San Diego State lands commitment from four-star small forward Zylan Cheatham

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Steve Fisher landed his fourth commit, continuing to add to the success he’s had on the recruiting trail for his program’s Class of 2014.

South Mountain High (Ariz.) small forward Zylan Cheatham, ranked No. 73 overall in the Class of 2014 by Rivals, committed to San Diego State during a press conference at the Arizona Prep Fall Showcase in Scottsdale on Saturday night.

He was also considering New Mexico and Washington. According to Zeigler, he appeared to be leaning towards New Mexico, following his trip to the Lobos’ midnight madness. Last Tuesday, Fisher met with Cheatham to sway his decision.

“And then Coach Fisher said something,” Cheatham told Mark Zeigler of the San Diego Union-Tribune. “He said: ‘When you close your eyes and dream at night, where do you see yourself?’ That overwhelmed me. That basically took over the process for me … When I was there on my visit, I never forgot that feeling I had. It felt like home. I just knew it was the right place for me.”

The 6-foot-7 small forward is the third commit in the class that ranks in the Rivals150. Each of Fisher’s four commits are all rated as three-star or better, including five-star forward Malik Pope from Laguna Creek High (Calif.), who committed earlier in October. Brewster Academy (N.H.) point guard Kevin Zabo became the first commit in August, followed by Saint Augustine High (Calf.) shooting guard Trey Kell, who picked San Diego State at the beginning of the month.

Cheatham transferred back to South Mountain this season, and is currently waiting for a decision regarding his eligibility to play this season.

SMU won’t appeal tournament ban, Brown suspension

Associated Press
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Last month the NCAA announced that due to rules violations found in their investigation of the SMU men’s basketball program, the team would be banned from postseason play in 2015-16 and head coach Larry Brown would be suspended for the first nine games of the 2015-16 season. With a team led by seniors Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy and just one player (Keith Frazier) being the subject of the investigation, it was assumed that SMU would at the very least appeal the postseason ban.

Friday, the school announced that while it will appeal some of the penalties handed down by the NCAA to the men’s basketball and men’s golf programs they will not appeal the postseason ban or Brown’s suspension.

“After careful consideration, however, we will not appeal the NCAA post-season ban on men’s basketball or partial season suspension of Head Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Brown,” SMU president R. Gerald Turner stated in the release. “Although we regret the severe impact on our student-athletes, the simple fact is that the NCAA penalty structure mandates at minimum a one-year post-season ban for the level of misconduct that occurred, in our case, when a former staff member completed an online high school course for a prospective student-athlete, committing academic misconduct.

“In addition, should we appeal this matter, the lengthy process and uncertainty during this period could harm many aspects of the program. Coach Brown and his staff also agree that it is in the best interests of the program to accept these sanctions and move forward.”

Among the penalties the school will appeal (with regards to the basketball program) are the “duration of scholarship losses” and how long the recruiting restrictions placed on the program will last, and the vacating of games Frazier played in during the 2013-14 season.

This a tough turn of events for players who had nothing to do with the violations, as they see their opportunity to return to the NCAA tournament taken away. As a result of the school’s decision, SMU’s season will end March 9 following their regular season finale against Cincinnati.

Kevin Marfo commits to George Washington

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Kevin Marfo committed to George Washington on Friday evening, announcing his decision on Twitter.

“I am grateful and appreciative to all the schools that recruited me. But I will be spending the next four years at George Washington University,” he tweeted.

This caps a successful week for Mike Lonergan on the recruiting trail. On Tuesday, GW landed a commitment from Darnell Rogers, a 5-foot-3 point guard. He is the son of former GW guard Shawnta Rogers, the 1999 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. GW ends the week by adding a tenacious rebounder to a front court that graduates top rebounder Kevin Larsen after this season. Rogers and Marfo join power forward Collin Smith in the Class of 2016. Seton Hall transfer Jaren Sina will also be eligible in 2016-17.

He cut his list to 10 in August with Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, Boston College, UMass, Saint Joseph’s, DePaul, Rhode Island and Providence all making the cut along wit the Colonials. He later trimmed the list to five finalists: BC, Providence, DePaul, GW and Rhode Island.

The Worcester Academy (Mass.) forward played for BABC this summer in the Nike EYBL, averaging 11.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.  The 6-foot-8 Marfo is listed as the No. 148 overall player in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.