Carlton Bragg's windmill jam highlights future Jayhawk's McDonald's experience
Almost every spring, just before the Final Four, Kansas basketball fans get a sneak preview — courtesy of the McDonald’s All-American game — of who’s coming to Lawrence in the fall to help KU in its continuous chase of national championship banners.
Wednesday night in Chicago, 6-foot-9 forward Carlton Bragg, who committed to
Kentucky … err, make that Kansas … was the latest “next big-time player” on display.
Bragg, a five-star recruit from Villa Angela-St.Joseph in Cleveland, scored nine points and hit a 3-pointer for the West.
The Jayhawk-to-be also delivered one of the top plays of the prep all-star showcase, jumping into the passing lane for a steal, on his way to a windmill jam.
It came right after his West teammate, Kansas recruiting target Stephen Zimmerman, threw one down.
Here are a few other angles at the back-to-back, highlight-reel slams:
Want to hear something crazy? Bragg actually considered taking his uncontested jam to the next level.
“I was thinking about going between my legs, but I wasn't quite warmed up,” Bragg told Cleveland.com. “The windmill I felt like I could have got it, so I just did it."
His team lost, but really, participating in the game is a huge deal in itself, and the smiling young big man spoke about that with Cleveland.com.
He also had a message for Kansas fans:
“It’s coming, baby. Just be ready.”
Before the game, PrepHoops Illinois caught up with Bragg, who declared his love for pick-and-pop sets, explaining why he is considered a stretch-4.
Don’t worry, though. Bragg hasn’t abandoned playing in the paint. In fact, he said that’s one area of his game that he made a point to improve upon in his senior season.
“My post game got a lot better and I’m more aggressive.”
Bragg said KU’s style of play led to him choosing Bill Self’s program as his college team of choice.
“They run up and down, play the pick and pop, the pick and roll.”
With the expected departure of Cliff Alexander, Bragg could make an immediate impact for KU next season, providing the Jayhawks with another long body to man the paint with Perry Ellis, Landen Lucas and Hunter Mickelson.
If Bragg can score in the post at the college level, that would make KU’s offense — which often lacked that ability in 2014-15 — more complete and dangerous.