

“If he’s not a quick-twitch guy, then hopefully a guy that’s big enough to play the 5,” Self said of his aspirations for adding another big man to the 2017 recruiting class. “But there’s some guys out there and there’s gonna be a lot of seniors that will look to transfer so hopefully we’ll find one.”


Eliott Reeder 2 years, 1 month ago

Looks like Keegan might have known something most of ya'll didn't.

Suzi Marshall 2 years, 1 month ago

Not only Keegan. This has been widely known or informative speculation for a few months.

Eliott Reeder 2 years, 1 month ago

Indeed, but my point is that several commenters on Keegan's blog post yesterday seemed shocked that he recommended Bragg transfer, when for several of us, the writing was on the wall.

Robert Brock 2 years, 1 month ago

KU should have no trouble finding Bragg's replacement.

Good luck to Carlton. I hope that he can find something worthwhile and meaningful to do with his life; he seems to have lost interest in hoops.

Daniel Cummings 2 years, 1 month ago

I, for one, am very saddened to learn that Carlton is transferring. He has all the tools and who better to get him focused on maximizing his many talents than HCBS. Good luck Carlton. We wish you well.

Chris DeWeese 2 years, 1 month ago

Can't say that I blame him. Things really fell apart for him this year. So disappointing, but a fresh start might be all that he needs to get back on track. I'd hate to think that he might be one of those high school stars who is just unable to make the transition to college. He seems to have all the tools to succeed, but as was stated earlier the question of his level of interest and dedication is still there.

Bryce Landon 2 years, 1 month ago

It seemed to me during his freshman year he was making the transition just fine. Every time he shot a jumper from the foul line, I had a pretty good sense it was going to go in the basket.

Noel Backwards 2 years, 1 month ago

Keegan must have had some information about this yesterday.

Would have loved to see him stick it out, but wish him luck wherever he ends up.

John Fitzgerald 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm sure he's a good guy just had some bad luck and too often didn't use the right head. Happens to all of us. Good luck, Carlton! Now I'm curious who Self is eyeing to replace him.

Bryce Landon 2 years, 1 month ago

If I remember correctly - and someone please correct me if I am wrong, because I've been wrong many times before - didn't Bragg have some issues with marijuana use at some point during the season? Because if he was into the hippie lettuce, that probably clouded his judgment while on the floor during his sophomore year.

Aaron Paisley 2 years, 1 month ago

Yes, the second suspension was when a pipe was foumd in his room during the rape investigation.

Ross Hartley 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm sorry he is leaving. He has great talent & showed some of it overseas. He will fit in well somewhere & it won't take long.

John Fitzgerald 2 years, 1 month ago

I must have missed that article where Keegan wished Bragg would transfer.

John Fitzgerald 2 years, 1 month ago

Show me the link and his quote that says "I wish Bragg would transfer." Because the article I read was just a recommendation for him to transfer.

Aaron Paisley 2 years, 1 month ago

Too bad he couldn't get his act together because Bragg could've been a great stretch 4 for KU.

This situation does feel pretty similar to Tharpe, Frankamp, and Greene in which everyone has had off the court issues and Self allows them to leave voluntarily instead of being kicked off the team.

Greg Ledom 2 years, 1 month ago

Don't recall any off the court issues with Conner, but could be wrong. Other than playing time, not sure there was much else that caused him to decide to transfer.

Aaron Paisley 2 years, 1 month ago

Frankamp had a DUI. Frankamp also didn't announce his transfer until after the fall semester of his sophomore year started which is not very common for someone who is voluntarily transferring without a coaching change involved.

Chris Shaw 2 years, 1 month ago

Wally Judge 2.6. Amazing the same trajectory of their careers .

Scott Oswalt 2 years, 1 month ago

Self's making room for Shakir Juiston from HCC.

Joe Joseph 2 years, 1 month ago

Not a surprise, but a little disappointing. I was hopeful Carlton would come around. He certainly has tremendous upside.

I hope he finds success!

Barry Weiss 2 years, 1 month ago

well, these things happen. Good Luck Carlton!

Titus Canby 2 years, 1 month ago

This stinks. I disagree that "he couldn't get his act together." Off the court, he was a victim of circumstances. On the court, he just had a lousy season.

Probably good for him to transfer and get a fresh start. Bad for us though.

Aaron Paisley 2 years, 1 month ago

Bragg's second suspension was for possession of drug paraphernalia with residue in the pipe. Agree or disagree with marijuana laws, it's still illegal and Bragg got busted. The assault situation also shows he has a questionable taste in the character of women as well.

Bragg made poor decisions regarding his personal life and now he's dealing with the consequences of those decisions.

Ben Berglund 2 years, 1 month ago

Too bad it didn't quite work out for Carlton at Kansas. I wish him the best going forward and sincerely believe a fresh start will be good for him. I was already wondering if HCBS might look for a senior transfer big man, and I'm glad to see his comments indicate this may be the case. Rock Chalk!

Freddie Garza 2 years, 1 month ago

Maybe it's not politically correct to say, but I disagree with a bunch of you. This IS addition by subtraction. How much does it say that a former McD's AA in his sophomore season barely got any minutes at all in the last part of the season?

Maybe KU goes after the kid that just requested to be released from his LOI at Illinois. I don't know. But I feel like I saw more Mitch Lightfoot in the latter part of the season than I did Carlton Bragg, and when Bragg DID get into games, he was frustrating as heck to watch.

