The first domino in Kansas’ 2015 recruiting class could be close to falling into place. Carlton Bragg, a five-star big man from Cleveland, will make his official announcement Thursday, according to Rivals.com.
Bragg, a 6-foot-9 forward, is choosing among Kansas, Kentucky and Illinois. He is rated as the nation’s No. 14 overall recruit by Rivals.com. Bragg will make his announcement at his high school — Cleveland-Villa Angela St. Joseph — during a ceremony at 1:45 p.m., according to Rivals.com.
Bragg has been one of Kansas’ prime recruiting targets in the 2015 class. Coach Bill Self said last summer that he wanted to focus on big men in his 2015 recruiting class. The Jayhawks, who have zero scholarship seniors on the roster, currently have two open scholarships for next season. They could also have more, should any players opt to leave early for the NBA. To this point, KU has no oral commitments in its 2015 class.
▪ Self said sophomore wing Brannen Greene was limited to 8 minutes of playing time against UNLV because of a nagging neck injury. There is nothing structurally wrong, Self said, but the injury has limited Greene in recent weeks.
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“It’s been bothering him for a while, and we got it checked,” Self said. “Sometimes, believe it or not, when he wakes up, it feels better than other days.
“He had the best practice (yesterday) he’s had all year. I thought he was going to play great today, and then before the game, he said: ‘Coach, I don’t even think that I can play.’ But he wanted to give it a shot.”
▪ With Greene limited by the injury, the Kansas rotation basically consisted of six players on Sunday. Kelly Oubre, Wayne Selden and Frank Mason all played more than 35 minutes while Perry Ellis, Jamari Traylor and Cliff Alexander played all the post minutes. Freshman wing Svi Mykhailiuk also played 2 minutes in the second half.
“We’ve kind of labored to find guys playing good,” Self said. “So we’ve tried a lot of different things to allow guys to play. Landen Lucas has played great. Hunter (Mickelson) has been good in practice. But those three big guys today played. Jamari set the whole tone (with energy).”
Moving into Big 12 play, Self said he hoped Mykhailiuk and Greene play well. The return of freshman guard Devonte’ Graham, who is still sidelined by turf toe, could also shake up the backcourt rotation.
Key play: UNLV’s Christian Wood hit a jumper that gave UNLV a 33-29 lead with 40 seconds left.
Key stat: KU missed its last eight three-point attempts.
Key play: Trailing 51-49, KU guard Frank Mason hit a layup that sparked a 9-0 run and 58-51 lead with 9:11 left.
Key stat: KU outrebounded UNLV 45-31 for the game.
| Rustin Dodd, email@example.com