Dominic Cheek Eliminates the ACC

October 9, 2008

Bad news for Deacon fans, who had been in the mix for Dominic Cheek (SG, 6’5″, 2009), a serious sharpshooter who hails from New Jersey. According to Adam Zagoria, Cheek has eliminated Wake Forest, UConn and Tennessee from his list, keeping Kansas, Memphis, Indiana, Villanova and Pittsburgh, Seton Hall and Rutgers.

More on Trae Golden

Adam has followed up our update on Trae Golden with one of his own, where he confirms offers from Wake Forest and Virginia Tech. Interestingly, he is not listing Georgia Tech or Clemson.


Matt Vogrich close to committing?

October 5, 2008

Matt Vogrich (SG,6’3″,2009), who has offers from Wake Forest and Miami, apparently has a short list of Michigan, Notre Dame and Stanford, according to the Illinois Prep Bullseye:

Vogrich, meanwhile, is completing an official visit to Michigan this weekend and will choose soon between them, Notre Dame or Stanford.

Looks like the ACC is on the outside looking in for Vogrich, who admittedly has focused his interest elsewhere.

Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes (SF, 6’6″, 2010), who has interest from…well, everybody in the world of basketball recruiting, will be visiting Late Night at Kansas, along with ACC target Dominic Cheek (SG, 6’5″, 2009). Barnes also reportedly has an official visit at Duke lined up.


The New Basketball Recruiting Blog

October 1, 2008

We come across so much basketball recruiting information that it’s sometimes hard not to talk about players and events not related the ACC. Rather than try to create a blog for each conference, we have launched the Basketball Recruiting blog, which is plain-jane in name and hopefully stuffed with basketball recruiting content. Today we discuss top point guard John Wall’s basketball recruiting status, and share a little video to boot.

What’s that, you say? John Wall info belongs on the ACC recruiting blog, since he lives in NC and list the Wolfpack? Sure, but we’ve written about Wall a lot already, and readers of the new blog are also interested in Mr. Wall. However, we still have some ACC basketball recruiting news to pass out, so here we go:

Talib Zanna goes to the Big East

Talib Zanna (C, 6’9″, 2009) seemed like a Pitt lean for a while, but a few people hoped Virginia or Virginia Tech might convince him otherwise. Alas, it was not to be and he’ll be playing for the Panthers in the Fall of 2009.

Wake Forest visiting Cheek

With the on-campus visits getting most of the press these days, we kind of forget the old standby of the in-home visit. Lest we forget that Wake Forest is in the mix for sharpshooter Dominic Cheek’s services, Adam Zagoria mentions that Wake will be visiting Cheek on Wednesday.

Harrison Barnes

The next great recruiting battle is answering to the name Harrison Barnes (SF, 6’6″, 2010), who holds a ton of offers, including Duke, UCLA and Kansas and UNC’s Coach Roy Williams has watched Barnes play.

Derrick Favors

So Derrick Favors (PF, 6’9″, 2009) has cut his list to six, and now he’s just returned from a visit to Georgia Tech, and it sounds good for the Yellow Jackets:

“Georgia Tech, of course, is right here in the city, and that’s always a great thing. It would allow people around here, such as his family and his friends, the opportunity to see him play in person. And Georgia Tech has a great tradition of putting players in the NBA on a regular basis …”

Tech has been thought to be a leader for Favors, despite claims to the contrary, and Tech would love to have the big time power forward.

Michael Snaer

Finally, Michael Snaer talks basketball recruiting in this interview, in which he discusses his visits:

You took official visits to Missouri and Florida State prior to coming to MU. How would you compare and contrast the three visits, and what you saw on each? The whole recruiting process, it’s like they’re all saying the same things, so it’s the little things that you’ve got to bring out. And one of the real good things that attracted me to Marquette is that they just play hard. How tough they are and how hard they work.

Florida State and Missouri are bigger schools and have football teams. Basketball at Marquette, meanwhile, is the biggest show on campus. How much does the thought of being ‘the’ show at MU appeal to you? It feels good, but it really doesn’t matter to me because at the end of the day you’ve still got to win games. Either way, it doesn’t really matter to me. I’m still going to play as hard as I can, no matter what.

