Washington Basketball Recruiting: Zylan Cheatham Picks San Diego State


Mar 9, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Washington Huskies head coach Lorenzo Romar argues for a shooting foul against the UCLA Bruins during the second half at Alaska Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Class of 2014 forward Zylan Cheatham has given his verbal commitment to play for the San Diego State Aztecs. The decision was announced this afternoon, with Washington and New Mexico the other two schools in Cheatham’s final three. It is no surprise that the four-star prospect decided to head to SDSU considering his close relationship to the program and the outpouring of attention he’s received from the Aztec fanbase. He likely realized that even compared to New Mexico and Washington, fans of San Diego State will be even more excited to see him play, that he’ll be an even more essential element of the team’s plans going forward, likely from the start of his freshman year.

For Washington, this is certainly a disappointment. Cheatham would have been the most important piece of Romar’s 2014 class, which is now made up of small forwad Donaven Dorsey of Lacey, WA (a three or four star recruit) and power forward Tristan Etienne out of Canada (a three-star recruit). The addition of Cheatham would have given the class a top-100 player. His explosive athleticism and focus on tenacious rebounding and shot-blocking would have provided Coach Romar with a valuable building block for future years.

Now with one open scholarship obviously available, Romar may chase after a final Class of 2014 recruit. If not, the class will remain at two and the scholarship will roll over. I doubt anyone will be going out of their way to celebrate a class made up of only Dorsey or Etienne, but Husky fans need not panic. The Class of 2013 is looking stronger and stronger as those freshman make their way through preseason practice. Nothing is for sure yet, but I expect both Nigel Williams-Goss and Darin Johnson to contribute right from the beginning, NWG as a likely starter and Johnson coming off the bench. Also, Dorsey looks like a very solid pickup as a local 6’7″ small forward with a nice scoring touch.

As for Cheatham, I think he made a good decision for himself. He likely would have found success at Washington, but San Diego State is a nice program closer to his Phoenix home. If Cheatham plays as advertised in college, he should find himself on the court early and often.