Julian Wright. Marcus Morris. Perry Ellis. Carlton Bragg? Can the recent Jayhawk commit be the next pivotal man to play in the Phog? Can the Cleveland native be the next big man to fit seamlessly in the patterned Bill Self high-low offense? What are the characteristics needed for success in the position?
-Ability to knock down the open three
-Score in the post
-Rebound with the ability, at times, to bring the ball up and initiate the offense.
-Like any other player ever to see the court for Bill Self, the ability to play defense
The last thing Carlton will need is the ever so cliched "it" factor. There are things he needs to accept and be ready for even before he steps on the campus. It takes a while to comprehend and learn Bill Self’s philosophy and his expectations, whether that is being in the right position on the court (Kelly Oubre) or playing with a high enough "motor" (Cliff Alexander). You may not see the minutes you saw any time before in your basketball career. You may be upset with your playing time. You may be upset with Coach Self. However, there is one thing for certain: in the long run this learning curve will be exactly what a young recruit needs. It takes some time to adjust from being a big fish in a small pond to a small fish in a big lake. If there is one thing Coach Self is good at, it is creating a team first approach. Collective success is more important than individual accolades. Also, Coach does a great job of breaking players down in order to build them back up better than before.
A good place to speed up the process is on defense. Commit your effort to learning the rotations and verbiage on that end of the court and that is the quickest way to meaningful minutes. Working your tail off on defense and playing with a high level of intensity is a must too. Working in practice and going toe to toe against the other big men every day will do nothing but help. Almost all of Bill Self’s big men take at least one semester of just going through the rigors of practice everyday before they start to acquire major minutes.
Be patient and wait your turn. Accept the process of learning the Kansas Way. Love the opportunity given to you by playing in the most historical college basketball program in the country. Do this and the 16-3 that come out to every game will be patient, accept, and come to love you as a Jayhawk.