I really have appreciated how Snaer has handled his recruitment. He has pretty much taken his visits as planned, and seems to be doing his best to really evaluate each school. It’s only one of the biggest decisions of his life, after all.

Melvin Tabb

Even though we dropped Talib Zanna as an ACC target when he committed to Pitt, we’re adding Melvin Tabb (PF, 6’8″, 2009) to the tracking list, with an offer from Clemson and a recent visit to NC State. He’s actually been contacted by a few other ACC schools as well.


John Wall improves his game

September 17, 2008

John Wall fits the profile of a player who could easily develop an attitude problem. As a basketball point guard, he went from being a local high school star to a national high school star very quickly last summer, and went from being a ‘highly rated’ college prospect to possibly – ahem – possibly being a number one NBA pick in the 2010 draft.

Hype is a silly thing, and it would be normal for a teenager, which is exactly what Wall is, by the way, to develop a serious me-first attitude when being showered with attention and praise by national press. To be sure, John Wall isn’t exactly a household name like Lebron James or Kobe Bryant. He’s only famous to those fans who follow high school basketball recruiting and scouts. But it’s enough.

Wall developed a reputation for taking plays off and tirades. Message boards teemed with stories of prominent college coaches leaving games in disgust and there still continue to be tales of back-door dealings in Wall’s recruitment. But these stories have settled a bit, and for now another player, Lance Stephenson, is considered to be the ‘head case’ of the class.

Dave Telep has penned an article about John Wall’s attitude, how it’s improved, what initiated the change and where he thinks he needs to go from here:

“Then coach (Levi) Beckwith helped me out a lot. Attitude-wise, I had a bad one when I got (to Word of God). He changed all that around and didn’t let me play with that. (They) set me down and made me realize I had to trust my players and have a better attitude.”

These days, Wall’s attitude is in check. He’s grown up, learned some tough lessons and continues to check himself. “I got frustrated last year when I made passes and they were dropped,” he explains. “Now, I just pat (those guys) on the back and tell them to get it next time, so it doesn’t stop me from playing.”

Wall also talks about what he’s been told, by everyone, what he needs to work on in his game. He needs to develop an outside shot. He needs to play defense more consistently. These are the types of things that will make or break Wall during his likely one-year tour in the NCAA. It’s unclear if Wall will end up as the #1 pick in 2010. Ricky Rubio is no slouch as a point guard either, and he’s already playing pro ball against pro players. But Wall has the quickness and athleticism to be great.

Dominic Cheek eliminates Indiana?

A few days after saying he would visit Indiana, Dominic Cheek(SG, 6’5″, 2009) is no longer considering going to make an official visit to the Hoosiers. He will, however, have an in home visit with Tom Crean.


ACC Recruiting Roundup, Volume 2

August 17, 2008

Alex has an article on Wake Forest basketball commit Tony Chenault (PG/SG,6’1″,2010), where the scorer talks about his recent commitment to the Deacs:

“[It's a] great school. They [are] known for producing great point guards like Chris Paul. They let their players play . . . [and are in] one of the best conferences in the country,” said Chenault as to why he picked Wake, an ACC power in the 21st century.

Thanks to Alex for the heads up on the future ACC player.

Derrick Favors cuts his list

Derrick Favors (PF, 6’10”, 2009) has cut his list to ten schools, and both Georgia Tech and NC State are still in the mix. Popular opinion seems to be that GT is still the leader, but Favors has not publicly said that.

Dexter Strickland Dunks Away Critics

The Adidas Nations camp takes current high school prospects and pairs them with an “NBA Mentor” during the camp. Not sure if Dexter Strickland, who played the camp after a somewhat light summer schedule was paired with former Carolina players Antwan Jamison or Raymond Felton (both of whom are repped by Adidas), but he was able to answer some of his critics with the camp highlight dunk. To be fair to Dexter, the critics are foolish in this case; Dexter is getting knocked because he chose to rest after an injury, did not play a heavy summer schedule and since he was MIA from the big time events, his stock supposedly slipped. That is laughable and hurts the credibility of a ranking system that pulls that stunt. It’s an old GM joke about a scout who’s favorite player is always the last player they saw.

Anyway, here’s a pretty good rundown of the Adidas event.

