football

Position change helps Cheatham

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ANAHEIM,Calif.--Don'tgetZylanCheathamwrong.HelovedhisexperienceontheEYBLcircuitwithCaliforniaSupreme,andhe'sbeyondgratefulfortheopportunityhereceivedthisspringandsummer.
Butthefour-starforwardwastiredofplayingasanin-the-postcenterorpowerforward.Hewantstobeawingatthenextlevel,sohejoinedArizonaMagicPumpNRuntoshowhecanbejustthat.
ThisweekendattheDoublePumpBestofSummertournament,he'sprovingthedecisiontoswitchteamswasafruitfulone.CheathamhasbeenthebiggestdrawforcollegecoachesthisweekinAnaheim,pullinginheadcoachesfromNewMexico,SanDiegoState,Colorado,ArizonaStateandWashington,aswellasassistantsfrommanyothertopprograms.He'splayedwellinfrontofthem,too.
CheathamhadprobablyhisbestdaySaturday,workingasmoreofapointforwardthanapowerforward.Hereboundedwell,playedwithhustleandpostedoneofthehighlightsofthetournamentwithaposterdunk.
Nextweek,theNCAAworldwillhaveabetterideaofwherehe'lltakethattalent.
Cheathamsaidhewillnarrowhislistto10,maybeeveneight,onFriday.Afterthat,he'llworkonalistoffiveandtrytomakeadecisionbyhisbirthdayonNov.17.
"WhenIgetdowntofive,that'swhenit'sgoingtogetbusy,"Cheathamsaid."That'sgoingtobemyfiveofficialvisits,soit'sgoingtobebusyfromthenon."
CheathamsaidSanDiegoState,NewMexico,ArizonaStateandWashingtonarestandingoutasschoolsrecruitinghimthehardest.LorenzoRomar,hesaid,hasbeenparticularlynoticeable.
"CoachRomarhasbeenateveryoneofmygames(inthe)frontrow,"Cheathamsaid."He'sbeeninthegymbeforeIwas.He'sreallybeenpickingitup.He'sreallyshowingsomeseriousinterest."
ButCheathamisfarfromnamingaleader.Hisfiveofficialvisitswillbecrucial,andfindingaschoolthatcanusehimasapointforwardwillbeahugefactor.
"It'sgoingtobetough,"Cheathamsaidofcuttingthingsdown."Butit'ssomethingIhavetodo."
CourtgamekeyforBarefield
He'snotthebiggestguard,andasaresulttop1002015prospectSedrickBarefieldknowshe'llhavetoshowmorethanhisseeminglyeffortlessscoringabilityifhewantstoplaybeyondcollege.
Itmayseemlikeafar-awayconceptforsomeonewhohastwoyearsofhighschoolremaining,butthegenerouslylisted6-foot-2Corona(Calif.)CentennialHighstaralwayshasbeenprodigious,aheadofthecurve.
"I'vereallybeenfocusedonjustbeingmorepatient,abetterfacilitator,"BarefieldsaidFriday."ScoringtheballhasalwaysbeenthereformeandIthinkpeoplethoughtIwasn'treallyatruepointguard,butI'vealwayshadthevisionandabilitytodothat.I'mjustmakingitmoreofaprioritynowbecauseI'mnotthatbig,soplayingtheoneiswhereI'mgoingtowindup,forsure."
Foratleastaday,Barefieldhadthefullattentionofaraptaudienceofdozensofcollegecoaches,whosawhimcreateonebasketafteranotherforComptonMagicSelectwhileshowcasinghisampleabilitytofillitupfromalllevels.
"I'mjusttryingtoplaymygameandnotthinksomuch,"saidBarefield,whohadagreatshowingagainststandoutpointguardRobertCartwrightadayearlier."IwastalkingtoRobertadayearlierandtellinghimwhatweweregoingtodo,andweendedupgettingthewinandIplayedgood."
Barefieldsaidhe'spickedupoffersfromBostonCollege,Connecticut,KansasState,MemphisandSanDiegoState.HeishearingalotfromMichiganandUSCandalittlebitfromFlorida.
Fitznerplaysbigwhenneededmost
EvanFitznerwillbethefirsttotellyouhe'shadbetterweeks.Shoot,bettermonths.ButwhenhisPumpNRunElitesquadneededhiminSaturdaynight'scloselycontestedopen-bracketquarterfinalswinoverSuperiorProspects,hedelivered.
Anunranked6-foot-10powerforwardoutofFrancisParkerHighinSanDiego,Fitznerhopedtoputhisbestfootforwardinseveralhigh-profiletournamentsbutinsteadsteppedonitwrongandsprainedananklelateinaThursdaywin.