Think about it, if Udoka Azubuike doesn't get hurt, we'd probably barely even know that Carlton played basketball at KU.

I honestly hope the kid figures it all out and actually maximizes his obvious athletic gifts somewhere. But I'm not gonna lie. I was actually HOPING that he'd do this.

Benny Armstrong 2 years, 1 month ago

I think you're mistaken in saying that if Dok didn't get hurt we wouldn't have seen much of Carlton at all. Rather, that added depth at center would have never forced Self to play 4 out/1 in, and he likely would have stayed in his preferred high-low offense. In that situation, Carlton plays a ton as a stretch 4 like Perry last year and Josh plays at the 3.

Instead of that lineup, with a much thinner front line, Self couldn't justify playing multiple bigs at once for fear of fouls impacting his already limited depth. And when Carlton did come in to spell Landen, he wasn't able to deliver as a 5 since he was out of position relative to his skill set and body type.

Unfortunate since we'll never know what could have been, but I do agree with you that this might be addition by subtraction and a good thing for both parties concerned. Hopefully Carlton has success going forward at his new school.

Tevin Brown 2 years, 1 month ago

Good luck carlton! I really liked his game as a stretch 4 another summer under bill would gave him that jump he needed! I just think he didnt get enough minutes or touches to get a rhythm. Im not gonna lie im not sold on billy preston looks slow doesnt have a post move to save his life he's another bragg so i would rather the 3rd year bragg besides a freshman who is about to get a rude of an awaken! I still think svi is gone i like lightfoot but he wont be what i want until his junior year. Plus calrton was just perfect for next years team we'll good luck carlton

Scott Proch 2 years, 1 month ago

This saddens me greatly. I really though Carlton would have a breakout year. I remember filling out the survey and choosing him as our leading scorer. It went downhill that quickly this year. Good luck to Carlton in whatever he decides to do. Sincerely hope he can get things turned around in all aspects.

Chris DeWeese 2 years, 1 month ago

He should go to Wake Forest. Danny Manning could build him up.

Scott Oswalt 2 years, 1 month ago

You think Danny wants that drama at WF? Doubtful.

Chris DeWeese 2 years, 1 month ago

Just looking out for Carlton's well-being.

John Boyle 2 years, 1 month ago

He is a division 1 player who needs a fresh start. I believe Danny would take him in a heartbeat.

John Fitzgerald 2 years, 1 month ago

I could see that as an option for him. And it's not like Carlton is a bad person. He's smart and I'm sure he'll learn from all of this and be better for it.

Brett McCabe 2 years, 1 month ago

Danny's a good idea - a really good idea - the perfect coach for a big guy with some skills.

Dirk Medema 2 years, 1 month ago

Thought I read that he got mixed with a crowd away from the court last summer that didn't encourage him to make good decisions. There are plenty of players that change HS or go away to college to escape similar influences. In that regard it sounds like a wise life decision. Others, White and Frankamp, in particular moved on and thrived in surroundings. A fresh start should be good for Carlton if he makes good decisions.

Clara Westphal 2 years, 1 month ago

Carlton was one of my favorites. I am sorry to see him leave but I hope it is for the better for him. Good luck, Carlton. I will miss seeing you play and seeing that great smile.

Yonatan Negash 2 years, 1 month ago

Dude had a rough year.

Playing in D1 school, especially a powerhouse like Kansas requires some level of maturity and focus, which he couldn't hack it.

Best of luck to him.

Mike Greer 2 years, 1 month ago

Getting to this level in a sport takes a great deal of dedacation, focus, and sacrafice. The summer crowd seems to have been a diversion where Carlton lost dedacation and focus. It's easy to do when you've made sacrafices for years to get to this level. I had hoped he would find his focus and clean up his act and rededicate himself to school and basketball. This past season was an anomaly and my guess is without the stable of guards, coach goes back to his more traditional lineup and a focused Carlton would have been welcome. Such is life, good luck.

Lance Hobson 2 years, 1 month ago

Frankamp got his DUI after he left KU and left because of playing time. Bragg didn't play at all against Oregon and we needed him. I wondered if he got in trouble again.

Chad Smith 2 years, 1 month ago

Called this last week before keegs did. Not thrilled about it, but it may be addition by subtraction as other have said. We'll be fine and we will find someone else to fill his spot. Good luck Carlton.

John Boyle 2 years, 1 month ago

You and about 9 million other basketball fans.

Armen Kurdian 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm not surprised at all, but I think this is a good move for him. He won't have a hard time finding somewhere to play, he probably already has some places in mind. Probably a good move for the team too, and I wish him the very best of luck.

Janet Olin 2 years, 1 month ago

Stevie Wonder could see this coming. Carlton, I have always wanted you to succeed and still do. I'm sorry this year was terrible for you, some of it your fault and lots that wasn't. Best of luck to you. You may not believe Jayhawk Nation had your back, but I think in time you will realize we all wanted and want the best for you. Good luck and great success to you.

Doug Cramer 2 years, 1 month ago

Bragg - can you not hang ?

How about getting some grit and tough it out.

Balls to the wall and get better.

We need upper class men like you in this program.

Freddie Garza 2 years, 1 month ago

Bragg announces transfer, a day or so later, the Lawson twins are committing (keep in mind, Mason's scholly would also be opening up).

Do you think this is a coincidence?

Bragg transferring is probably best for all parties involved.

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