Thursday, April 2, 2015

Bragg battled nerves at McDonald’s game

Kansas University basketball recruiting.

Kansas University basketball recruiting.


Future Kansas University basketball forward Carlton Bragg was mighty nervous before Wednesday’s McDonald’s All-America game, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

“My heart was pounding,” the 6-foot-9, 225-pound forward from Cleveland Villa Angela St. Joseph told his hometown paper after scoring nine points and grabbing two rebounds in the West’s 111-91 loss to the East in Chicago. “That was a big stage for me. I was excited. Being out here felt good.”

Bragg had one of the night’s most exciting plays — a steal and breakaway windmill slam dunk.

“I had a fast break, and it just happened,” Bragg,’s No. 15-rated player nationally, told “I was thinking about going between my legs, but I wasn’t quite warmed up. The windmill I felt like I could have got it so I just did it.

“You get a once-in-a-lifetime chance, and this was a great opportunity for me,” Bragg added of his enthusiasm of playing in the game.

Diallo update: KU recruiting target Cheick Diallo burst on the national scene by earning MVP honors at the McDonald’s game.

The 6-foot-9, 220-pound senior forward from Our Savior New American High in Centereach, New York, who is ranked No. 7 nationally by, scored 18 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and outplayed No. 1-ranked Ben Simmons and No. 3 Malik Newman, who had seven points and one point respectively.

Diallo, who is originally from Mali, put up a double double in just 17 minutes. He impressed the media by his hustle and ability to run the court.

“A lot of people came to watch me so I’m so excited,” Diallo told after the game. “That’s my first time playing in front of a crowd like that. I’m just so excited. I don’t really know what to say.”

Diallo has a final recruiting list of KU, Kentucky, St. John’s, Iowa State and Pittsburgh. The good news, USA Today reports, is KU is one of the schools with coaches who correctly pronounce his name. It’s pronounced SHECK, the paper indicates, not Check or Cheek.

“Kentucky gets it right. I know that, and I think Pitt and Kansas get it right too,” Diallo told USA Today. “It’s funny that people still say it wrong. But I don’t mind. I’m so used to it by now. I just go on and answer them. I do recognize when people say it the right way since it doesn’t happen too much.”

Diallo told the Lexington Herald-Leader that playing time is a huge factor in choosing a college.

“I don’t want to go to some school and play like ... 20 minutes,” he said. “I want to go to school to play more time.

“That’s what I’m waiting for,” Diallo said of the April 26 early entry deadline for the NBA Draft. “I want to know who’s going and who’s staying.”

Zimmerman update: Stephen Zimmerman, a 7-footer from Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas who is ranked No. 11 nationally, scored six points and had six rebounds in 15 minutes for the losing West team.

Zimmerman has a list of KU, Kentucky, Arizona, UCLA and UNLV.

“I want to take the least amount of risk as possible. It’s my dream to go to the NBA and I want to do whatever it takes to get there,” Zimmerman told USA Today.

He told the Lexington Herald-Leader: “I have days where I’m in love with one school, and then days when I’m in love with another school. I’m still not going to try to rush it. I’m taking my time.”

He added: “I can see myself being successful at any of the five schools on my list. I really trust all the coaches, that they’re going to help me and get me better. It’s just about making that decision.”

Brown update: No. 2-rated Jaylen Brown, 6-7 from Wheeler High in Marietta, Georgia, who scored nine points for the East, told the Lexington Herald-Leader he had “about a month” to go in his recruitment. He’s considering KU, Kentucky, California, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Michigan, UCLA and North Carolina.

“If I choose a school within the next two weeks that I think I like the most, and they don’t have any NBA guys, then I won’t have to wait until whatever the NBA deadline is,” Brown said of April 26. “But, if I do, then I’ll probably wait.”


