Nike EYBL Player Evaluations: 2014 Zylan Cheatham
Coast 2 Coast Hoops
2014 Zylan Cheatham, a 6'7" 200 lb forward out of Phoenix's Westwind Prep, is one of the state's top players. Known for his athleticism and rebounding ability, Cheatham has received nationwide recruiting attention.
Cheatham is a bouncy athlete who moves fluidly. And though he has a muscular physique, his frame still has plenty of room for added weight. As he develops his body, his strength could become a valuable asset for a team.
As one of the top offensive rebounders in the Nike EYBL, Cheatham's ability on the glass is obvious. He gets off the ground quickly, and he's able to use his athleticism and length to corral rebounds. He has a knack for tip in's and is extremely active underneath the basket. He's a player that can make a big impact cleaning up his teammate's misses.
Part of what makes Cheatham a great rebounder is his mobility. The rangy forward covers a lot of ground, and has good instincts and timing when shots come off the rim. As a result, Cheatham is able to get to rebounds that bigger and slower defenders sometimes cannot.
His mobility also helps him put the ball on the floor and drive. Cheatham is quick with the ball in his hands, and has good burst for a player his size. The drive is probably Cheatham's biggest offensive strength right now.
Cheatham has a number of physical gifts, but is still a raw player at this point. Though he is listed as both a small forward and a power forward, Cheatham is still developing the perimeter skill to be effective away from the basket and will likely play the four as he gets bigger and stronger.
Cheatham's game is not based on shooting, but he still needs to improve in that area. If he can't develop a consistent shot from mid and close range, Cheatham could become a very one dimensional player. Bottom Line:
As one of the best players in the state of Arizona, Cheatham is drawing a lot of attention from the west coast and is starting to get looks from schools around the country as well. He's gifted physically, and is already an excellent rebounder with good instincts near the basket. As a player who is still developing other areas of the game, Cheatham has great potential as a utility forward.