CHAMPAIGN — A refrain among college basketball folks is “You win and compete for championships with pros on the roster.”
John Groce and his Illinois basketball staff are hosting two players this weekend who project as pros.
Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph big man Carlton Bragg arrived on the Illinois campus for an unofficial visit Friday night. Chicago Curie big man Cliff Alexander said on his Twitter page Friday morning he would arrive at the UI campus Saturday for an unofficial visit, one day after visiting Kansas.
“I’m not a huge believer in any kind of recruiting momentum, but it’s always good to get those types of kids on campus,” Scout.com recruiting analyst Brian Snow said.
Bragg is a 6-foot-9, 205-pound power forward in the Class of 2015 rated by Scout as the sixth-best power forward in the class.
“Carlton’s one of the best players in the country in his class. He’s a big-time athlete with a developing skill level at 6-foot-9,” Snow said. “He plays hard. The sky’s the limit for him, and he’s beginning to put it all together. He’s a face-up power forward who can do so many things on the court. He can guard multiple positions. Offensively, he’s so much more versatile than he was a year ago. He’s one of the elite talents; he’s not there yet completely as a player, but he’s someone looking forward where you’re going to say, ‘This kid’s got star potential.’ ”
Illinois has offered Bragg, who also holds an offer from Ohio State and others.
On Friday, the 6-8, 225-pound Alexander posted on Twitter a list of the 10 schools he’s considering. The second-rated player in the Class of 2014 — and News-Gazette All-Stater — named, in no particular order, Kansas, Michigan State, Kentucky, Louisville, Illinois, DePaul, Indiana, Memphis, Baylor and Arizona.
“It’ll be interesting to see with Cliff,” Snow said. “Obviously, Illinois has put in a ton of time with him. I don’t know that he’s close to a decision, but you never know.”