While Marquette managed to put together a five-member freshman class ranked among the best in the country by multiple scouting outlets, only four of those players were available for the team’s trip to Italy. Wednesday, following the Golden Eagles’ final game on the 4-0 trip, head coach Steve Wojciechowski provided the team with some good news regarding the status of that fifth freshman.
Guard Haanif Cheatham, who was allowed to travel but was not cleared by the NCAA to play in games during the trip, has now been cleared for competition. Marquette announced the news Wednesday, and they also sent along video of Wojciechowski telling Cheatham and his teammates.
Cheatham joins fellow freshmen Sacar Anim and Tracy Carter and transfer Andrew Rowsey (who will have to sit out this season) as scholarship newcomers in the Marquette backcourt rotation. On the perimeter the Golden Eagles return JaJuan Johnson, Duane Wilson and Sandy Cohen, with Wally Ellenson eligible after sitting out the 2014-15 season following his transfer in from Minnesota.
Ranked 76th in the Class of 2015 by Rivals.com, Cheatham averaged 24 points per game as a high school senior and has the perimeter shooting ability to help Marquette account for the loss of leading three-point shooter Matt Carlino.
Marquette freshman unable to play on team’s Italy trip as he awaits NCAA clearance
The 6-foot-5 native of Florida was regarded as a consensus top-100 prospect in the Class of 2016 and this would have been a nice trip for him to get accustomed to playing a higher level of basketball with his new team. At least still Cheatham can still travel with the team when they are there from the 10th through the 19th of August.
Without Cheatham, the team will have to use some smaller guard packages that feature Duane Wilson and freshman Traci Carter. It would have been nice for Marquette to have Cheatham for the trip, but he’s played with the team for a bit in summer practices and he’ll find out his fate of the NCAA
Four-star shooting guard becomes Marquette’s third verbal commitment
Having already landed two verbal commitments in the Class of 2015, Marquette head coach Steve Wojciechowski received a third Friday afternoon as four-star shooting guard Haanif Cheatham announced his decision to attend the Big East school. Cheatham, a native of Pembroke Pines, Florida, made the announcement at Pembroke Pines Charter School and picked the Golden Eagles over California and Georgetown.
As a high school junior the 6-foot-5 Cheatham averaged 26.2 points, ten rebounds and eight assists per game, and he joins fellow guard Nick Noskowiak and forward Matt Heldt in Marquette’s 2015 class. The Golden Eagles will also add two transfers to the fold next season, with Wally Ellenson (Minnesota) and Gabe Levin (Loyola Marymount) eligible to compete in games at that time.
Marquette has two senior guards this season in Derrick Wilson and Matt Carlino.
Adding Cheatham is a definite boost to Wojciechowski’s efforts to return Marquette to its status of being a Big East contender after the program missed out on the NCAA tournament last season. And if they were to reel in Ellenson as well, Marquette’s chances of making that move up the pecking order improve even more.
Each Monday and Friday, College Basketball Talk’s Scott Phillips goes over some important news and notes in the world of college basketball recruiting. This week, Tennessee gets two commitments over Labor Day weekend, Glynn Watson’s big decision for Nebraska and a four-star guard is nearing a decision.
Tennessee lands two over Labor Day weekend
While the talk of college basketball recruiting for the last week or so has been Bruce Pearl’s commitment spree at Auburn, Pearl’s former program, Tennessee, added two additions on the wing over Labor Day weekend.
First came Admiral Schofield, a 6-foot-5 power wing from the suburbs of Chicago. Schofield is a late-bloomer and skilled, big-bodied wing who didn’t play for a shoe company team in grassroots season and was the second option on Zion-Benton’s High School team last season. But over the summer the light clicked and Schofield started going to work.
At AAU Nationals in Louisville, every high-major program in attendance was clamoring to see if Schofield was worth a scholarship offer and Tennessee was one of the programs to take a leap of faith.
Although some will scoff at head coach Donnie Tyndall not landing a top-100 player in his first class, this is a weak class nationally and there aren’t as many difference-making players in the top 100 as usual. For Tyndall to get a pair of wings that he likes and feels comfortable with in his system — to go along with the players he recruited in the 2014 class in the spring — is not necessarily a bad start.
Tennessee has one more scholarship to give in 2015 but could have more available spots if players decide to leave the program. When you consider that Memphis transfer Dominic Woodson is also apart of this incoming group then Tennessee has three guys that could contribute in the SEC.
Nebraska gets its point guard
As has been stated numerous times on CBT, there just aren’t many good guards in the 2015 class, especially high-quality, pass-first point guards.
Which makes Nebraska’s verbal commitment from Illinois native and point guard Glynn Watson a big deal. The Cornhuskers and head coach Tim Miles are capitalizing on last season’s success and the hype surrounding their always-sold-out Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Now with a legitimate top-100 player and quality point guard in the mix, Miles and the Nebraska staff can sell other players in the 2015 class on playing with a guard that will make them better. The Cornhuskers winning games last year might have caught some people by surprise, but their success on the recruiting trail this year shouldn’t come as any sort of shock.
Miles knows how to land quality players and his charisma and all of the positives that Nebraska has to offer — a great arena, fan base and the Big Ten — are great selling points to recruits. Look for Nebraska to maintain some recruiting momentum heading into this season.
Four-star prospect to announce on Friday
Four-star guard Haanif Cheatham is scheduled to announce his decision on Friday at Pembroke Pines Charter in Florida.
The 6-foot-5 guard is the No. 68 overall prospect in Rivals‘ 2015 rankings and has Cal, Wichita State, Florida State, Georgia, Marquette, and Georgetown in his final six.
Cheatham has taken recent official visits to Cal and Marquette and the Golden Eagles are considered the favorite in this race at the moment.
Four-star shooting guard Haanif Cheatham was one of many talented prospects making an official visit this weekend, with the Florida native making a stop at Marquette. The trip to Milwaukee represented the second official visit in as many weeks for Cheatham, who made a stop at Cal last weekend. And while no decision came on the heels of Cheatham’s visit, it is now known when the guard will announce his decision.
According to multiple outlets Cheatham will announce his decision next Friday afternoon at his school (Pembroke Pines Charter). Marquette is one of two Big East programs remaining on Cheatham’s list, with Georgetown being the other. Cheatham took an unofficial visit to Georgetown in late June, with the program offering him a scholarship at that time.
Whichever school lands Cheatham will be getting a versatile player capable of helping his team in a variety of ways. As a junior at Pembroke Pines Charter, Cheatham posted averages of 26.2 points, ten rebounds and eight assists per contest. Cheatham played for the Nike Team Florida program this spring/summer, averaging 16.9 points and 3.4 rebounds per game in Nike EYBL play.
Cheatham shot 52 percent from the field and 34 percent from beyond the arc in those games.