Former Kansas forward Carlton Bragg has decided to transfer to Arizona State, his mentor, Michael Graves confirmed to The Star on Wednesday.
Bragg, a 6-foot-10 sophomore from Cleveland, visited Arizona State on Monday and Tuesday, his first campus visit since announcing plans to leave KU on April 6. He chose the Sun Devils over Cincinnati and Illinois.
“I’m happy for Carlton. He needs a fresh start. Not many times do you get a second chance,” said Graves, one of Bragg’s assistant coaches at Cleveland’s Villa Angela-St. Joseph High. “We’re grateful he was able to get a second chance at a basketball career and to continue his education at Arizona State.”
Graves said Bragg enjoyed his campus visit.
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“Coach (Bobby) Hurley had a good vision for Carlton, the overall plan for his progression — from training to his progression academically,” Graves said. “Everybody believes he’ll be an instant impact player for the university.”
Graves added that Bragg, who will practice next season and be eligible to play in games as a junior in 2018-19, “felt it was a good fit. He likes the atmosphere there, the coaching style, the campus life.”
Of Hurley, Graves said: “I guess Carlton had a chance to watch his (ESPN) 30 for 30. He liked his story, some of the ups and downs he had. They had a real good visit Monday and again Tuesday.”
Bragg averaged 5.2 points and 4.1 rebounds in 13.8 minutes a game his sophomore season — one marred by some off-the-court issues.
He missed a Jan. 28 win at Kentucky, Feb. 1 win over Baylor and Feb. 4 loss to Iowa State while serving a suspension for an undisclosed violation of team rules. Bragg was granted diversion Feb. 1 through the Lawrence Municipal Court after being charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. The six-month diversion agreement stipulated the case would be dismissed if Bragg completes diversion requirements. Bragg was ordered to pay $63 in court costs and a $300 diversion fee.
Bragg was suspended Dec. 9 after he was charged with misdemeanor battery in Douglas County District Court. Bragg missed one game and was reinstated after the charge was dismissed Dec. 14 and the woman who accused him was charged instead.
“He thought Arizona State gives him a new breath of fresh air,” Graves said. “We still love Kansas. Kansas put Carlton in a good situation academically to transfer. His books will always be there. We thank the Kansas coaches and academic staff.
“We talked to Coach Q (Fred Quartlebaum, KU director of student-athlete development) yesterday. Coach (Bill) Self checked in two weeks ago. We have nothing negative to say about Kansas. The couple of times I visited there, it was a nice atmosphere. We have no issues with Kansas.”
Bragg spoke to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman about the decision to choose Arizona State.
“I felt like it was the best fit for me — in the Pac-12. Their style of play fits my style getting up and down the court. I talked to everyone close to me and they felt it was the best fit for me,” Bragg said.
Of his stay at KU, Bragg said: “I loved it at Kansas, but I definitely had ups and downs. I’m looking forward to a new beginning, a fresh start.”
KU this past year added a transfer from Arizona State in guard Sam Cunliffe, who will be eligible to play at the conclusion of the first semester of the 2017-18 season. KU will play host to Arizona State on Dec. 10 at Allen Fieldhouse and travel to Tempe, Ariz., for a game on Dec. 22, 2018.
Cunliffe and Bragg will not be able to play in next season’s game, but will be able to play in the one at Tempe. The last day of KU’s fall semester finals is Dec. 15 and Cunliffe is not eligible to play in games until the end of first semester, in accordance with NCAA transfer rules.