College basketball coaches get only one weekend this month to go and out watch the best high school basketball players play in AAU tournaments around the country. That means players may only get one chance to make a strong impression.
Pembroke Pines (Fla.) Charter combo guard Haanif Cheatham took full advantage, averaging 15.2 ppg playing against the best of the best in the Nike EYBL.
"We went 3-1 this weekend in the first EYBL session," Cheatham said. "I thought I played pretty well this weekend. I got a little tired towards the end, but I thought I played well. It was a great experience."
With his strong play this weekend, Cheatham is expecting his phone to be ringing with calls coming in from college coaches.
"Some coaches told me they will be calling me this week. I didn't get home until 10 a.m. on Monday. Florida State, Florida, VCU, Purdue and Wake Forest were some of the new schools I've had contact with since Sunday. Before this weekend, I was mainly talking to Alabama, Georgia, Pittsburgh, Murray State and UCF."
During the last contact period, several schools visited his school to see him. Two of them had the chance to sit down and talk with him.
"I had some in-school visits during the last contact period. Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Purdue and VCU came by. Purdue and VCU just came to watch me work out, but I actually met with Georgia and Alabama."
Cheatham walked away from his meeting with the Georgia coaching staff surprised by what the school has to offer.
"The visit with Georgia went really well. They have a lot of resources available that I didn't even realize. They showed me a lot of good things that I really liked, and my mom did too. Their coaches are good people. Coach Jonas [Hayes] is a great guy and always makes me laugh. Coach [Mark] Fox is really straight-forward and doesn't sugarcoat anything. He told me he wants me at Georgia and wants to play me early, but I would have to earn it."
Alabama head coach Anthony Grant also spent an extended period of time with Cheatham and explained how he would fit in with Crimson Tide.
"The Alabama visit went well too. Coach Grant and Coach [John] Brannen came down. We had a talk about the guards he needs in 2015 and everything he looks for in a guard. He thinks my versatile play wold really help them out a lot."
At the moment, Cheatham says he's taking the whole recruiting process in stride.
"I'm going to commit in November and get that out of the way before the season," he said. "I'm going to start trimming my list down probably after July, take some visits, and then commit in November. I don't have any favorites right now. I'm just enjoying the process and I know I'm blessed to be in this position."
Dan McDonald is a contributing national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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