Five-star forward Carlton Bragg trims list to five
Five schools remain for top-15 prospect Carlton Bragg.
As the summer moves quickly into our rearview mirror, many players are cutting their school lists and setting up official visits.
Carlton Bragg was the latest to trim his potential suitors, announcing his final five on Monday night.
Top Five Schools pic.twitter.com/g8qDP2NhZr— Carlton Bragg (@carltonbragg31) September 1, 2014
Three of those shouldn't come as a surprise, as Bragg told CBSSports.com in June that Kentucky, Kansas and Illinois were locks to make his final list.
His relationship with Illinois head coach John Groce will be a major factor.
“Coach Groce is my man,” Bragg said. “The way he comes at me, he gets the conversation going. We talk about other stuff than basketball. He gets to know me as a person.”
Kentucky made waves when it offered Bragg back in January, and the Wildcats are still very much a factor.
“I like everything about them,” he said. “How they develop players and get them to the next level.”
The development of Joel Embiid at Kansas was attractive to Bragg, as he feels he can play a similar role to the future lottery pick.
“The way they did with Embiid,” Bragg said. “I love his game. They see me as him, a stretch five.”
Bragg has set official visits to Kansas (Oct. 10) and Kentucky (Oct. 17).
The other two schools reside in the Pac-12, and it will be interesting to see how Arizona's relationship with him progresses. The Wildcats have long been considered the favorite for top-five prospect Ivan Rabb, although there was talk during the summer that the two parties have cooled off a little bit. Meanwhile, Arizona is also the strong leader for top-50 prospect Chance Comanche.
UCLA already has commitments from guards Aaron Holiday and Prince Ali, but the Bruins have their eyes on several frontcourt targets -- including power wing Jaylen Brown, the No. 2 prospect in 2015. Rabb and Stephen Zimmerman have UCLA on their lists, while 7-foot-3 Jean Christ Koumadje is an interesting option.
One noticeable absence from Bragg's final list was the in-state school, Ohio State. The Buckeyes saw a scholarship open up when Mickey Mitchell decommitted, but in-state prospect Esa Ahmad is a target. Center Daniel Giddens is already committed, as well.
Bragg, a 6-foot-8 power forward from Ohio, is ranked No. 14 in the 247Sports Composite. He averaged 15.8 points and 8.9 rebounds on the Adidas Gauntlet circuit, before upping it to 20.3 points and 10.3 rebounds at the Adidas Super 64 in July.
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Michigan, Marquette, California, LSU and VCU are also in the 34th annual field