Haanif Cheatham helped lead his Florida Vipers team to the semifinals of the U16 division at the South Beach Shootout this past weekend, despite being one of the lesser known teams on a national level.
A 6-foot-5 combo guard out of Pembroke Pines Charter (FL), Cheatham is one of the top sophomores in the state of Florida.
The class of 2015 prospect said he already has offers from two of the state’s high-major programs, listing Miami and South Florida as the schools to extend scholarship offers thus far.
“Stanford and Georgetown just recently showed interest and right now I’m just waiting to get offers this summer,” Cheatham said.
In addition to garnering looks from the Cardinal and Hoyas, Cheatham said that he is also getting interest from UCLA, Florida State, Florida, Murray State, Baylor, and Kentucky.
“No, not right now,” Cheatham said of whether he has any favorites. “I got two more years. I’ll probably know by next year.”
While he may not have any schools standing out right now, there are a couple that he mentioned who he would like to see turn up the heat.
“I’m hoping to hear more from UCLA and Baylor,” Cheatham said, “those two.”
Thus far, Cheatham has been on unofficial visits to both Miami and South Florida. He has no additional trips planned at this point in time.
In addition, to talking about his recruitment, Cheatham also spent some time discussing the type of player he is.
“My game, I would say I’m a pass-first guy,” Cheatham said. “I look always for my teammates. I’m a teammate player, and then I look for myself to score. I’m a 6-5 point guard, so it’s very easy for me to get in the paint, get in the passing lanes and everything, and finish at the basket.”
There are a few aspects of the game that Cheatham feels he especially excels at.
“My strongest part of my game right now is my height at the guard position and finishing at the basket with right or left hand and either my moves or my spin move or quickness,” Cheatham said.
He also touched on the areas of his game that need the most work.
“My weakest part, I’d say finishing with contact with my right hand,” Cheatham said. Jump shot right now [as well], I gotta get that down, and my 3-point shot.”
The Broward County prospect said that he is indeed working to improve on those areas.
“I shoot 500 jump shots every Sunday,” Cheatham said. “I gotta get better every time, every day because you know everybody’s getting better when you’re sleeping so I just gotta shoot every time and I get better every day.”
Note- photo of Hannif Cheatham is from http://247sports.com/
Villanova has added a third Pennsylvania native to its roster for the 2013-14 season.
Lower Merion High School graduate Darryl Reynolds pledged to the Wildcats on Tuesday, becoming the third member of Villanova's class of 2013.
The 6-foot-8, 225-pound power forward, who is currently in a post-graduate year at Worcester Academy (MA), told VUSports.com he picked the Wildcats over Seton Hall, South Carolina and Utah.
"After my Villanova visit I was still going to weight my options but after my last visit [to Utah] I was sure that was my best option of the schools I narrowed it down to," Reynolds said of how he decided on VU.
To read the rest of this article I wrote for VUSports.com, click Here.
Playing up a year with a Nike Team Florida U16 squad that features a number of talented frontcourt players, Troy Baxter still got some major playing time at the South Beach Shootout.
A 6-foot-8 freshman combo forward, Baxter is already considered a major talent nationally in the class of 2016.
A long, athletic player who some major upside, Baxter has already caught the eye of a few major colleges.
He said that he is receiving interest from Florida, George Mason, Miami, Virginia, and Virginia Tech.
Although he claims no offers yet, that is sure to change once coaches get to see him play some more.
Baxter said that he has no favorites at this point. Additionally, he has yet to make any college visits and does not have any trips planned.
He also has no specific timetable for a commitment, saying, “I’m gonna just wait it out.”
While he may be in no hurry to end his recruitment, Baxter does already know what he is looking for in a college.
“I wanna go to a big-time Division I school [with] national championships and good coaching,” Baxter said.
The Sunshine State prospect has already made one school choice though, albeit of a different nature.
After beginning his freshman year at Leon High School in Tallahasse, Fla., Baxter transferred to The Rock School in Gainesville, Fla. after the season.
“I just like the way they coach,” Baxter said of why he made the move to The Rock School. “I like their system.”
As for the type of player he is, Baxter listed his athleticism as his number one strength on the hardwood.
When asked about his primary weakness, he remarked, "I gotta work on my defense a little bit and sliding my feet.”
Baxter also talked about what he enjoys about playing up in grade level on the AAU circuit, “I like it because they can get me ready for the next level.”
Note- photo of Troy Baxter is from http://www.cityleaguehoops.net/
Harry Giles of Wesleyan Christian Academy (NC) is regarded by many as the best player in America in the class of 2016.
The talented freshman combo forward was at the South Beach Shootout in Coral Springs, Fla. for the first of the April Live Periods.
Despite being just 14 years old at the time of the event—he turned 15 this week—Giles was playing up at the U16 level with the CP3 All-Stars.