Fitznerplayedthroughtheanklesprain--whichlookedclearlyswollenadayearlier--andhitseveralsecond-half3-pointers.HedeliveredmoreofapostpresenceonSaturdayagainstanundersizedbutultra-athleticSuperiorAthletesteam.
"Ihaven'tbeenplayingmybest,butIjustwanttokeeppushingon,"Fitznersaid."Thefirsttournamentwasn'tverygood,butI'vebeenworkingonthementalpartofthegameandhavedonebetterthisweek.Theanklehasbotheredmesome,butI'mtryingtonotthinkaboutitandgooutthereanddowhateverIcantohelptheteamwin."
Fitznerhasabroadskillbaseforabigkid,andalotofoffershavecomeasaresultofhishighceiling.ArizonaState,California,Colorado,NewMexico,OregonState,SanDiegoandWashingtonareontheboard.
CageJr.breaksout
ThesonofNBAveteranMichaelCageprovedhewasmorethanjustanamesakeSaturdayafternoon.
Six-foot-8MichaelCage,Jr.,infact,showedhe'sabig-time2016recruit.
TheCaliforniaSupremebigman,whosaidhe'sexpectedtogrowto6-foot-11or7-foot,displayedasurprisingskillsetforsuchayoungpost.Heranthefloorwellat220pounds,andhefinishedaroundthebasketwithbothhands.
HeevendrewahugecrowdofcollegecoachesfromSanDiegoState,Utah,USC,Cal,Coloradoandmore.
"(Opponents)justkindofgoatmemorebecausetheyknowmydadplayedintheNBA,"Cagesaidafterhisbigperformance."SotheywanttoseewhatIcandobygoingatme.ButIjustgivethemmybest."
SofarCagehasoneofferfromSDSU,butheishearingfromUCLA,USC,CalandArizonaaswell.
Hecreditshisearlysuccesstoalotofhisfather'steaching.
"Hetoldmetoplayhard,"Cagesaid."Hewasn'tastar,buthealwaysworkedhardandearnedhisspotandstartedintheNBA."
Idahoshooterdidn'talwayshaveskill
UtahPumpNRunadvancedtothequarterfinalsoftheBestofSummer16-and-underbracketbehindthestrongplayofMalekHarwell,a6-foot-4,175-poundshootingguard.
HarwellisarareDivisionIprospectintherespectthathe'sfromIdaho,astatethatdoesn'tseemanyprospectsofhiscaliber.
"It'sbeenupanddown,butI'vebeenplayingwelloverall,"Harwellsaid."I'vegottogetmydribblingevenbetterandplayabovetherimmorebecausecollegesliketoseethat."
Evenbeforehehitahandfulof3-pointersinSaturday'sbigwin,Harwellhaddevelopedareputationonthesummercircuitasalights-outmarksman.Hesaidthathasnotalwaysbeenthecase.
"Icouldn'treallyshootitatfirst,sothat'scomingalongverywell,"saidHarwell,whowillbeajunioratCenturyHighinPocatello."Defense,myfootworkneedstogetquicker.Iusedtobequick,butI'vebeengrowingsoIhavetogetloweronthosequickerguards."
UtahStatewasfirsttoofferHarwell,andhisgameshaveusuallyhadobserversfromthePac-12,includingArizonaState,ColoradoandStanford.BoiseStateandGonzagaarealsoinvolved.
Saturdaytip-ins
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2016CaliforniaSupremepointguardDevearlRamseyClickHeretoviewthisLink.continuedastrongsummer,hittingshotsfromdeepanddisplayinghigh-levelathleticism.HesaidheholdsanofferfromUSCandinterestfromUCLA,CalandArizona.
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2015GamepointguardJustinSimonClickHeretoviewthisLink.saidhe'sbeenreceivingnewinterestfromBostonCollegeafterhisstrongperformancesthispastweek.
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Devin WatsonClick 2015 point guard Kahlil SimplisClick Here to view this Link. added an offer from New Mexico State after playing well for California Supreme. Here to view this Link., a 5-foot-10 point guard at Army and Navy Academy in Carlsbad, Calif., has performed well on a big stage in July and picked up offers from Loyola Marymount, Oregon State, San Diego and UTEPClick 2015 point guard Kahlil SimplisClick Here to view this Link. added an offer from New Mexico State after playing well for California Supreme. Here to view this Link.. He said ConnecticutClick 2015 point guard Kahlil SimplisClick Here to view this Link. added an offer from New Mexico State after playing well for California Supreme. Here to view this Link. and Gonzaga are becoming more involved.
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