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Originally published April 14, 2015 at 11:42p.m., updated April 15, 2015 at 11:01a.m.

Carlton Bragg signs letter-of-intent with KU

Forward's tweet: 'Glad to say I'm officially a Jayhawk'

Kansas University basketball recruiting.

Kansas University basketball recruiting.

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McDonald’s All-American Carlton Bragg, the state of Ohio’s Div. III player of the year who orally committed to Kansas University on Jan. 8, today signed a letter-of-intent with KU on the first day of the spring signing period.

Bragg, a 6-foot-9, 225-pound senior forward from Villa Angela St. Joseph High in Cleveland, chose KU over Kentucky, Arizona, UCLA and Illinois. He’s ranked No. 15 in the country by Rivals.com.

"Glad to say I'm officially a Jayhawk," Bragg wrote on Twitter this morning after signing his scholarship letter.

"I'm excited about the future," Bragg told Jayhawkslant.com.

Bragg averaged 21.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks a game for Ohio’s 23-4 state championship team.

He scored nine points and grabbed two rebounds in the West’s 111-91 loss to the East in the recent McDonald’s game in Chicago. He had a steal and breakaway windmill slam dunk for one of the best individual plays in the contest. He also placed second in the McDonald’s skills competition and third in the dunk contest.

“We’re so excited to have Carlton on board,” KU coach Bill Self said. “Norm (Roberts, KU assistant) did a great job in working with Carlton and his family to become part of our KU family. Carlton has great family support with his mother Monica Howard and his uncle Ezra Stokes.

“Carlton is a legitimate 6-foot-9 inch, scoring and shooting type of power forward,” Self added. “Certainly, he’s one of the more skilled big guys that we’ve signed since we’ve been here. He comes from a great high school program with a great head coach in Babe Kwasniak.

“Babe was an assistant at UMKC and has done a great job with him,” Self continued. “Another great coach and great mentor with him has been Mike Graves (former VASJ assistant). So with Babe, Mike and his AAU coach Michael Duncan (Ohio Basketball Club), they’ve done a great job in developing and mentoring this young man to the point where I think it will be a pretty seamless transition for him into Division I basketball.”

KU has three additional scholarships to award in recruiting.

Paschall looking: Atlantic 10 Conference rookie of the year Eric Paschall of Fordham, who is considering a transfer, has cut his list to KU, Providence, Florida and Villanova, as well as Fordham, he announced on Twitter.

The 6-foot-6 Paschall averaged 15.9 points off 41.9 percent shooting (45 of 143 threes for 31.5 percent) and 5.5 rebounds a game his freshman season. He announced plans to explore all options March 24 after Fordham fired coach Tom Pecora. He would have to sit out next season and be eligible to play in 2016-17.

Paschall has visited Villanova and Florida and will visit Providence this weekend, CBSsports.com reports. He was an unranked three-star player coming out of Dobbs Ferry (New York) High. KU director of student-athlete development Fred Quartlebaum played collegiately at Fordham and is a native of Dobbs Ferry, New York.

World Games schedule: KU will represent the U.S. in Pool D of the 24-team World University Games July 3-14 in South Korea, the Games announced Tuesday. There are four pools of six teams each. KU is in a pool with Brazil, Serbia, Turkey, Chile and Switzerland. After five pool play games, the teams will be seeded for bracket play with two teams advancing from each pool.

The U.S. is 8-0 vs. Brazil, 1-0 vs. Serbia, 1-0 vs. Turkey and has not ever met Chile or Switzerland in the event. KU’s 12-player team will leave Lawrence June 28 and live in the athlete village during the Games. Northern Iowa represented the U.S. in 2007 and placed ninth.

KC camp: KU coach Bill Self will hold his second annual Kansas City Youth Basketball Camp (boys, girls grades 1-12) from 9 a.m. to noon Aug. 8-9 at Shawnee Mission West High in Overland Park. Information is available at BillSelfCamp.com.

Williams on market: Former VCU commit Kenny Williams, a 6-2 senior combo guard from Bird High in Chesterfield, Virginia, is reportedly now considering Michigan, North Carolina, Virginia and Georgetown. Recruiting analyst Evan Daniels says KU, Louisville and Florida are the latest to “reach out” to Rivals.com’s No. 97-rated player.

Newman update: Malik Newman, a 6-3 senior combo guard from Callaway (Mississippi) High, will choose his one-and-done destination from the likes of KU, Kentucky, LSU, North Carolina State, Mississippi or Mississippi State without making any official visits, his dad tells the Jackson Clarion-Ledger. The No. 3-ranked player has made unofficials to Ole Miss, Mississippi State and LSU.

