Former five-star recruit Carlton Bragg has transferred to the University of New Mexico and plans to join the men’s basketball team, he announced on Twitter Thursday.
“This has been a long journey and a life-long learning experience,” Bragg said in his tweet. “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).”
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Bragg was a McDonald’s High School All-American and rated as highly as the 14th best prospect in the country by Rivals.com during his time at Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School. Out of high school, Bragg chose the University of Kansas over Kentucky, and spent two years with the Jayhawks. In his time at Kansas he averaged 4.4 points and 3.2 rebounds in 11.1 minutes per game; he appeared in 69 total games and started five times.
Following the 2016-17 season, Bragg announced that he was leaving Kansas and would transfer, eventually landing at Arizona State. Per NCAA rules, he was required to sit out the 2017-18 season before he would be eligible. On Dec. 31, 2017, 24/7 Sports reported Bragg would leave the Arizona State program before he had played a game and transfer again.
Because he didn’t enroll at UNM until the spring semester, he will be required to sit out next fall, and would be eligible to play next December. According to Geoff Grammer of the Albuquerque Journal, Bragg is paying his own way for classes this spring and will have the opportunity to earn a scholarship after the spring semester.
"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," head coach Paul Weir said in a release. "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."
He becomes one of six newcomers the Lobos will have next season and the third transfer from a high-major school alongside JaQuan Lyle and Vance Jackson. Bragg, who is enrolled in online classes and hasn’t yet moved to Albuquerque, will be able to join practices and team functions immediately.
Cameron Goeldner is a freelance sports reporter and photographer for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers men’s soccer and softball but also contributes content for baseball, basketball, football and track and field. He can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @goeldfinger.