Carlton Bragg will most assuredly circle one game on Arizona State’s 2018-19 nonconference basketball schedule: A Dec. 22, 2018 contest in Tempe, Ariz., against his former school, Kansas.
“It’s going to be a tough game. It’s going to be an emotional game. It’s going to be an exciting game to watch,” Bragg told The Star on Wednesday night in a phone interview.
The 6-foot-10 sophomore from Cleveland, who announced plans to leave KU on April 6, was speaking several hours after choosing ASU as a transfer destination over Cincinnati and Illinois.
Bragg — he can practice but not play in games next season in accordance with NCAA rules — likely will not travel with the Sun Devil team to KU for next season’s Dec. 10 contest between the Pac-12 and Big 12 teams at Allen Fieldhouse.
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“I appreciate all their support,” Bragg said of the KU fans, adding the personal message, “love you guys and see you soon.”
He spoke about what he likes about ASU and what he’ll miss about KU during an interview in which he indicated he only wished to speak about “positive” things. He did not wish to discuss legal issues he incurred in Lawrence his sophomore season or his being suspended four games by coach Bill Self.
“I will miss the coaching staff, especially my teammates. They were like my brothers to me,” said Bragg, who was especially close to fellow sophomore Lagerald Vick. “Mainly I want to tell everybody, ‘Thank you.’ ’’
Now about ASU, a place he visited Monday and Tuesday before committing on Wednesday without making visits to his other two finalists…
“I would say it was amazing,” Bragg said. “It was beautiful weather. The campus is beautiful. What really stuck out with me was coach (Bobby) Hurley, just the things he said stuck with me throughout the whole visit.
“I was going to visit three schools,” he said of Cincy and Illinois, “but Arizona State stuck out to me. I felt it was the right move for me.”
Bragg — he averaged 5.2 points and 4.1 rebounds in 13.8 minutes a game his sophomore season— said he’s actually looking forward to getting to regroup for a year.
“I’ll get in the weight room,” the 240-pound Bragg said. “I will work on my game a lot during practice. It’ll be hard, but it’s part of the process. I want to impact the program the best I can.”
Bragg said he’s willing to play inside or on the perimeter as his career progresses. Last season he hit 67 of 132 shots for 50.8 percent. He was 0-for-4 from three after hitting 4 of 7 threes his freshman season.
“I am going to be the all-around player, try to show everyone what I’ve got,” Bragg said. “For me, it’s about getting a fresh start, a new beginning. You’ll see. I’m still writing the book.”