Comments

Brett McCabe 7 years, 2 months ago

Hate to say it but I prefer the transfers to the OAD's. In a way, it's an extension of the OAD philosophy....get a scholarship, show what you can do, then transfer up.

Seeing 3-star guys like Marcus Foster blossom into strong players reminds me of how many great players are out there, if you can scout them out. Guys who have proven that they can play at the collegiate level may be a good way to bolster our roster.

Ashwin Rao 7 years, 2 months ago

Doesn't ISU base their team on transfers? I agree that it is not a bad thing.

Trent Rose 7 years, 2 months ago

Transfers often are hard to integrate into team chemistry. Iowa State has transfers, but Niang, Morris and others have also been there for 3 plus years. We get other players besides OAD like Frank Mason and Devonte Graham. Not highly ranked guys who are very talented.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 2 months ago

KU hasn't had many issues with incoming transfers so that shouldn't be a big issue if they end up landing Paschall.

Adam Tyler 7 years, 2 months ago

I think transfers can be used to our benefit, but I would not want to be TransferU, aka Iowa State.

Hoiberg used transfers to build his brand before he was able to get into the homes of highly touted prospects. We've seen the last couple years that he is getting high quality high school talent which is the driving force of his team.

What I like most about transfers is the fact that each player has spent time playing division 1 ball, and then have to sit a year. So by the time they are contributing our program they have spent two years adjusting to big time college ball.

Dale Rogers 7 years, 2 months ago

It also happens when a player is under the radar coming out of high school, then makes his bones at a smaller school and realizes he now has opportunity to improve his national visibility. Makes a lot of sense in that situation.

Benz Junque 7 years, 2 months ago

Didn't Marcus Foster basically turn Kansas State into a giant dumpster fire? the odds of a three star guy turning out to be a good college level player is MUCH lower. It's easy to say you should do it when you have hindsight to allow you to cherry pick the good examples and ignore the bad ones.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 2 months ago

Normally., when a new kid becomes a Jayhawk, I come up with a bunch of nicknames. Unfortunately for Carlton, I haven't come up with anything to Bragg about.

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 2 months ago

As long as he helps us win a twelfth consecutive Big 12 title, and get us to the Final Four. Then we have Bragging rights again.

Jeff Foster 7 years, 2 months ago

I just hope at Late Night in the Phog they make him do The Carlton dance from Fresh Prince!

John Boyle 7 years, 2 months ago

I just hope you guys don't give up your day jobs.

Joe Ross 7 years, 2 months ago

He is "officially" a Jayhawk.

Coincidentally, he is also "officially" the lead recruiter for all other guys on our wish list, including Cheick Diallo. Work the phones, Carlton!

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 2 months ago

Amongst the HS targets, it's looking like Diallo is the only one we have a remote chance of signing. Apparently St. John's has put the squeeze on him. However, Diallo represents a big and probably only missing piece for Kansas to make a serious run at the National title. Kansas is a golden opportunity for Diallo but the same could have been said for Smart and Turner. Diallo should take a close look at how those decisions worked out for them.

Glen Miller 7 years, 2 months ago

We have more than a remote chance of signing Diallo, Ingram, Brown, and Maker. None would be a surprise if they signed with KU. Diallo and Brown seem to be the two most likely, but Ingram has been floating around lately and Maker (should he be eligible) is high on KU as well. In the end, nobody has a clue where most of these guys will go. It's all smoke and mirrors right now until they sign on the line.

Trent Rose 7 years, 2 months ago

Diallo and Brown are the two most likely to sign with KU. If Brown goes somewhere else, I think Ingram would be a higher possibility. Glen, you are right that nobody has a clue what these recruits are thinking. Maker is even a greater wildcard because his first-semester eligibility is highly in question.

Joe Ross 7 years, 2 months ago

St. Johns has a lot of advantages, but three in particular that concern me regarding Diallo.

  1. Slice Rohrssen was the lead recruiter for Diallo when Slice was at Kentucky. He has been hired by Chris Mullen. At St. Johns.
  2. Speaking of Chris Mullen, he certainly has NBA contacts. To be able to speak of his time in the NBA and his ability to contact execs and talent scouts in the NBA sounds mighty fine in the ears of a young recruit wanting to make it there.
  3. St Johns is located in Diallos home state of New York.

True enough, StJ is putting the squeeze on Diallo. I agree that Kansas is the smart choice for exactly the reason you suggest. Diallo could make a run at the National Title at Kansas. It would be mutually beneficial.

