2014 Gonzaga Basketball Recruiting: Zylan Cheatham


Dec. 19, 2012; Spokane, WA, USA; A Gonzaga Bulldogs logo is shown before a game against the Campbell Fighting Camels at the McCarthey Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Donaven Dorsey, an in-state player that Gonzaga was targeting to add to their 2014 class, committed to the University of Washington over the week, leaving the Zags with one less player that could bring in to play on the wing for the coming years. Have no fear Gonzaga, there are some great options out there that could work out much better than Dorsey. One of those players would be Zylan Cheatham.

Who is Zylan Cheatham

Cheatham is a 6’8″, 202 pound wing out of Phoenix, Arizona. He plays his AAU ball for California Supreme, one of the best AAU programs in the country. According to several recruiting sites, Cheatham has 26 offers from division one schools across the country. Those schools would include Arizona State, Arkansas, Boise State, California, Colorado, Colorado State, Georgetown, Memphis, Nebraska, New Mexico, Northern Arizona, Oregon, Oregon State, Purdue, San Diego State, San Jose State, San Francisco, South Florida, Southern Utah, Texas, USC, Utah, Utah State, UTEP, Washington, and Washington State. Cheatham is a consensus 4 star prospect among all recruiting sites, and is ranked as high as 11th for power forwards in the 2014 class. According to this article from area codes, Cheatham says the schools that have offered that are showing the most interest are New Mexico, San Diego State, USC, Georgetown, Oregon, and Washington. It is rumored that Louisville has been showing a ton of interest in Cheatham as well, but they have not offered him quite yet. The same goes for the Gonzaga Bulldogs, who allegedly have Cheatham as one of their main targets for the 2014 recruiting class, but haven’t extended an offer out to him just yet.

Scouting Report

Some basketball experts have compared Cheatham to former San Diego State Aztec and current San Antonio Spur Kawhi Leonard. That’s how much potential this kid has. Cheatham is described as a electrifying athlete that can jump out of the building. His elite athleticism are making teams salivate at the prospect of Cheatham turning into a all-american type player. His long arms can wreak havoc on the opposing teams passing lanes, and he possesses the athleticism to guard smaller, quicker guards. He has a nice jump shots, but many scouting report mention that he needs to work on his consistency, something that can be easily fixed with practice. He is an awesome ball handler and can make some phenomenal passes. If he progresses as a “point forward” and expands his court vision, on top of improving his jump shot, Cheatham will be not only one of the best small forwards in the nation, but one of the best players in the nation.

Gonzaga’s Chances?

It is hard to gauge the Bulldogs chances, considering Mark Few has reportedly not offered Cheatham yet. However, I believe an offer is imminent, and once they do offer him, Gonzaga will most likely turn into a contender for his services. Cheatham would be a great fit for Gonzaga, considering he would create numerous amount of mismatches while playing against the wings in the WCC.

In a video interview featuring Cheatham,  I heard Cheatham mention that he wants to go to a school where he will “play, get a good education, and feel like a family member.” Based on that criteria, Gonzaga seems like an awfully good fit.

*Cheatham is playing with Cal Supreme (his AAU team) at the NIKE EYBL Peach Jam finals this weekend.

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