University of Kansas

Former KU, Arizona State forward Carlton Bragg to play basketball at New Mexico

Carlton Bragg left the Kansas program after the 2016-17 season.
Carlton Bragg left the Kansas program after the 2016-17 season. rsugg@kcstar.com

Former Kansas and Arizona State forward Carlton Bragg has transferred to the University of New Mexico, UNM coach Paul Weir announced on Thursday.

Bragg played two seasons at KU (2015-16, 2016-17) before enrolling at Arizona State. He left the Sun Devils team the first semester of this season — one in which he could not play in games in accordance with transfer rules.

“I have had a long journey with many life experiences, but I am ready to get to New Mexico and get to work,” Bragg said on the Lobos’ official athletic department website. “The style of play, the training, the team atmosphere, it’s everything I want to be a part of. I just can’t wait to get there and get started.”

A native of Cleveland, 6-foot-10 McDonald’s All-American Bragg averaged 4.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 11.1 minutes per game in his KU career. At Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School he averaged 21.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocked shots per game during his senior season. He was suspended twice his sophomore year at KU.

“This upcoming semester is a tremendous opportunity for Carlton to create a successful next chapter here in New Mexico and we will seek to provide everything we can to help him achieve excellence,” Weir said on the team website. “Our culture and work ethic are as established as they’ve been and I can think of no better time for a young man to enter our program with an optimal chance of success. I am hopeful Carlton uses this semester to completely engage himself in our process.”

Bragg will be eligible to play in games beginning in December of the 2018-19 season. He’ll have a year and a half of eligibility at New Mexico.

“He’s tremendously talented,” Weir told the Albuquerque Journal. “He’s run into a myriad of things on and off the court over the past few years that have kind of led him here. Every young man has his journey. We spent a lot of time discussing that and also discussing how that journey may continue here and what that may entail. This isn’t for everybody, what we do from a training perspective, what we do from a team perspective. … We’re just a little different here.”

Bragg is paying his own way to New Mexico for the rest of this school year. If he remains in good standing, he’ll be offered a scholarship, Weir told the Albuquerque Journal.

“I think everyone knew how good of a player he was back then and what he had become,” Weir told the Journal. “I think his high school coach and the people around him then were tremendous for him just as far as giving him guidance and discipline in his life and holding him really accountable day in and day out. Knowing that he’s capable of that and knowing that he’s capable of working with a coach like that made me feel really good that this is possible.”

The newspaper said New Mexico may seek a waiver from the NCAA that would allow Bragg to play first semester next school year.

“This has been a long journey and a lifelong learning experience,” Bragg wrote on Twitter. “I’m ready to help New Mexico, I’m ready to get to work and help the Lobos. The style of play, the training, and the team atmosphere is exactly what I am looking for. I can’t wait to get there and get going.”

Gary Bedore: 816-234-4068, @garybedore

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