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Race For Bragg Heats Up in July
by Derek Piper, Future150 (2:25 PM CT, Fri July 18, 2014)
Five-star PF Carlton Bragg talks recruitment.
Five-star PF Carlton Bragg talks recruitment.
Derek Piper
Derek Piper:

Future150 Midwest Analyst Covering high & middle school basketball. IL, IN, KY, OH, MI, MO & WI

North Augusta, SC (Future150) -- Five-star PF Carlton Bragg showed out at adidas Unrivaled in Chicago last weekend—as if that was any surprise.

Sporting some Superman socks at the event, Bragg’s game is nearly as flawless as the Man of Steel. His outside shot is silky smooth, he can play inside and out, and the mini-capes on his socks flap in the wind when he soars for a slam.

Bragg is no stranger to playing in front of college coaches, but with the July live period kicking off last week, he was pretty excited to put his talents on display once again.

“That’s awesome. The feeling of it and just everything. Coach K was just here and that was amazing,” he said.

There were a number of other coaches with their eyes set on Cleveland’s young superstar. Head coaches John Groce and Thad Matta watched him on Saturday and Sunday. A handful of assistants watched him throughout the week as well, including Illini assistant Dustin Ford and Kansas assistant Jerrance Howard.

No coach watched Bragg more than Ford, and the Illini hope that Bragg will be the hero that takes the program to the next level. Illinois has been in the mix for some time, and they recently have been in even better position than most would have believed. Bragg said in June that the Illini were the leaders in his recruitment, based on “the way they come at me.” He talked more about that last weekend, noting that it has a big deal to do with his relationship with Groce.

“When we’re talking on the phone, he’s not an ordinary coach. He gets to know me better as a person and a player. He asks me what movies I watch, how’s it going in school, how’s my sister—he knows all my family mostly,” Bragg said.

Bragg has said numerous times that Illinois, Kansas and Kentucky are all but guaranteed to make his top five when he announces it on September 1st. With those schools making the cut, it is assumed they all would receive an official visit from the five-star talent. However, Bragg said that a visit to Kentucky (in terms of exact date) is the only one he has cemented in his mind at this point.

“For sure, I know I’m going to Kentucky for Big Blue Madness,” he said.

Bragg said coaching style and campus life are the biggest factors to him, and he is also big on his relationship to the head coach. The inevitable push by Bill Self and John Calipari will come at some point. For now, the anticipation builds and plot thickens.


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