Sunday, February 5, 2017

Bragg travels with Jayhawks to Manhattan; gameday status uncertain

Kansas sophomore Carlton Bragg Jr. throws down a dunk prior to Friday's game at TCU in the Jayhawks' Big 12 opener.

Kansas sophomore Carlton Bragg Jr. throws down a dunk prior to Friday's game at TCU in the Jayhawks' Big 12 opener.


It’s too early to know if he’ll play, but he is expected to be in the building.

That’s the latest on Kansas forward Carlton Bragg Jr., who has been suspended indefinitely since Jan. 26 and has missed the Jayhawks’ last three games.

KU coach Bill Self told the Journal-World via text message that Bragg made the trip to Manhattan with the team on Sunday evening but that he had not yet decided if Bragg would play against Kansas State, 8 p.m. Monday on ESPN’s Big Monday.

Bragg, a sophomore from Cleveland, was suspended for the second time this season following what Self deemed “a violation of team rules.” Four days later it was revealed that Bragg had been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia in a case stemming from a rape investigation at the team’s on-campus McCarthy Hall dormitory.

Bragg, 21, has since been granted a diversion in the drug paraphernalia case.

Bragg did not make the trip with the Jayhawks to No. 4 Kentucky and also was absent from Allen Fieldhouse during KU’s last two home games, a win over No. 2 Baylor and Saturday’s loss to Iowa State.

Self, who also sat Bragg for one game in December for his involvement in a battery case which he later was cleared of any wrongdoing, has said very little about Bragg’s status during the past couple of weeks, only confirming that there had been no change in his status.

The Jayhawks (20-3 overall, 8-2 Big 12) and Wildcats (16-7, 5-5) are playing a rematch of their Jan. 3 game at Allen Fieldhouse, which KU won 90-88 when Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk hit a running layup as time expired.

The shot was deemed controversial because Mykhailiuk appeared to travel before releasing the shot.

That memory along with Bragg’s status figure to make Monday a wild night in Manhattan.


Dale Rogers 2 years, 6 months ago

I keep hearing about Svi's travel, which was obvious to all who saw the replay, but I hear nothing about him being fouled before the travel, another no-call, and one that would have rendered the travel obsolete and put him at the free throw line.

Kent Richardson 2 years, 6 months ago

I hope he plays and we get an exuberance and effort like Diallo exhibited in his first game. That was, in my opinion, Diallo's most impactful game. If Bragg gets his cool on when he is blasted from the Wildcat fans and plays too tight or loose then hopefully next game he will be effective. If he is available and Self doesn't pull the trigger then what will that say?

This is our lowest point in the year due to all the non basketball things. The ISU was a freak result due to their unconscious shooting and our let down from the UK/Baylor games. It wasn't a big mental let down but against that kind of game from ISU it was just barely enough when Frank and Svi missed makeable shots.

We travel to OSU, Baylor and Texas. We struggled at home against all three. We could be on an upswing or downswing going forward. Should be fun with every game being do or die from here on to the tourney.

Mike Kendall 2 years, 6 months ago

I agree Kent. If somehow we can secure this win, it would be huge-with or without Mr. Bragg.

Benz Junque 2 years, 6 months ago

Three games is more than enough of a suspension for what he did. Time to put him back out there.

Robert Brock 2 years, 6 months ago

Self shouldn't play Bragg until the young man shows some sign that he is willing to concentrate on hoops and intends give his best efforts.

Lately, his attention has been focused on non-basketball stuff (Fatal Attraction meets the two bongs).

RJ King 2 years, 6 months ago

In allowing him to suit up, it would seem that Self is, in fact saying that Bragg has shown a willingness to focus on basketball and give his best effort.

If it's enough for Self, it's enough for me. (OK, that was redundant.)

Harlan Hobbs 2 years, 6 months ago

I couldn't agree more with one of your thoughts, Kent. Carlton got himself into the stew, and he now needs to show that he is capable of coming back from it.

Of course, he will face a taunting and hostile crowd at Manhattan, but I say put him to the test. To sit him sends the message that Coach Self no longer has any confidence in him. If that is the case, then he should be dropped from the team and helped to find a place elsewhere rather than let him travel with the team.

In short, the key point it to get into Carlton's brain and try to help him before he becomes just another statistic. I predict that he will play, if Coach likes what he sees during the pre-game preparations.

Mike Greer 2 years, 6 months ago

The astute Mr. Hobbs has perhaps hit the nail on the head. Carlton will need to get himself back in Coach's good graces to get back on the floor. There may be a number of ways to do this and a sincere mea culpa would be a good start, but it's likely going to take much more than that. He's likely going to have to show that he deserves to be on the floor and that his head and heart are in basketball for a change. Play or not tonight will likely depend on Carlton as much if not more than Coach.

Harlan Hobbs 2 years, 6 months ago

Thanks, Mike. You are correct that it takes more than a "mea culpa." Coach always says that playing in a game is dependent upon your attitude and performance in practice. If Carlton meets those expectations, he will play. If not, he won't.

Coach Self is a master motivator, not because he plays "mental games", but because he treats it like a "nuts and bolts" situation. I can just hear him saying, "It's nothing more than that." If Carlton takes the same approach, he will be fine.

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