Richard Davenport is a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Cheatham high on Arkansas' list
Junior forward Zylan Cheatman likes Arkansas' style of play.
Arkansas associate coach Melvin Watkins watched junior forward Zylan Cheatham play recently and that lead to a scholarship offer from the Hogs.
Cheatham, 6-8, 205 pound of Phoenix, (Ariz.) Westwind Academy has about 16 scholarship offers from schools like Arkansas, Arizona, Arizona State, Memphis and California. He said Watkins told him he has the skills the Hogs want in their program.
"He told me I'm exactly what they want in their program," Cheatham said. "He told me straight up "You can ask anybody about me I don't come on this strong. Anytime I see something I want I'm going to go after them 100 percent"."
Cheatham said Watkins described the Hogs ' style of play as run and gun and above the rim.
"He said you're our perfect fit," Cheatham said. "So I'm going to be following you around and we're going to come and see you numerous times so he said get familiar with my face."
Watkins' way of recruiting has impressed Cheatham.
"He's a straight forward guy," Cheatham said. "Zero tolerance for nonsense. He just seems like one of those guys that knows what he wants and he wants to get what he wants when he wants it. He's not going to tell me what I want to hear. He seems like he could be my worst critic or my biggest fan. All in one."
Cheatham, who reports having about a 40 inch vertical, said his versatility is his strength.
"I can play numerous positions guard numerous positions my athleticism and just my love and passion for the game," Cheatham said. "I like to get better and I want to get better."
Despite the NCAA allowing basketball recruits to start making official visits on Jan. 1 of their junior year, Cheatham said he plans to wait.
"My whole thing is I kind of want to wait until my senior year and wait until I go through this last viewing period," Cheatham said. "See how I develop as a player and see what my game translates into and what kind of a program I'll be interested in and that will lead to me narrowing my list down and I want to take my visits and commit on my birthday which is November 17. "
Cheatham said his family's roots originate in Arkansas. He said because of that and the Razorbacks' style give the Hogs a good chance of receiving an official visit.