Giles actually would have been the youngest player on the CP3 U15 team if he had played with his own age group.
“It feels good,” Giles said of playing with older guys. “Good to come out here, have fun and play against very good competition. [There is] nothing to do but get better playing against guys like this.”
Standing 6-foot-9, Giles basically played the center position for CP3. Working at a different spot on the floor is something that Giles feels can aid him as a player.
“It helps me to work on another part of my game that sometimes I may [need] to work on,” Giles explained, “but during the season I play the five a lot and it helps me out with other parts of the game, not just the forward position.”
Giles went into a bit of detail about his game on the hardwood, beginning with his primary strengths as a player.
“I can take bigger players off the dribble,” Giles said, “but [also take] smaller players in the post.”
As for his chief weakness, he remarked, “I have to get my jump shot better, like long distance.”
Despite having three-plus years of high school left, Giles already has some of the nation’s top hoops programs coming after him.
Giles listed scholarship offers from Kentucky, Ohio State, Old Dominion, North Carolina, North Carolina State, and Wake Forest. He also noted that Duke is “showing a lot of interest.”
The skilled, athletic frontcourt player said that he does not have any favorites at this point.
“No, not right now,” Giles said. “I like everybody.”
Giles did say there was one school in particular he was fond of growing up.
“I was a [North] Carolina guy kind of because of my grandmother,” Giles said, “but other than that not really, I just watched it a lot.”
Asked if that will play a part in his decision, Giles replied, “Kind of, but not really, I’m trying to go with what’s best.”
With so much time left until he can even sign a Letter of Intent, Giles has yet to come up with a timetable for a decision.
“Not yet,” Giles began. “Right now [I am] just playing and trying to have fun at the time where I’m still young.”
As for the here and now, Giles talked about what he is hoping to accomplish this spring and summer.
“Just to go out there, have fun, because last summer I didn’t play at all,” Giles said. “Just go out there and get better and just compete because it’s just fun. You can get better by playing against guys like that.”
Note- photo of Harry Giles is from http://www.scout.com/
by Alex Schwartz
Two of the top uncommitted players in the nation made their commitments while in Chicago for the McDonald’s All-American Game and numerous other 2013 prospects also pledged in the past several days.
Elite frontcourt prospect Aaron Gordon of Archbishop Mitty (CA) announced his intentions to attend Arizona for his college ball, per multiple reports. A 6-foot-8 power forward, Gordon is one of the top ranked players in America in the class of 2013. He selected the Wildcats over Kentucky, Oregon and Washington. Gordon is the second McDonald’s All-American in Arizona’s recruiting class, joining 6-foot-7 small forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson of Chester (PA).
To read the rest of this article I wrote for NBE Sports, click Here.
After graduating from Lower Merion (PA) in the class of 2012 as a relative unknown outside of the region, Darryl Reynolds went to Worcester Academy (MA) for a post-graduate year.
After a season of basketball in the NEPSAC, Reynolds has seen his stock increase to the point that he has high-major schools on his trail.
"It's down to Villanova, Seton Hall, South Carolina and Utah," Reynolds told VUSports.com. "Those are the four schools right now."
The 6-foot-8, 225-pound power forward claims offers from all four schools, but has one standing out right now.
There has been a lot of news in the world of high school hoops in the past few weeks, including a few talented juniors making early commitments, an elite senior ending his recruitment and some high-profile players in setting announcement dates.
One of the best players in the nation, Julius Randle, declared his intentions to attend Kentucky. The 6-foot-9 power forward from Prestonwood Christian (TX) opted for the Wildcats over Florida, Kansas and Texas. Randle joins an absolutely loaded seven-man 2013 recruiting class for UK that many are calling the greatest group ever assembled.
Although he is just a sophomore at a one of New Jersey's smaller schools, Tim Delaney has managed to draw the attention of several high-major programs.
It is mostly local colleges that have taken notice of the 6-foot-8, 225-pound power forward, but even one school from all the way on the West Coast has made its way onto Delaney's list.
VUSports.com spoke with the Pitman (NJ) star and he said he holds offers from Penn State, St. Joe's, La Salle, Villanova, Oregon State, and Rutgers.
Khadeen Carrington of Bishop Loughlin (NY) is ranked as one of the top 100 players in the nation in the class of 2014 by Rivals.com.
A 6-foot-3, 185-pound shooting guard, Carrington has several high-major programs coming after him, including Villanova.
Carrington told VUSports.com that he has offers from UConn, Florida State, Dayton, Iowa State, St. John's, SMU, Cincinnati, and others. Miami and Villanova are two programs pursuing him that have yet to offer.
"No favorites," Carrington said. "I'm just weighing my options.To read the rest of this article I wrote for VUSports.com, click Here.