KU inks two in early signing period

LAWRENCE, Kan. (KU release) Combo guards Issac "Mackey" McBride and Christian Braun have each signed a National Letter of Intent to play men's basketball at the University of Kansas, KU head coach Bill Self announced Wednesday, the first day of the signing period.

A 6-foot-1, 180-pound guard from Little Rock, Arkansas, McBride has rewritten the record book at Baptist Preparatory School. In guiding Baptist Prep to three straight state championships, McBride set the school's single-season scoring record with 707 points his sophomore year in 2016-17. As a junior, he broke his own mark by scoring 883 points in 2017-18, which included a school-record 46-point game. In that, McBride averaged 24.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.6 steals per game in 2017-18.

"Issac, who we all call Mackey, can play point but he's a combo guard who can score," Self said. "When you watch him, you are so impressed with his range, quickness and explosiveness and his ability to elevate on his shot. We see him as a guy that can come in and obviously give us depth on perimeter shooting. He is a guy that can just score the ball. We haven't had too many here like that, a natural scorer. He's a combo guard that can jump up and make a shot wherever he is on the court."

McBride is a two-time all-state selection and was the most valuable player of the last two state tournaments his sophomore and junior seasons. A four-star recruit who is ranked 109 by Rivals.com, McBride is the highest ranked player in the state of Arkansas. He plays AAU basketball for the Arkansas Hawks.

"We saw him play in Las Vegas this summer with his AAU team. It was the first time we had ever seen him play," Self said. "He played against a team with two top-five players in their respective class and he dominated the game. We watched him a few more times at that event and offered him right after that event, after seeing him play about five times."

Originally from Burlington, Kansas, Braun (6-foot-6, 180 pounds) moved to Overland Park, Kansas, his freshman year high school and has won back-to-back 6A state championships his sophomore and junior seasons at Blue Valley Northwest High School. A four-star prospect who is ranked No. 112 by Rivals.com, last year Braun averaged 14.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists as a junior at Blue Valley Northwest. Braun plays for MoKan on the AAU circuit.

"Christian is a player that we have followed watching him play through his AAU team, MoKan, but also through his highly successful career at Blue Valley Northwest," Self said. "We have been aware of him for a long time but this summer is when he really intrigued us. He's a player that has great size and great range. He's an athlete that can make plays above the rim and with his versatility, we feel like he's a perfect fit for what we are trying to do."

Braun comes from a basketball family. His father, Donald, was a walk-on at Kansas and his mother, Lisa, was a three-time All-Big Eight Conference honoree at Missouri where she played from 1987-91. His uncle, Mike Sandbothe, was a standout at Missouri from 1986-89, as was his aunt Lori from 1988-90. Additionally, his older brother, Parker, is a currently a freshman forward at MU.

"Christian comes from an athletic family," Self said. "His father was a walk-on player here. His mother was a terrific player at Missouri and his uncle Mike Sandbothe is a guy all KU fans remember from back in the late 1980s. We're excited to have him here and certainly he'll be a guy that will make us better in multiple ways due to his versatility."

"It will certainly be a transition for both of these guys stepping into the college game, but we anticipate them both to be guys that can contribute immediately," Self added.

Kansas Men's Basketball Signees (11.14.18)
Christian Braun - G, 6-6, 180, Burlington, Kan. (Blue Valley Northwest HS)
Issac McBride - G, 6-1, 180, Little Rock, Ark. (Baptist Preparatory School)