Kyrie Irving has ACC interest

You might have heard about Kyrie Irving (PG/SG, 6’2″, 2010), and you might have known that he plays for the same high school team as Dexter Strickland, and maybe you even knew that he had a whole bunch of interest from the Big East. But you probably didn’t know that he also has interest from Maryland, Virginia Tech and UNC.

Irving is officially on our ACC watch list.

Dominic Cheek’s List

Dominic Cheek is expected to announce a preliminary college list in September, and Wake Forest appears to be right in the mix.


UConn Makes a push for Cheek

August 6, 2008

Dominic Cheek (SG, 6’5″, 2009) has a lot of colleges who would love to have him, including Wake Forest. The latest team to get their crack at the New Jersey prospect is UConn, who are still in the mix for Cheek. Cheek attended the elite camp at UConn this week, along with other top players on the Huskies’ radar such as Daniel Orton (C, 6’10”, 2009). A typical way for schools to recruit is by having their NBA alumni drop by, and UConn did exactly that:

Monday morning at Gampel Pavilion, the second and final day of Jim Calhoun’s Connecticut Elite camp. As about two dozen of the top recruits in the country milled about, one of the gym’s side doors swung open and in walked Rudy Gay.

“The minute he walked in the door,” UConn assistant coach Andre LaFleur noted, “one of the kids was saying, ‘I can’t believe he’s standing right there.’”

Gay, who averaged 20.1 ppg for the Memphis Grizzlies last year and, perhaps just as notably, provided ESPN regular fodder with posterizing dunks, went on to run in a bunch of scrimmages with most of the players. He missed a few 3-pointers (some of them badly), but also threw down some rafter-shaking dunks.

I’m not sure if Cheek would be that impressed with an NBA player at a camp, after already seeing and playing with them dozens of times already. But the point is that UConn very much would like to add the deep range shooter to their roster, and they are pursuing him as hard as they can.

Cheek and several other ACC targets, including Derrick Favors (PF, 6’10”, 2009) will next play at the Adidas Nations Global Basketball Experience in Dallas. Also note that the article in the link states Cheek is 6’7″, but I haven’t confirmed that. The last measurement I’d seen from a reasonably reliable source was 6’6″, and we’d previously listed him at that height; Scout and Rivals still have him at 6’5″, and so does USA Basketball, where he played a couple of weeks ago, so we’re inclined to think that’s his actual height. It’s very common for player’s heights to magically creep up, a 5’10” player suddenly starts getting listed at 6’0″, then 6’1″…then you see the player in person and he’s 5’9″ in sneakers. So until I get a chance to walk up to Dominic with a tape measure, I’m going to assume that he’s still a 6’5″ shooting guard, which is still a great size for a shooter.


Dominic Cheek; More ACC targets

July 28, 2008

Dominic Cheek (SG, 6’6″, 2009) is a known player who’s been playing basketball with the U-18 USA Basketball team, and is being recruited heavily by Wake Forest, among many other schools, including Villanova. At one time, it was thought that the sharp shooter would be playing for UNC, but that never materialized, and now Cheek’s recruitment is being watched by fans of several powerhouse schools.

The story of Cheek includes legendary Bob Hurley, coach of fabled St. Anthony High School in New Jersey, and that involved a level of discipline that will help Cheek make it to the next level:

In signing on to play for Bob Hurley’s basketball program four years ago, Dominic Cheek agreed to shave his braids and that no tattoos would appear on his skin. On weekends, the 6-foot-6, 195-pound swingman would have to phone the white-haired disciplinarian from his family’s landline phone by 9 p.m. Much would be sacrificed, but the shooting form — that lock-and-load release — would make him a star.

Cheek has the size of an NBA shooting guard, at 6’6″, and his deep range and scoring ability should give him a legitimate shot at playing pro ball in the future.

Meyers Leonard

Big man Meyers Leonard (PF/C, 6’11”, 2010) is a name that college recruiting fans will start hearing a lot about, as he’s started garnering interest from a lot of big schools. He already has offers from Indiana and Purdue, and he’s getting interest from Kentucky, UNC, Duke, UCLA, Illinois and Texas. We are adding him to our ACC targets list and will continue to track his recruitment.

