Assistant coach and recruiting ace Matt Abdelmassih said last week that he’s not normally a fan of using the graduate transfer market, but for this season, he’s making an exception and is hoping to get a couple of them to fill out the first roster of the Fred Hoiberg era.
On Saturday evening, the Huskers landed their first one in Haanif Cheatham. The former Marquette and Florida Gulf Coast guard announced his commitment during his official visit to Lincoln.
Excited to announce I will be playing my grad year season and final college basketball season here at Nebraska university. I’m excited to be apart of @huskerhoops and ready to turn up pinnacle bank arena!! God works in mysterious ways and I’m glad to be apart of this journey #GBR pic.twitter.com/FzmMC1m9xO
— Haanif Cheatham (@hcheatham_22) April 20, 2019
Chatham is a 6-foot-5, 195-pound guard who began his career at Marquette. He was an All-Big East Freshman Team selection after averaging 11.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists while shooting 48.9 percent from the field, 38.7 percent from 3 and 82 percent from the free-throw line.
Marquette added a few transfers and a 4-star freshman to the lineup in 2016-17. Cheatham saw his role slightly reduced and he struggled to match his freshman production, putting up 8.7 rebounds, 3.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists while shooting 45.8 percent form the field, 32.5 percent from 3 and 76.7 percent from the foul line.
Cheatham played in the first five games of the 2017-18 season, putting up 8.2 points in 26.2 minutes per game, before deciding to transfer. He enrolled at Florida Gulf Coast prior to the January semester and became eligible at the start of the 2018-19 season. He played in 10 games, averaging 13.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists on 45.4 percent from the field, 36.4 percent from 3 and 65 percent from the line in 10 games before a chronic shoulder injury forced him to shut it down for the rest of the season.
Cheatham was granted a medical redshirted and decided to play his final season elsewhere. He took his first official visit to Nebraska this weekend and saw enough to pull the trigger.
I FEEL GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/EiVv1RTr1Z
— Armon Gates (@coachagates) April 20, 2019
Cheatham was a consensus top-100 recruit coming out of Pembroke Pines Charter High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
“We are excited about adding Haanif to our program,” Hoiberg said in a release. “His experience and leadership will help us greatly, as we replace a number of seniors from last year’s team. Haanif is a strong, physical guard who has a skill set that will allow him to fit well in our system.”
Cheatham’s commitment leaves the Huskers with four open scholarships for 2019-20. Western Nebraska Community College guard Jervay Green and Omaha Creighton Prep forward Akol Arop reaffirmed their commitments to Nebraska after Fred Hoiberg took over, while New Hampton (new Hampshire) guard Mika Adams-Woods re-opened his recruitment and guards Thomas Allen Jr. and Nana Akenten decided to transfer out of the program.
Jacob Padilla has been writing for Hail Varsity since 2015. He covers football, volleyball men’s basketball and prep sports. He also co-hosts the Nebraska Preps Postgame and Nebraska Shootaround podcasts for the Hurrdat Media and Hail Varsity podcast networks. His love of basketball can best be described as an obsession and if you need to find him, he’s probably in a gym somewhere watching, coaching or playing hoops.