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Thursday, April 16, 2015

KU’s Self boasts about newest recruit

Cleveland prep forward Carlton Bragg — who has committed to Kansas University — poses for a photo prior to Wednesday’s McDonald’s All-American Game in Chicago.

Cleveland prep forward Carlton Bragg — who has committed to Kansas University — poses for a photo prior to Wednesday’s McDonald’s All-American Game in Chicago.

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Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self was elated to receive Carlton Bragg’s scholarship letter of intent early Wednesday, the first day of the monthlong spring signing period.

The 6-foot-9, 225-pound senior power forward from Cleveland’s Villa Angela St. Joseph High, who is ranked No. 15 nationally by Rivals.com, is expected to play major minutes for the Jayhawks his freshman campaign.

“Carlton is a legitimate 6-foot-9 inch scoring- and shooting-type of power forward,” Self said Wednesday. “Certainly, he’s one of the more skilled big guys that we’ve signed since we’ve been here.”

Bragg, who committed to KU over Kentucky, Illinois, UCLA and Arizona back in January, should be able to help both on the inside and outside.

“He has a good enough jump shot to pull the bigs out, knock down threes. He can run the floor,” Bragg’s mentor, former VASJ assistant Michael Graves, told the Journal-World after Bragg committed to KU. “Sort of like a Kevin Love-type person. He can rebound and bang but also hit the three. He’s kind of light so he can get up the floor.”

Graves’ high school coach, Babe Kwasniak, notes: “He has been compared to Kevin Durant. I think that’s obviously an unbelievable comparison, but his game is Kevin Durant-like. They are getting a guy who can really shoot the ball. They are getting a guy who plays with a lot of energy. More importantly, they are getting a great young man. He’s a great kid. He’s gregarious, fun-loving, charismatic.”

Bragg says KU is getting “an energetic guy. I can play inside/out. (I’m a) pick-and-roll, pick-and-pop guy. I can shoot the 20-footer. I can shoot inside, more of an all-around player.”

Bragg averaged 21.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.0 blocks for the state-champion Vikings (23-4) and earned Ohio Div. III player of the year honors

“He’s a really good kid. He has a special smile, smiles at everybody,” Graves said. “He’s a happy kid on and off the court, a hard worker. Anything he puts his mind to, he’ll get it done.”

Self credited KU assistant Norm Roberts for doing “a great job in working with Carlton and his family to become part of our KU family.”

KU has three scholarships remaining in recruiting. Self said he’s in the market for an impact guard and big man.

Mack on market: The Carolina Wolves AAU team tweeted that KU has asked about former VCU commit Tevin Mack, a 6-6 senior forward from Dreher High in Columbia, South Carolina. Others to inquire about the No. 78-rated Mack: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Marquette, Texas, Clemson, Kansas State, Georgia State and UCLA. KU also has reportedly reached out to former VCU commit Kenny Williams, 6-2 senior combo guard from Bird High in Chesterfield, Virginia, who is ranked No. 97 by Rivals.

Wiggins update: Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Andrew Wiggins said Wednesday he would play for the Canadian National Team in the FIBA Americas qualifier in August in Monterrey, Mexico.

“I think I’ll be ready for it,” former KU player Wiggins told twincities.com.

KU coach Bill Self said at Monday’s season ending banquet that KU’s World University Games team might play the Canadian National team in a pair of exhibitions in Sprint Center before the Jayhawks head to South Korea in late June. No details have been announced. It is not known if any Canadian all-star squad the Jayhawks played would include Wiggins.

Comments

Allison Steen 7 years, 2 months ago

How fun would that be to play against Wiggins. Rather him on our team, but love to see him regardless.

Jerry Walker 7 years, 2 months ago

Let me be clear...I'm glad we signed a top recruit like Bragg...but here's the blowback. I'm not that excited. As a fan I'm more excited with the anticipation of guys like Lucas, Svi and Mickelson turning the corner and becoming key players next year.

I used to be excited by signing the OAD type player...but not anymore. Last season topped it off for me when we only got 1/2 a season from Oubre and Alexander....Oubre wasn't a big contributor until the second half and Cliff becoming ineligible in the second half...and now they're gone.

I'm not advocating that we stop signing the big name talent...I'm just not that excited. Particularly when I hear all the overblown hype that few rarely live up to.

