Monday, February 6, 2017

Notebook: Carlton Bragg provides lift in return from three-game suspension

Kansas forward Carlton Bragg Jr. (15) roars after a dunk during the first half, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017 at Bramlage Coliseum.

Kansas forward Carlton Bragg Jr. (15) roars after a dunk during the first half, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017 at Bramlage Coliseum.


— The three-game suspension served by Kansas sophomore Carlton Bragg Jr., officially ended Monday night at Bramlage Coliseum, 4:58 into KU’s 74-71 victory over Kansas State.

That was when Bragg first checked into Monday’s game after missing the last three games because of a suspension that stemmed from charges on possession of drug paraphernalia.

That off-the-court issue — Bragg’s second of the season — ended with the 21-year-old Cleveland native being granted a diversion, and the Jayhawks are hopeful that it’s what Bragg delivered Monday night, and not up to that point, that they will get the rest of the way.

In 13 minutes, the KU forward delivered six points, three rebounds and two assists while making 3-of-4 shots from the field and using his 6-foot-10 frame to disrupt the Wildcats inside.

“I thought Carlton did fine,” said Self after the game, noting later that he felt the three-game suspension was enough. “I thought he gave us some great minutes the first half.”

Bragg’s teammates agreed and said they were thrilled to have the former McDonald’s All-American back in the rotation.

“Super big,” KU freshman Josh Jackson said. “Guys don’t really have to play as many minutes now, and I thought he played really good on defense, got a couple of big rebounds and did a little scoring out there, too. It’s always good to have an extra guy come in and give you production.”

Added junior Devonte’ Graham: “Great to have him back. He gave us good energy, got some big buckets and played great on defense.”

As for where Graham expected Bragg to take things from here, the KU guard sounded optimistic that more good days were ahead.

“All that pressure that was on him for this game, he kind of settled in and he’ll be good and it’s just nothing but up from here," Graham said.

Bragg injured his left foot or ankle midway through the second half but, after a trip to the locker room, returned to the game. Self had no update on his status after the game.

Kansas pride

For the second time this season, K-State sophomore Dean Wade delivered a monster game against the Jayhawks.

This, after struggling in three games against KU as a true freshman a season ago.

Asked for a reaction on why Wade presented such a mismatch for the Jayhawks, Self preferred to give Wade a tip of the cap.

“I don’t know that there’s been a mismatch problem," Self said. "I just think he’s a good player. He’s a Kansas kid playing against KU just like Perry Ellis was a Kansas kid playing against K-State.... He is a good player and he shot the heck out of it.”

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Kansas basketball coach Bill Self speaks with the media following the Jayhawks' 74-71 Big Monday victory at Kansas State.

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Wade, a St. John native, finished 8-of-12 from the floor, including 3-of-3 from 3-point range, for 20 points in 34 minutes.

Said Wade of facing the Jayhawks, “I think it means the same to the whole team. It was a big game and we were all ready for it. We had a lot of energy and emotions going into it. I think growing up as a kid and watching it, it means a lot to me.”

Hostile environment

As expected, the Kansas State student section was seated and screaming more than 90 minutes before tip-off of Monday’s game.

Known for their wild ways, loud jeers and clever signage, the KSU students had extra motivation on Monday night given the fact that the first meeting between the Sunflower State rivals ended with a traveling violation by KU’s Svi Mykhailiuk that was not called. To that end, the KSU faithful brought out their traveling signals and dozens of signs referencing Mykhailiuk and the infraction.

Some of the best included: A list of Svi’s likely pregame play list, which included seven songs that referenced walking or traveling in the title; a list of Svi’s hobbies, which included walking the dog, long walks on the beach and traveling; a drawing of a referee uniform with the caption “Next jersey to be hung in Allen Fieldhouse"; and "Svi has more rushing yards than KU football #WalkChalk."

The K-State fans also chanted “Guil-ty, Guil-ty” at Bragg, Vick and other Jayhawks throughout the game.

"I'll be honest, the crowd helped us win the game," Self said. "There's no doubt about that. That's all we talked about was use their energy to give you energy."

Jayhawks still 3rd

Kansas held its spot at No. 3 in this week’s Associated Press poll despite falling to unranked Iowa State at home last Saturday.