Reggie Flenory 7 years, 2 months ago

Out of all the players listed I like Diallo the most the only issue is how much playing time would Bill be willing to give him. Personally I'd start him at center right away I've seen enough of him to know he would be at the very least a defensive up grade as well as rebounding. But we know how bill likes to play his upper classmen. We wouldn't get bigger with Bragg and Diallo both at 6'9 but we would get better in the post certainly more skilled.

Zimmerman impressed me and flashed some athleticism in the McDonald's All American game. He's definitely a lot more athletic than people give him credit for however I think we are going to be fighting an uphill battle for any of the West Coast recruits. From what I've been reading on 247 sports and Zags blog he seems to be leaning heavily towards staying on the west side. I will be very shocked if you pick Kansas but I seriously doubt it's going to happen.

I really really really like Brown's game 6'7 225 and built like and outside linebacker super super explosive. He can get to the rim and finish like no other every time he touches the ball he's either going to get fouled or complete the bucket. gGood news for Kansas fans is he wants to go to an Adidas school bad news is UCLA has a much greater need for him and he's pretty much guaranteed to start at ucla. If he came to Kansas Bill Self would have to get real creative with the lineups to keep everyone happy and get the most out of the roster. You would assume that greene would start at the small forward position. If Brown comes in I think you would need to play him behind green and then move SVI to the shooting guard position.

Benz Junque 7 years, 2 months ago

The good news is that Self admitted that he probably should have just stuck Oubre out there early and let him figure it out. Bodes well for the next guy with a high ceiling. Stick Diallo out there in the starting role next to Mason ,Selden, Brown and Ellis and let him sort out how to play at that level. If he has some foul troubles then we have Lucas, Traylor and Mickelson to fill in.

Tyler Capone 7 years, 2 months ago

You don't think Brown would start over Greene? Greene is literally only good for his shot, which didn't look too good at the end of the year.

Reggie Flenory 7 years, 2 months ago

He definitely could but it would be Greene's to loose at this point because he will be a Jr and we all know self rides with his vets first.

Sean Lancaster 7 years, 2 months ago

Not only would Brown jump Greene, but Svi is also jumping Greene this off season. Greene just can't play D effectively and his feet are too slow for him to improve regardless of any extra off-season work.

Zeik Montellioso 7 years, 2 months ago

Greene can't pass or dribble effectively either.

Benz Junque 7 years, 2 months ago

I haven't seen anything from Svi that makes me think he is ready to be a starter. the biggest thing he has going seems to be not being named Brannen Greene, since everyone has simply decided he stinks and want to move on from him. Kinda silly. Self has only had one player play as much as Svi and shoot worse than Svi did last year and that was Jeff Hawkins WAY back in Self's first year.

We don't need another guy out there that is only a threat to pass the ball well. We need some SCORING because we sucked at that last year. I seriously question if Svi will be ready to score 10-12 points a game next year.

Michael Bennett 7 years, 2 months ago

Brown looks like he could play in the NBA right now, no way Greene would stay ahead of him in the lineup.

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 2 months ago

Unless Greene improves his ball handling and ability to drive he won't be starting if someone like Brown comes in. Wichita State guarded his outside shot and dared him to drive, which he didn't. He is a one trick pony at the moment. I really hope he works on his game, for his sake.

Joe Joseph 7 years, 2 months ago

Sounds like KU doesn't have much of a chance with Diallo if his prime concern is playing more than 20 mpg. The only way I see that happening for sure next year is if both Alexander and Ellis leave. Self strikes me as the type of recruiter who makes no promises, so I don't see it happening. Too bad too, considering Diallo supposedly has the heaviest KU lean of the remaining recruits.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 2 months ago

Why does Ellis have to leave? Diallo is the kind of player that needs to play in the post with Ellis. Diallo is the low in the high low offense and has the skills to be the rim protector that KU was missing. The biggest thing that will limit Diallo's minutes next year will be foul issues that are typical of freshmen adjusting to the college game. Diallo is also still a raw enough player that he's not a guaranteed OAD player.