I simply do not agree about Diallo being our only target though. Not by a mile.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 2 months ago

Maker is the only other we seem to be high in the probability scale to land. However, Maker has problems written all over him and seems to be a Half&Done, with only the second semester eligible. Does Maker have the BBall IQ to pick up the nuances of college ball in only a few weeks ... 8 at most?

Adam Tyler 7 years, 2 months ago

The fact that Thon Maker won't graduate high school until August and then possibly only play half the year should discourage every KU fan from wanting his services.

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 2 months ago

I completely agree. I feel that Maker would be more problems than he is worth.

Benz Junque 7 years, 2 months ago

You don't think Bill Self can can any NBA GM or scout? He has former players on half the teams in the NBA.

Basically, the only advantages that St John's has is that they are the hometown team and they have two assistant coaches that were Diallo's lead recruiters at other schools (Matt Abdelwhat's-his-name from ISU and Slice from UK). But does that really matter? Kansas still has the coaches that have been recruiting him the whole time and even better, they are still at the same school they have spent the last two years trying to get him to go to.

Is Matt A and Slice calling up Diallo and saying "Yeah, I know I've spent the last two years telling you that Iowa State/Kentucky is the best choice for you but NOW I think that is wrong and St John's is really the best choice for you"? That's an advantage?

Joe Ross 7 years, 2 months ago

Familiarity helps. Yes.

Suppose Diallo is interested in St. Johns and he is recruited by someone he does not know well. In fact, I havent checked to know for sure, but I assume now that there are two people who have built a relationship with Diallo over the last couple of years at St. Johns. The first being whoever was recruiting him before Slice was hired away, and the second being Rohrssen himself. I do think that represents some advantage.

Harlan Hobbs 7 years, 2 months ago

Now that all of the Kentucky players and at least three of the Duke players have declared for the draft (they also had a senior starter in Quinn Cook), the recruiting of the top rated talent is going to be more difficult. If KU can get one of their prime targets, they may have to consider themselves lucky.

Brett, I agree that Marcus Foster had some good moments. However, I am sure you have read that he has been dismissed from the KSU program along with at least one other player. Also, they have announced some kids transferring out, so the situation at Manhattan is clearly tenuous at best.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 2 months ago

Oh how the mighty have fallen...

Where is all that optimism we all know and love here?

3 open scholarships and we are "hoping" for a rabbit out of a hat, or at least someone else's rabbit. (I also hope we are not left just holding our hat).

We need a quality Big, a SF and a SG. At this point one would be welcome news, two seems a stretch without transfers. Three? Let's not get crazy.

I am hoping for the best really I am, but I agree with Suzi and Harlan, this could get sideways fast with all the competition we have this late in the process. Could we have an open scholarship for the second year in a row? Who would think that was even possible?

Adam Tyler 7 years, 2 months ago

Since none of us can actively recruit for KU, how can we do anything but hope?

Rodney Crain 7 years, 2 months ago

Interesting question Adam, why is our elitle program "hoping" for a second recruit, when all the other top schools have 2 already? No need to answer just wondering...

Adam Tyler 7 years, 2 months ago

Early signings can go both ways. Zach Peters, Connor Frankamp, Royce Wooldridge to name a few, all signed early in their careers. How successful were they as Jayhawks? No need to answer, Rodney.

We have really done quite well late in the recruiting process lately. Wiggins, Svi, Tarik, Devonte. Remember that guy Brandon Rush, I think he was pretty good too. When did he sign? Oh ya, waaaay late in the recruiting process. How about McLemore? Didn't sign until April. Same with Tyshawn. Darrell Arthur had a freaking dream in May that led him to us!

Maybe. Just maybe, it doesn't matter when you get them. As long as you get them. And we have a terrific track record of getting solid guys.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 2 months ago

In the NCAA's not very good recently

It is concerning that we are starting to chase way too many players late in the process. The last two years especially. I have no issue chasing a player, but chasing 3 open scholarships this late is not a good position to be in at all.

Adam Tyler 7 years, 2 months ago

Last season at almost this exact same time we had to fill scholarships previously occupied by Wiggins, Tarik, Embiid, Tharpe, and Andrew White.

At the time we had only signed Cliff and Kelly. So we needed to fill 3 more scholarships (just like our current situation).

We then signed Svi and Devonte. Two very solid pickups IMO. Even if they were late in the process (which is undeniably irrelevant).

So we were left with one unfulfilled scholarship heading into the summer. I believe Self was/is content with keeping one extra scholarship in his pocket just in case something big comes up unexpectedly.

