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Illinois Hosts Two Top Recruits

Carlton Bragg, 6'9

The Fighting Illini had a big recruiting weekend, hosting two of the nation’s top prospects in forwards Carlton Bragg and Cliff Alexander. 

Carlton Bragg, a 6’9” power forward from Villa Angela-Saint Joseph High School in Cleveland, OH arrived in Champaigne on Friday for an unofficial visit.  Bragg’s versatile skill set has landed him 13th on the class of 2015 ESPN recruiting list.

Bragg is unique in his ability to run the floor, finish in transition and provide a post presence.  His crafty ball handling skills are rare for a player his size and his consistency behind the three-point arc separates him from other power forwards. 

Bragg competes on both ends of the court and has been noted for his defensive grit.  He has the ability to guard multiple positions because of his length and athleticism and is a fierce shot blocker. 

The Ohio native would excel in head coach John Groce’s system and could make an impact on the Illinois program right away.  The fast-paced tempo the Illini play would showcase Bragg’s ability to run the floor and use his explosiveness to finish at the rim or extend the defense on the perimeter.  His versatility creates match-up problems for opponents.

Other schools Bragg has shown interest in are Ohio State, Indiana, Wisconsin, UCLA, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Missouri and Texas. 

On Saturday, Cliff Alexander from Curie Chicago High School arrived on campus.  Alexander, the second ranked player in the class of 2014, is a 6’8” power forward known for his strength and toughness, especially around the rim. 

Alexander has the ability to stretch out the defense with his post game and his mid range jumper.  He is great with his back to the basket and able to finish over both shoulders or face up and explode to the rim. 

Alexander has said he wants to play at a school that pushes the tempo, which explains his interest in Illinois.  This is the kind of player that could fill in some of the missing pieces to the Illini offense.  He provides a solid, consistent inside presence, which would give the guards more open looks behind the arc.

On Friday morning, Alexander tweeted his top 10 school prospects in no particular order: Kansas, Michigan State, Kentucky, Louisville, Illinois, DePaul, Indiana, Memphis, Baylor and Arizona. 

Both Bragg and Alexander have received offers from Illinois but neither have made their decision.   

 

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