The Jayhawks, 20-3 overall and 8-2 in the Big 12, likely maintained their place in the top-three on the strength of their home victory over No. 2 Baylor last Wednesday. The Bears, who also lost to Kansas State over the weekend, fell just four spots to No. 6 and sit one game back of Kansas in the Big 12 race.

Unbeaten Gonzaga (24-0) remained No. 1 for the second week in a row and Villanova (22-2) jumped back into the No. 2 spot. The Zags received 59 first-place votes and ’Nova picked up the other six. Louisville (19-4) and Oregon (21-3) round out this week’s top-five, while 13th-ranked West Virginia (18-5) joined KU and Baylor as the only Big 12 teams in this week’s Top 25.

Iowa State (3) Oklahoma State (1) and Kansas State (1) each received votes in this week’s poll.

This and that...

KU now leads the all-time series with K-State, 193-93, including a 77-47 mark in Manhattan and 25-4 record in Bramlage Coliseum.... Self improved to 29-5 all-time against the Wildcats while K-State coach Bruce Weber dropped to 2-11 all-time against the Jayhawks.... KU is now 6-1 in true road games this season and 10-2 away from Allen Fieldhouse.... KU has now won 21 games or more for the 28th consecutive season.

By the Numbers: Kansas 74, Kansas State 71.

By the Numbers: Kansas 74, Kansas State 71.

— See what people were saying about the game during's live coverage.

More news and notes from Kansas vs. Kansas State


Tom Jones 3 years, 8 months ago

"I'll be honest, the crowd helped us win the game," Self said.

That's gold.

Bryce Landon 3 years, 8 months ago

So, memo to the Bramlage Coliseum patrons, if you don't want Kansas to win in your house, don't bring your not-so-witty signs and don't jeer at your players for their off-the-court issues.

Jonathan Allison 3 years, 8 months ago

absolutely love that quote from Bill Self. He's not just trolling the KSU fan base either. He actually meant it. The personality of this team is incredible, they really seem to love the hate from the opposing fans. They clearly fed off of it last night and also against Kentucky. Even at WVU I think that they fed off of the opposing crowd right up until the end. That was a close game till about 5 minutes left when WVU started to pour gasoline on it like an old couch.

Mike Kendall 3 years, 8 months ago

I thought we played the best defense of this season. Any thoughts?

Bryce Landon 3 years, 8 months ago

The last ten minutes of the first half for sure.

Gerry Butler 3 years, 8 months ago

I thought Carlton did bring energy for us, much needed. Hope our boy is getting things turned around, really like him always have, always will. He is just a young man that made a bad decision but that's in the past. He can really help us the rest of the season , wish nothing but the best the rest of the season.

As far as what I read from some idiots off the ESPN game chat site talking about how they have lost respect for Coach Self for playing Bragg - - - - -REALLY ? - - SERIOUSLY? give me a fricking break. - -The kid made a mistake , h has paid for that mistake , he had a three game suspension , had has been granted a diversion and he knows there are guidelines and stipulations that go along with that. - - he is still a teenage kid, we make mistakes , we ALL have, you say you haven't or didn't make any a that age I call BS. - -and I'll yo that I am going to become the pope tomorrow. - - - It was a pipe, it's a misdemeanor. move on from here

Mike Greer 3 years, 8 months ago

I support all you stated, with the exception of ". . . a teenage kid . . . " He's 21 years old.

Mike Riches 3 years, 8 months ago

To me an indefinite suspension is just that. It's 100% up to the coach when to lift it. I'm perfectly fine with Coach K lifting Grayson Allen's suspension after one game as well, it's totally up to him. If Self thinks the purpose of the suspension has been served, he should be free to lift it. If a player is truly deserving of a longer suspension, it should be enforced by the athletic department or better yet the conference. I've never thought that it's fair to leave disciplinary action up to a coach, who in some cases is trying to keep his job. A coach should be focused on winning, and what's best for his team. If Self feels that a three game suspension helps Bragg be a better and more focused teammate, more power to him...

Olympia Wilson 3 years, 8 months ago

And he was "somewhat" involved in 3 incidents with the law, in about a month and half. Just saying, don't nobody freak on that statement.