Benz Junque 7 years, 2 months ago

Eh, what? Cliff played 18 minutes a game. He can have all those minutes plus a few of those used by Lucas, Mickelson and Traylor and he is at an easy 25 a game.

Brianna Zaleski 7 years, 2 months ago

I love how Zimmerman states that he wants the easiest route possible to the NBA, and then comments on his "love" for certain schools. And how it changes from week to week... No thanks. Don't want you or anyone like you. Isn't this the same idiot who was taking "selfie" dunks during the McD's festivities?

I'm not interested in any of these kids w a me first attitude. There is a place for you where they promote that garbage. It's called Kentucky. I prefer my OAD's humble like Wiggins and Oubre. Not this self absorbed crap.

Btw, good luck in life if you're not up to any challenges. If you're looking for the easiest way into things, you'll quickly find yourself surpassed by those willing to outwork you.

Cody Riedy 7 years, 2 months ago

A lot of people still think Self will try the NBA. This is probably one of the reasons why. Sure, there's high drama players in the NBA, but a coach, besides maybe in a few free agent situations, doesn't have to fly around the country wooing them to come join the team (and deal with parents that might be just as bad). It seems like Self is running out of time to jump to the NBA because if it didn't work out, he'd be in his late 50s trying to come back to college. He could still get hired, but at nearly 60, he probably wouldn't be getting hired back by KU caliber places and I don't think he's a Larry Brown type that's going to take over SMU at age 70. Of course, Self has said before he doesn't see himself coaching as long as some of these other guys. So, maybe he'd time it so that if the NBA didn't work out he'd be ready to just retire.

Ben Simonett 7 years, 2 months ago

wow, you read one quote about an 18 year old kid and you know everything about who he is as a person? Typical internet

Benz Junque 7 years, 2 months ago

I think you might have had an aneurysm. I would hardly say that Zimmerman saying "I want to take the least amount of risk as possible. It’s my dream to go to the NBA and I want to do whatever it takes to get there,” means that he wants things to be EASY.

There's a big difference between easy and least amount of risk. Hearing that a player is willing to do whatever it takes to make his dream come true should not only be viewed as not "me first" but essential. Sounds like he's ready to work his butt off to succeed.

You chose to read it with your "I Hate OAD Players" glasses on.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 2 months ago

I would not put much into what he says, these are 18 year olds. Its all about them and the hat ceremony now. Most of them are trying to be LeBron anyway. I would not put it past one of them saying they are going to take their talents to XYZ when they choose a school.

Allin Herring 7 years, 2 months ago

Not interested in any O A D's if Alexander and Qubre are an examples of one

Gerry Butler 7 years, 2 months ago

well I agree with others. At one point I was very convinced I guess had my self convinced, that Diallo was pretty much a good to go for us. Now not feeling nearly as confident, with the hiring of Chris Mullen at St Johns plus the fact St John's or mullen also added the former lead recruiter from Iowa State who just happened to be the lead recruiter for Diallo when he was at Iowa State and at that time Iowa State was very much in the picture for him, you put that together with the fact he is wanting tons of playing time, which actually I could see it possibly, ya Bill gives nobody anything, you earn it just don't know, then on top of the fact that Diallo says another part is waiting to see who goes NBA and who stays, wll read a report yesterday that an NBA scout has heard from several other NBA personal that as many as 7 of Kentucky will declare for the NBA and will be drafted, and out of those 7 four of them are big men Towns, projected #1 Cauley Stein #6, Lyles# 19, and Johnson # 39 if that turns out correct you can turn out the lights on Diallo coming here. would love to see him here awesome talent and another on this is makes me wonder I believe KU maybe knows more or has unheard by the public insight that Diallo is leaning away from us and pushing heavily more on the Thorne transfer kid seen of the shiver this morning that he moved his visit date to KU up from the 2nd of May to the 22nd of April and moved his decision up to the 27th of April makes you wonder. ROCK CHALK

Trent Rose 7 years, 2 months ago

A few years back, Self made the mistake of going after one specific target heavily (Kaleb Tarczewski). When he decided to go to Arizona, the Jayhawks had no contingency plan and were left with no depth (although they did reach the NCAA title game). Ever since then, the emphasis is to recruit many targets and have options. I would bet that KU wants Diallo, Zimmerman, or Maker - but will take Thorne if none of those guys decide to go to KU.