What came back to haunt us was Frankamp leaving at the last second. I do not believe Self would leave two scholarships open in any given year if possible.

Last seasons unexpected departures (Im looking at you Frankamp) put us in that hole.

Michael Bennett 7 years, 2 months ago

I really am not concerned, this is the nature of recruiting these days. UK just lost 7 of their best players (all 5 starters) and they have one more ranked recruit signed than we do. We're returning 3.5 starters (Lucas is .5 because of Cliff). People thought the sky was falling in 2013 and it ended up being one of the best recruiting hauls in KU history. Wiggins and Black both signed in May. I don't think it's a stretch we get one blue chipper, plus Thorne and a guard like Williams or Paschall. And then all's well on the recruiting front.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 2 months ago

KY has 2 more than we do, KY has 3.

Everyone else, the top 75 schools in the country have one more than we do.

Like I said I would love to be wrong!

Rodney Crain 7 years, 2 months ago

Brett you mean Self and his assitants. Norm positioned Bragg and Self closed the deal.

This whole thread is hopeful. Hope we get..., wish we had..., where are have all the wonderful glass full people gone on here?

Crickets...

David Lara 7 years, 2 months ago

Ugh.... Hope? How disgusting. Who has the patience for that? That is NOT what fandom is about!!

Adam Tyler 7 years, 2 months ago

LOL!!!

YES!!!

But when you have all the answers, like Rodney, hope is unnecessary.

Michael Uphaus 7 years, 2 months ago

In Bill I trust...I have no idea what the formula is to win a National Title....2008 had so many random events happen that it is not exactly a blue-print to win it again. This much I know, everyone from last years team minus Oubre and Cliff will be back and a year more mature. I firmly believe we will get one transfer and one more blue chip prospect to go along with them and KU will be in the Final 4 next year...In Bill I Trust...

Tyler Capone 7 years, 2 months ago

Brown: Kentucky Diallo: St Johns Maker: Hopefully not Kansas Ingram: Duke Newman: Kentucky Zimmerman: UNLV just my predictions but I hope we get Diallo. Although id love to have Paschall and Thorne via transfer

Adam Tyler 7 years, 2 months ago

Love the Maker prediction!

I completely agree with you.

Tyler Capone 7 years, 2 months ago

if Maker was a 2-3 year guy id say yes but hes not even a 1 year player lol

Harlan Hobbs 7 years, 2 months ago

The possible Thorne transfer could be the sleeper. Think about it. If we are after a OAD, I would rather have a senior than a freshman.

I would argue that Tarik Black had a bigger impact on the KU program than did Cliff Alexander. No knock intended on Cliff, but he wasn't available at crunch time, and Black stepped up when needed.

In mentioning all of the "openings" at UK and Duke, I also missed the Arizona program, which is losing at least 4 of their starters (one senior).

If history has taught us anything, it is that Bill Self and his staff always have a Plan B, C , D, etc. when it comes to recruiting. Stay tuned.

Mike Riches 7 years, 2 months ago

I agree Harlan that it would be nice to get a senior over a OAD freshman, especially when that senior is 6'11" 270! A player like Embiid, who can excel at the college game almost immediately, is the exception, not the rule. I'm not confident that any of the remaining prospects could do that, which fuels the case for Thorne. I would also think that a free trip to Korea would mean a lot to a player like Thorne, not to mention the ability to have unlimited practice time with his new team for part of this summer.

I would also like to see us make a serious run at a player like Eric Paschall. I don't know much about him personally, but we'll need some good talent in 2016-17 as well as the 1-2 years that follow.

Adam Tyler 7 years, 2 months ago

I agree that Embiid was the exception, not the rule in terms of OAD.

But if you were the coach, you would have to weigh risk/reward.

You take the risk that Embiid might need a couple years to develop, for the reward of JOEL FREAKIN EMBIID!

I LOVED having Tarik. And I truly wish we could have had him this year as well. But he is also the exception, not the rule in terms of senior transfers.

He was bought in from day one. A natural leader. A stud on the court. That is why he had an extremely successful rookie campaign in the NBA. And will continue to cash checks for a long, long time.

For every Tarik Black or Joel Embiid, there is Anthony Lee or Cliff Alexander.

(Just in case you dont know who Anthony Lee is: he was one of the top senior transfers available on the market last year. Averaged 14 pts and 9 rebounds at Temple. Had his pick of the blue blood schools and KU was absolutely one of them. He went with Ohio State. Played 11 minutes a game. Averaged 3 points and 2 rebounds.)

John Fitzgerald 7 years, 2 months ago

I put money on us getting Brown, Diallo, and Thorne. Write that down.

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