Freddie Garza 3 years, 8 months ago

I'm gonna need Devonte to take more than 5 shots, the boy's way too good to only shoot 5 times.

Barry Weiss 3 years, 8 months ago

I agree, i have not looked at his last 3-5 games, but his numbers seem to be down. We need him to help carry the load on Frank's shoulders a bit more.

Clara Westphal 3 years, 8 months ago

Duke's Allen was only suspended one game for tripping other players. He trips someone almost every game. If Allen's one game suspension is legitimate then Carlton three game suspension is also legitimate. ESPN is not what it used to be.

Go Hawks. Good win over K-State.

Jonathan Allison 3 years, 8 months ago

As for Bragg's hurt foot. It didn't seem to bother him after he returned from the locker room. These guys are very young, he'll be just fine. Holly Rowe was reporting that he was slamming the floor or banging his head after the foot injury and insinuating that maybe he thought that it was injured worse than it was.

I think that he was mostly just mad at himself for the stupid goaltend that he took on that play.

I have had many injured ankles. I usually know instantly if I will need a moment off, but ultimately be able to return. I usually know that even though they will swell, bruise, and be sore for a few days that I generally can play through when it happens, but will need two to three days off before I try to go on it again. Now, in my 30s that is the case, but when I was those guys' age it was always play on. For a worse sprain it would be ice for a few hours, some ace wrap and then good to go the next day.

Tony Bandle 3 years, 8 months ago

Based on this season's performances so far, I see next year's starters to be Graham, Vick, Preston, Azu and Bragg with KU going more back into the typical Self offense with the front line backed up by Lightfoot and Coleby and the back line backed up by Newman, Garrett and Cunliffe.

Besides Landon and Frank, Josh and Svi will be gone..

With Graham coming back and the 4 guard offense use being reduced if not eliminated, I am afraid Young and Duvall will end up somewhere else.

.I would love to see Trae in Crimson and Blue so I am hoping I am totally wrong!!

Jay Scott 3 years, 8 months ago

Is Preston a 3? That's not what I've seen. He's 4, a lot like Bragg IMHO. Also, fans ALWAYS expect a big to develop faster than they do. Vick over Newman? No Cunliffe starting? He's the real deal. Driven, talented, bigger than Vick with big hops.

I'd say Graham, Newman, Cunliffe, Bragg and Dok starting with Vick backing up all 3 guards and Preston, Mitch and Coleby vying for minutes. Garrett would be a surprise to get big minutes. Young would be ahead of him, if he signs... He's said he'll verbal next week, long before Graham makes any decisions. ... if Svi is back....

Tony Bandle 3 years, 8 months ago

Darn it, Jay, There you go again, using logic, perspective and historical precedent as part of your response. What are we gonna do with you!!

Jay Scott 3 years, 8 months ago

It always pains me to offer a view contrary to that of the esteemed Tony Bandle.

Barry Weiss 3 years, 8 months ago

I think there is at least a 50-50 shot Svi comes back.

Mike Greer 3 years, 8 months ago

I'd have to agree. Svi is playing well, but I'm not sure that playing well is good enough to get you drafted. There are too many OADs like Jackson and other players that are playing better than "well". Ellis didn't get drafted and he was playing much better than well. Svi hasn't really had a "break out" game, nor has he been consistently in the mid teens, he's averaging just over 10 ppg.

Also, remember, he's very young for a junior, he can afford to wait to play in Europe if that's where he ends up.

RJ King 3 years, 8 months ago

No Cunliffe starting?

Wait, aren't you both right? Doesn't Cunliffe have to sit out first semester? I could be wrong, but if he starts, it would not be 'til February or so. ???

Jay Scott 3 years, 8 months ago

Right as always RJ. He's eligible at the end of first semester. Nebraska game this season if I'm not mistaken.

Harlan Hobbs 3 years, 8 months ago

Congratulations, Carlton, on passing your first test. More to come!

Caden Ford 3 years, 8 months ago

I got last minute tickets to this game on Monday (One of my friends who is a big KU fan goes to Kstate for his major..haha) was able to find an extra set for us. What an experience getting to watch the Jayhawks win in that building. Luckily enough, I got to sit next to another KU fan so we were going crazy any chance we got! Rock Chalk!

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