Travis Clementsmith 7 years, 2 months ago

I bet you Thorne moved up his visit date to see if he wants to commit, and if he does, we'll take Thorne before any of the others even decide.

Trent Rose 7 years, 2 months ago

I'm sure all interested big men recruits are waiting for a Cliff Alexander announcement before committing - that is if they are wanting to attend Kansas.

Benz Junque 7 years, 2 months ago

No chance that Self will accept a commitment from Thorne before these recruits decide. He is Plan B. Period.

William Weissbeck 7 years, 2 months ago

Maybe no loss there. Kaleb looked good as a freshman, but I didn't see any improvement this year. He was lost in the Wisconsin game.

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 2 months ago

Kaleb Tarczewski didnt want to work his ass off for Bill Self or Andrea Hudy, and it shows now in his play--there's your EASY way out of the lotto example. Is he on the draft boards as a lotto pick? No, because he doesnt play like a man possessed. As a junior. Pitiful. Next.

Benz Junque 7 years, 2 months ago

In other words, Diallo wants to see what the rosters of all him options look like before he compares them and decides where he wants to go. I would hope that this is what he chooses to do. And I very seriously doubt that all those guys go pro.

Travis Clementsmith 7 years, 2 months ago

I don't know why some of you guys stress so much about blurbs from 17-18 year olds. "Sounds entitled". Could very well be interpreted as "Sounds ambitious". If someone went to college for business and said they want to get their degree as soon as possible so they could get hired by a certain firm, would you have the same reaction. Or a musician with a chance to play in the industry?

As far as I'm concerned they can say whatever they want. What 18 year old really had it all "figured out" before going to college? I trust the coaching staff knows what they like and don't like when they interview them. If they're not particularly worried about it, neither am I.

Michael Bennett 7 years, 2 months ago

True, I think most 18 year olds are a little cocky, entitled, and overly ambitious coming out of high school. College and the years after are humbling and make you grow up quite a bit, and people forget how they used to be.

Benz Junque 7 years, 2 months ago

Yeah, it really stinks when players talk about themselves when reporters ask them questions about..... THEMSELVES. What a bunch of me first guys.

Gerry Butler 7 years, 2 months ago

I think if Thorne commits, then Diallo is for sure out

Tyler Capone 7 years, 2 months ago

I think we get Thorne and then Brown/Ingram since we don't really have a 2 or 3 that stands out. Brown/Ingram might not start right away but i think after about 5-10 games they would be ready

Mike Riches 7 years, 2 months ago

I agree with Brianna's comments above. I remember Zimmerman making a similar comment last year, and being very unimpressed. He also says he wants to take the least amount of risk possible. That screams low effort to me. From what I've seen, I don't think his skill set will translate to a very good OAD season either. He'll score, but I don't think he would dominate in the paint, like an Anthony Davis, until his second or third year. I think there's a good chance the best a coach is going to get out of him is a mediocre post player that's not willing to give much effort.

Bragg was a good get, and I think he'll make more of an impact on KU basketball as a 2-3 year guy, than Zimmerman would make in one year.

Benz Junque 7 years, 2 months ago

People read this through their own jaded glasses. Those that hate OAD players assume the worst and take it one way. Those that don't take it for what it is.

Mike Riches 7 years, 2 months ago

I disagree, although I understand your point. Personally, I'm not against OAD players at all. I fully realize our last two seasons would have been much worse without the OADs that we had. That doesn't mean I have to be impressed with every OAD's attitude, and with this kid, I haven't been. Regardless of his attitude however, I still don't think he'll be a big impact in one year of college...

