What are the Hoosiers' Chances with Cheek?

Indiana received very good news this week when it learned that Scout.com's 15th-ranked player in the 2009 class, Dominic Cheek, will be taking an official visit. But what are IU's chances of landing him?

Bloomington – Dominic Cheek is coming to Indiana.

For the time being, it's only for an official visit. Adam Zagoria from Zagsblog.net reported yesterday that the 6-5, 170-pound shooting guard from St. Anthony H.S. in Jersey City, N.J., has decided one of his five official visits will be to IU. The date of that visit has yet to be determined, but Indiana has established itself as one of Cheek's five front runners along with Kansas, Memphis, Villanova and Pitt. Those five schools will host Cheek for officials, while nearby Seton Hall and Rutgers could still get Cheek on campus for an unofficial and are presumably still in the running as well.

Cheek is the 15th-ranked player in the 2009 class according to Scout.com. If IU Coach Tom Crean is somehow able to lure him to Bloomington he'd be the headline name in an IU class that could wind up being the nation's best.

"Cheek is blessed with tremendous size and natural ability," said Scout.com National Recruiting Director Dave Telep, who has seen Cheek on numerous occasions on the AAU circuit. "This spring he added the rebounding aspect to him game. There's room for another jump."

Indiana's entire coaching staff made an unofficial visit with Cheek last month. There are clearly strong ties between the St. Anthony's H.S. standout and IU assistant coach Roshown McLeod, whose younger brother is good friends with Cheek. According to Telep that's a big reason why IU has surfaced as a possibility, although there's still more that must be done.

"Clearly the thing working in IU's favor is the relationship," Telep said. "McLeod making the connection would be the key link, but at the end of the day, it will have to be Tom Crean putting the final board in the bridge between the two."

Crean has actually been trying to do that for some time. While McLeod's addition to the IU staff has been a big aid in IU's efforts, Cheek said Crean has had his eye on him ever since he was at Marquette.

"When he was at Marquette he wanted me to go there because he saw that I had potential, and he hasn't let me down," Cheek said. "He says I'm a perfect fit for the style that they play, and he thinks I could come in and be a guy that makes an immediate impact."

While that's a lot working in IU's favor, there are equally strong draws to his other finalists as well. Many think Kansas is the team to beat since he is going there for next week's Midnight Madness and because his former St. Anthony's teammate, Tyshawn Taylor (a former Crean commit when he was at Marquette), is a freshman with the Jayhawks. But Telep said trying to predict Cheek's choice is probably a fruitless endeavor.

"At times there have been no less than three different leaders," Telep said. "So making this call would be purely a guess."

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