Michael Bennett 7 years, 2 months ago

I agree but I don't think Bragg's a OAD player. I think he'll be here 2 or 3 years at least. We'll probably see more production out of him after Perry leaves.

Jesse Johnson 7 years, 2 months ago

I agree the OADs have been disappointing as far as helping our team be successful. What I don't understand is how you can be excited by guys like Lucas and Mickelson. Those aren't the guys we need to be great either.

If you look back at the players who made us great, they were all 2-3 year players like: Rush (3 years thanks to knee injury), Chalmers (3 years), Arthur (2 years), Collins (4 years), Morri twins (3 years), Robinson (3 years) and many more.

Many of the above mentioned players were top 25 players coming out of high school, just not that elite top 7-8 players who are OADs. That's who we should be targeting. I personally think Bragg is at least a 2 year player (at least I hope).

Players like Lucas and Mickelson play an important backup role, but nothing more. Those types of players are not the ones that we need win championships.

Tom Jones 7 years, 2 months ago

"I agree the OADs have been disappointing as far as helping our team be successful."

With all due respect, that is a ridiculous statement. Selby is the only one of the OAD's who haven't made a very significant impact.

Michael Lorraine 7 years, 2 months ago

Except in the tournament when we need them most. McLemore is the only OAD who performed well in the tournament. The rest failed to live up to the hype.

Rich Hetherington 7 years, 2 months ago

In all fairness, Wiggins, Embiid, Xavier Henry and even Oubre, were all pretty good contributors. The only reason they are less "great" is because they were only here to contribute for 1 season. Of course we all love the 3 and 4 year guys whose impact increases with each season, but let's not pretend that at least some of those OAD's haven't played their part.

Holly Pearle 7 years, 2 months ago

Of course they have all played their part and I sincerely believe that they all wanted to win first and foremost but failing to even get to the Sweet 16 with 3+ NBA players (Wiggins, Embiid, Black, Ellis and Selden) seems more in line with former Texas coach Barnes than Coach Self.

It also goes to show you just how important it is to have a PG capable of distributing and scoring to go along with a great bunch of players. Graham and Mason will bring exactly what we need next year at the point.

Benz Junque 7 years, 2 months ago

Bragg isn't a OAD player, has never mentioned having any interest in being a OAD player and has actively stated to the media that minutes are not important to him because he wants to develop. Please spend a few moments learning about an exciting player coming into our program before you pass judgement on him and decide you aren't excited.

Allison Steen 7 years, 2 months ago

Thank you! Its been a while since I have heard a recruit talk like that and its very refreshing. He isn't using KU as a landing spot before he can go to the NBA. He wants to get better and play as a team. I like it.

Holly Pearle 7 years, 2 months ago

As many have said, he may be a 2-3 year player. Of course, the exact same was said about Alexander and Embiid.

Still.. If Bragg is as good as advertised and Selden and Svi play to their potential, next year's team will have plenty of talent AND experience. This might be the best mix since 2012 or 2013.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 2 months ago

Bragg is rated in the area where being OAD isn't a given. And depending on who else ends up at KU, Bragg may not start and could come off the bench as Perry's back up.

Michael Uphaus 7 years, 2 months ago

Welcome to KU Mr. Bragg! Hopefully Coach Self will continue his magic and land you a running mate for at least the upcoming year. I dont really care which one as long as we get one of them!

Nick Willets 7 years, 2 months ago

The comments about whether to recruit 'one and done' type players are pretty silly. You recruit the BEST players you can every single year. Period.

Holly Pearle 7 years, 2 months ago

I say get the best players for the program...it's not always the same thing.

Holly Pearle 7 years, 2 months ago

My favorite quote from Carlton Bragg ""I don't really care for minutes, I just want to be part of the team," Bragg told ESPN.com after his Kansas visit. "Freshmen aren't supposed to be playing all the time. It doesn't matter to me. I'll be a hustler, rebounder, shooter, passer. I can fit in real good."

Personally, I think he will be at Kansas for two years. He needs to fill out and get stronger but there isn't any special formula to help predict how long a player will say before he even steps foot on campus.

BMac was the 34th ranked recruit and even though he was forced to sit his first year, I still think he qualifies as an OAD. If Bragg can get us to the championship game, not much more you could ask for.

Tyler Capone 7 years, 2 months ago

if Bragg is the only recruit we can get, i'm just hoping he can help get us to a 12th straight Big 12 championship

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