Chris Shaw 7 years, 2 months ago

Gary, I never complain about your articles and I firmly believe you are LJ world/kusports (I do miss Jesse Newell and his contributions), but I have to disagree with you about Diallo out playing Ben Simmons.

Sure, Diallo had the best stat lines, but Simmons right now is the best player and he showcased those skills last night. The ball gravitated towards Simmons the entire night.

Simmons showcased his ball handling, his court vision, his ability to set up teammates, his explosiveness towards the rim, his athletic ability, his determination when he dove on the floor, and his overall game.

I was the most impressed with Simmons he entire night. Diallo has a great motor and had a great game by winning MVP honors but Simmons did it all in that over hyped all star game.

Gary Bedore 7 years, 2 months ago

Hi Chris, Thanks for the discussion. I don't mind discussing stuff when people are as cordial as you are on the Internet. I just thought Diallo's all-out hustle in that game, coupled with his stat line, justified my comment about Diallo. I respect your comment on Simmons. Maybe I didn't notice Simmons as much cause the announcers spend so much time telling stories at that game they fail to realize it's extra important to IDENTIFY THE PLAYERS we are watching since they are not yet recognizable to many of us. I thought Diallo was sensational but I accept your observations on Simmons. Glad to see he is unselfish in what you noticed as well.

Freedman Moor 7 years, 2 months ago

Just wanted to point out to everyone butchering Diallo's (and my native) name, it is pronounced "Jah-low" not "Dee-ah-low".

Ben Simonett 7 years, 2 months ago

Shaka Smart to Texas. Now well get a chance to see whether we should have upgraded over Self first hand.

I'm guessing the conference championship streak ends sometime in the next 3 years

William Weissbeck 7 years, 2 months ago

That's not a stretch. MSU didn't win the conference and look where they are. Nor did Duke for that matter. I hope the combination of ISU, WVU and Texas speeds up the game in the conference. KU's problem on the national stage is intensity and quickness.

Leon Trotter 7 years, 2 months ago

Having read a good number of comments from you about "upgrading"...I have a question:

Who would you bring in as an upgrade? I think its fairly safe to say that Self is a top 5 or 6 coach right now, but we can call it 10. How many top 10 level coaches are ready to come replace him? I would put the number at 0...but yeah...lets "upgrade"

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 2 months ago

Before you jump on the Shaka bandwagon, ask yourself: Why hasnt Shaka even won his own conference the last 4yrs? Its no powerhouse conference, why cant he win it? Because he's a 1-trick pony: solve his press-D, and you get the W. So, way, way lesser coaches than the BigXII have figured him out in his own conference. So now Shaka comes to the tougher BigXII? He will get his butt handed to him. Huggy is a better "press-D" coach than Shaka, but again, once you solve the press, you get the W. Somehow Baylor went to WVa and beat them by almost 20.

How much playing time will Cameron Ridley and Lammert get, trying to play the press? That removes some size out of TX lineup. Shaka going to have to coach outside-of-his box, as the current TX roster doesnt have enough of the pressing-type guards that such a style needs.

Gerry Butler 7 years, 2 months ago

Benz, you could right on Diallo, I can't say one way or another, all I know is Thorne moved his visit up which means maybe he is more interested in coming to Ku but hope your right about waiting to see if Diallo commits to us before offering Thorne. Nothing against Thorne but he is more of a fix it patch of 1 yr to allow for more time to recruit big for 2016 where Diallo could be a 2 year thing. the recruiting front has become uneasy quiet on Thon haven't heard ANYTHING at all on his front lately, dead quiet again going to be along 2-3 weeks ROCK CHALK

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 2 months ago

Diallo is supposed to be committing about a week before Thorne at the Jordan game.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 2 months ago

Really Aawrong? Any site or info to back that up or you just figuring it's 50/50 on who declares first during the limited signing period?

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