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.
Cheek Talks Rutgers; Henry Recruiting Dom to Memphis
Dominic Cheek says he enjoyed his weekend official visit to Rutgers but is still open to the five schools recruiting him.
Cheek did not commit during the early signing period in November and will choose from among Kansas, Memphis, Villanova, Pittsburgh and Rutgers and sign in the spring.
Cheek spent Friday-Sunday at Rutgers watching the Scarlet Knights beat Robert Morris Friday and then lose by one point, 64-63, in overtime to St. Bonaventure Sunday.
“I hung out with the players,” the 6-foot-5 Cheek, an All-State selection out of St. Anthony in Jersey City, said Monday by phone. “I asked them a lot of questions about the school and everything. I hung out with Mike Rosario, Corey Chandler, Anthony Farmer and Christian Morris.”
Asked if he had learned anything new during his trip downstate in Jersey, Cheek said: “Well, I know a lot of things about Rutgers. I’ve been there a couple of times, watched them play and everything.
“I know that they’re trying to get players to come there to try and make a change and everything, try and make run for the [NCAA] tournament and everything. And I guess I’m one of the guys that they need to do something.”
And what was his overall opinion of the school?
“I like Rutgers a lot because I know I can go there and be a main factor,” Cheek said.
The fans held up signs encouraging Cheek to come to Rutgers, and he certainly noticed.
“That made me feel good about myself,” Cheek said. “They had T-shirts with my name and everything on it. that made me feel good about myself.”
Cheek’s former St. Anthony teammate, Rutgers freshman shooting guard Mike Rosario (pictured), poured in a career-high 27 points in Friday’s 69-55 victory over Robert Morris.
“I was happy for him and everything,” Cheek said. “He was telling me that I could come in there and me and him could lead the team to the NCAA tournament. It made me feel real good about myself. If I work hard, I know I could come there and and play right away and make a difference.”
Next up for Cheek is an official visit to Pittsburgh Tuesday-Thursday.
“I only know Travon [Woodall] and Ashton Gibbs,” Cheek said, referring to his former St. Anthony teammate and to Gibbs, who starred at Seton Hall Prep. “And I know Travon because he was my last year’s teammate. We have a great relationship.”
Pitt assistant coach Brandin Knight also comes out of Seton Hall Prep, so that is another New Jersey connection there.
As for Memphis, St. Anthony associate head coach Ben Gamble had initially said Xavier Henry’s commitment to that school meant Cheek would cross them off his list. Henry (pictured), the No. 1 shooting guard in the Class of 2009, chose the Tigers over defending NCAA champion Kansas last Wednesday.
Yet Cheek says Henry is recruiting Cheek to join him at Memphis.
“He’s still recruiting me because he wants me to go there with him, so I have no problem with that,” Cheek said. “He’s text-messaging me and told me that. He wants me to join him in the backcourt.”
Kansas desperately needs a wing now that Henry spurned them for Memphis.
Cheek said Kansas and Villanova were still in the mix.
“They still been doing the same thing,” Cheek said. “I get the once-a-month call and everything. Nothing has changed.”
And when might Cheek decide?
“Whenever’s the right time, that’s when I’ll decide,” he said.
“I guess a lot of people will be asking a lot of questions, but whenever is the right time it will happen.”
Meantime, Cheek said he’s looking forward to the 2008-09 season at St. Anthony. The Friars went 32-0 last year to win the New Jersey Tournament of Champions.
Six Division I players graduated from that team, but the Friars have added several New York transfers, including forwards Derrick Williams, Devon Collier and Ashton Pankey.
“They coming along good, all the new kids,” Cheek said. “We’re trying to play as a team and everything.”
(Photos courtesy Washington Post, Star-Ledger)
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.