Illinois, Kentucky, Kansas in hot pursuit of five-star Carlton Bragg

More Recruiting: NBPA Top 100 Camp recap | UNC targets two five-stars in 2016

Carlton Bragg didn’t have a great opening day or two to the NBPA Top 100 camp, averaging just 5.5 points and 4.0 rebounds through the first four games.

And then Bragg decided to wake up on Friday night, putting forth the best effort of the 2014 camp and one of the best we’ve seen in a couple years: 36 points, 14 rebounds, 14-for-16 from the field. By the end of the event, Bragg finished eighth in scoring (12.1 ppg), fourth in rebounds (6.1 rpg) and ninth in field goal percentage (61.9 percent).

All in all, Bragg lived up to his No. 8 ranking in the 247Sports Composite for the class of 2014.

It comes as no surprise that the best programs in the country are in hot pursuit of Bragg, with Kansas, Kentucky, Arizona, Ohio State and Illinois all making serious pushes for the 6-foot-8 power forward from Villa Angela-St. Joseph (Ohio).

“It’s very difficult, but I’m just going with what’s best for me,” Bragg said on the recruiting process.

Bragg said he plans on cutting his list to six or seven schools in September – with Illinois, Kentucky and Kansas the only locks to make the 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, ad 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.”

Louisville is another school on his list.

“Terry Rozier was a former player in Ohio with me, I played against him,” Bragg said. “He gives me some input. I love their style too. Plus they’re Adidas, so I love them. I love Adidas.”

Bragg wants to take all five of his official visits, and doesn’t have much planned right now. He intends to go to Big Blue Madness at Kentucky, while also taking trips to Ohio State, Illinois and Louisville.

With so many schools coming at him, Bragg will have to sort through everything to make a decision.

“It’s going to be tough,” he said. “I’m trying to bring everything I’ve got to the team. I’m trying to win a national championship.”

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