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.
Indiana head coach Tom Crean and assistant Roshown McLeod were the latest college coaches to come through Jersey City Wednesday night to court St. Anthony senior Dominic Cheek.
Crean and McLeod met with the 6-foot-5 Cheek, his uncle, Omari Knight, and St. Anthony coach Bob Hurley at Hurley’s home.
Cheek and his uncle had previously met with coaches from Seton Hall, Memphis and Kansas.
“It was a good visit, maybe a little bit longer than we would’ve liked,” joked Hurley of the two-hour visit. “Coach Crean was fired up. We talked about where Indiana is at this time, what sanctions might be imposed and the roster, which is probably way short of players compared to other schools.
“We talked about the whole thing about Indiana basketball and its place in college basketball and, particularly, the state of Indiana.”
Cheek, an All-State wing who helped the Friars finish 32-0 and win the mythical national championship last season, knows McLeod well and is close friends with his younger brother, St. Anthony guard Devon McLeod.
“It was a comfortable atmosphere,” Hurley said. “Dominic knows (Roshown). He’s very friendly with Devon. It was comfortable level that was certainly influenced by him being there.”
Hurley and Crean have some recent history. A year ago, Crean recruited St. Anthony All-State guard Tyshawn Taylor to Marquette, and then took the Indiana job after Kelvin Sampson left in the wake of the recruiting scandal. Hurley asked for Taylor’s release and he ended up at Kansas. Apparently that experience has not soured the legendary prep coach on allowing Crean to recruit his players.
Hurley said no plans have been made for Cheek to take an official visit to Indiana, but Knight told Mike Pegram of Inside Indiana that they wanted to.
“It has made us definitely want to come out and make a visit,” said Knight. “Go see everything and get an overall picture.”
Hurley previously said Cheek had planned to take officials to VIllanova, Kansas and Wake Forest.
Speaking of visits, Cheek will NOT visit Tennessee this weekend, as I originally reported. Instead, he will play Saturday in the Gym Rat Midnight Madness event in Cherry Hill, N.J. It’s possible Cheek will visit Tennessee at a later date.
“He’s playing in Cherry Hill,” Hurley said.
Next up are in-home visits with Rutgers (Sunday) and Villanova (Tuesday).
Hurley emphasized his belief in players getting to know the coaches through in-home visits before setting up officials.
“I think it’s more important to sit down and see the coach and after that see the comfort level,” Hurley said. “I can never understand how players are making visits and families haven’t spoken to the coaches. I feel better with the family taking over after they had the home visits.
“But if you don’t have anybody coming in, damn, you’re going to have a bad team.”
A year ago, Hurley had six players go Division I, including McDonald’s All-American Mike Rosario at Rutgers.
This year, Hurley is primarily dealing with Cheek and 6-7 forward Jamee Jackson.
Hurley said Jackson will visit Appalachian State next weekend and is also considering Delaware, Charleston, Niagara, Marist, Iona and Monmouth.
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.