(adidas Gauntlet)

Five-star 2015 forward cuts his list to five schools

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Class of 2015 Ohio native Carlton Bragg has been long regarded as one of the best players in the class and on Monday, the 6-foot-9 forward cut his list down to five schools.

Bragg took to Twitter to announce his final five schools, which feature some of the historically best college basketball programs in the country.

Regarded as the No. 14 prospect in the 2015 class, according to Rivals, Bragg is a top-ten talent in the class who is at-times plagued by inconsistent play. There are some games where Bragg looks like the best player on the floor and others in which he floats in and out due to a lack of effort and desire.

Still, any program in the country would be thrilled to have a forward with the kinds of tools that Bragg possesses and he averaged 15.8 points and 8.9 rebounds per game on the adidas Gauntlet this spring with Ohio Basketball Club. Bragg also shot 49 percent from the field, 38 percent from the three-point line and 75 percent from the free-throw line and he has very good touch on his jumper.

Kentucky has long thought to be a favorite for Bragg, but Kansas got some chatter with Bragg this summer and Illinois has been in the picture for a long time as well. Those three schools were clearly going to be in Bragg’s top five since the summer and it will interesting to see if Arizona or UCLA can make up ground on the Cleveland native.

Boise State loses guard Harwell to torn ACL

Leon Rice
Associated Press
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Expected to be one of the favorites in the Mountain West this season, Boise State’s perimeter ranks have shrunk by one player due to injury. Thursday it was reported by the Idaho Statesman¬†that freshman guard Malek Harwell will redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in practice. Along with fellow freshman Paris Austin, Harwell is expected to be a key part of the Broncos’ future beyond the upcoming season.

Now, instead of competing with an experienced backcourt that includes four redshirt seniors, Harwell will work to get his knee back to full strength for the 2016-17 season.

Among the guards who will play significant minutes this season are Anthony Drmic, who took a medical redshirt last season, Montigo Alford, Mikey Thompson and grad transfer Lonnie Jackson (Boston College). Chandler Hutchison, who started in Boise State’s final 18 games of the 2014-15 season as a freshman, will also compete for playing time.

Knee injury sidelines Illinois forward Leron Black

Josh Hart, Leron Black
Associated Press
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Illinois will be shorthanded in its front court for the time being, as during the team’s media day Thursday head coach John Groce announced that sophomore forward Leron Black is out due to injury.

Black will undergo surgery Friday to repair a meniscus tear in his knee, and he’s expected to miss anywhere from four to six weeks. A return after four weeks would have Black back on the court just before the Fighting Illini open their season November 13 against North Florida. Any longer and the Memphis native would wind up missing some game action.

Black averaged 5.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in just under 15 minutes of action per game as a freshman. He’s one of the players expected to contribute in the front court for the Fighting Illini, who lost their best interior defender and second-leading rebounder in Nnanna Egwu at the end of last season (guard Rayvonte Rice, who led the team in rebounding, is also gone).

In addition to Black and junior Maverick Morgan, Illinois adds redshirt freshman Michael Finke and grad student Mike Thorne Jr. (via Charlotte) to their front court rotation.