Ari Stewart

Wake fans are well aware of Ari Stewart (SF, 6’7″, 2009), a player who they are recruiting and have an excellent shot of landing. Although Stewart has offers from Clemson and UNC, he does not seem to be considering those schools as highly as Wake.

Reco McCarter

Southeastern North Carolina has been a hotbed of ACC talent lately, and the latest is Goldsboro’s Reco McCarter (SF, 6’6″, 2010) has made it clear that Wake Forest is the team to beat right now. We’re adding Reco to our ACC targets list as well.

Nik Garcia

Dominic Cheek isn’t the only 6’6″ shooting guard considering Wake Forest. Nik Garcia (SG, 6’6″, 2009), is strongly considering the Deacons as well as the Miami Hurricanes.


Cheek still interested in Wake, Negedu to visit IU

May 28, 2008

Dominic Cheek (6’6″, SG, 2009 ) may be off the UNC radar, but he’s still on the Wake Forest prospect list, and he’s certainly interested in the Demon Deacons, according to this interview at Rivals.

Negedu sets up Indiana visit

Emmanuel Negedu ( 6’7″, PF, 2008 ), a Georgia Tech recruit has set up a visit at Indiana for June 3.

Scout.com is reporting that following his Indiana visit, Negedu will visit Georgia Tech on the 8th, Tennessee on the 10th and Memphis on the 12th.

Daniel Orton no longer considering ACC

According to several recent news reports like this one, Daniel Orton ( 6’10”, C, 2009 ), is no longer considering any ACC schools, with his list now consisting of Oklahoma, Ohio State, Kentucky, Kansas, UCLA and USC. Too bad for Maryland, who could have used Orton’s physical presence inside.

Brandon Knight

Amazingly, Brandon Knight ( 6’3″, SG, 2010 ) plays in the same backcourt as Kenny Boynton (6’2″, SG, 2009 ), and still has emerged as a spectacular player and lists several ACC schools that are interested, including Florida State, Georgia Tech and Clemson.


Dominic Cheek says UNC commit is just a rumor

April 27, 2008

Rivals is reporting that Dominic Cheek(SG, 6’5”) is still wide open on his recruitment and the recent notion that he was close to signing with North Carolina was just a rumor. He also states that Kansas, Tennessee and Florida have gotten involved in his recruitment.
Kenny Boynton, more shooting guard than point
Jerry Meyer states that Duke target Kenny Boynton(6’2”, SG) is a shooting guard with a good handle, as opposed to a pure point guard. Jerry muses about Duke’s chances with one of the top high school players in the class of 2009.

Dexter Strickland to play in Beach Ball Classic

UNC commit Dexter Strickland (6’3”, 180) will be playing in the 2008 Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, SC. The games will be played June 13-14 at Coastal Carolina’s Watson Stadium. I think I might try to go to that event.


Video: Dexter Strickland, Dominic Cheek, Kenny Boynton

April 19, 2008

Some more video of several players, including UNC commit Dexter Strickland and ACC targets Dominic Cheek, Lance Stephenson and Kenny Boynton can be found here.

These clips are pretty good, just highlight moves and some slow motion replays. Hard to tell from these clips, but Strickland’s follow through looks pretty good. He may have a little “sharp right turn” at the end of his shot, which could be a bit of a problem when he’s covered by bigger guards in the ACC (shots have to be a lot more accurate when you’re guarded by a guy two inches taller than you and every bit as fast), but whenever I’ve seen him, his shots are almost always in transition – his shot may not have any flaws, it could just be the momentum of the particular play.

Kenny Boynton has a nice running jumper, although on his three pointers I noticed a little tendency to “slingshot” a little bit. Of course, I’m more of the school that thinks consistency of shot may be more valuable than form. I do tend to notice little things about player’s shots. Boynton plays pretty much like a shooting guard, which at 6’2″ he can get by with in college. I think he might struggle initially if he had to handle the ball against pure point guards, but he can handle the ball well enough for a SG. He tends to carry the ball a little bit, which can turn into a full blown problem when facing a little guy with good hands. Boynton does seem to have nice body control, even in the lane. He can take a bit of contact, alter his shot and finish.


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