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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Friday / February 23.
  • Cheek Enjoyed Kansas, ‘Nova Up Next

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    Dominic Cheek had a ball during his trip last weekend to Kansas for “Late Night in the Phog,” but still plans to take four more official visits.

    The 6-foot-5 Cheek, a first-team All-State wing out of St. Anthony in Jersey City and the No. 6 shooting guard in the Class of 2009, will visit Villanova this weekend for Hoops Mania. He then will hit Pittsburgh, Indiana and Memphis over the next three weekends. Rutgers and Seton Hall are also ostensibly in the mix.

    Ben Gamble, associate head coach at St. Anthony, said Cheek came away from Kansas particularly impressed with the development of his former teammate Tyshawn Taylor, a Kansas freshman.

    “He was surprised how well Tyshawn had improved,” Gamble said. “How much better he’s gotten, how much stronger he’s become. He appeared to be quicker than he was when he was with us in just a short period of time.”

    Taylor, also a first-team All-State pick last year, ended up at Kansas after initially committing to Marquette. When Tom Crean left Marquette for Indiana, Taylor re-opened his recruitment and ultimately chose Kansas. Earlier this summer at a KC-Pro Am game, Taylor scored 47 points and grabbed 17 rebounds. He has also become a leader among the freshmen, organizing games of NBA 2K9 on the PS3.

    “That’s a big plus that Tyshawn’s at Kansas,” Cheek said. “He can tell me what he likes and what he don’t like. He can tell me how the coaches and everything are.”

    Cheek was also impressed by the general ambiance at Kansas, which included the raising of the NCAA championship banner from the 2007-08 season.

    “He was excited about the enthusiasm and the energy inside the building with the raising of the banner,” Gamble said. “He saw a couple of kids get their rings and he was impressed with the whole atmosphere at Kansas.”

    Gamble said he isn’t certain if Cheek will commit in the fall or the spring, but anticipates he will take all of his visits.

    “What I do think is he’s going to take all his remaining visits and he’s going to make a careful decision about what school he chooses,” Gamble said. “We’re going to make sure he’s happy. It’s his decision and his decision alone. Whatever decision he makes, he’s going to have support from myself and Coach (Bob) Hurley also.

    “He feels a lot better than how it was before. He narrowed it down to some schools and he knows which direction he wants to go in. He just has to be happy in choosing the right school where he can grow. He will have no influence from myself, no influence from Coach Hurley, no influence from his family. It’s just Dominic by himself.”

    The NCAA early signing period runs Nov. 12-19 and the late period is in the spring.

    “It would be ideal if he does it before the season starts, but you just never know,” Gamble said.

    (Photos courtesy JayhawkSlant.com and Rivals.com)

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.