Marquette Wire

Recruiting: Marquette among leaders for 2019 target CJ Felder

Head+coach+Steve+Wojciechowski+and+associate+head+coach+instructs+players+during+Marquette%27s+86-71+loss+to+Purdue.
Head coach Steve Wojciechowski and associate head coach instructs players during Marquette's 86-71 loss to Purdue.

Head coach Steve Wojciechowski and associate head coach instructs players during Marquette's 86-71 loss to Purdue.

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

Head coach Steve Wojciechowski and associate head coach instructs players during Marquette's 86-71 loss to Purdue.

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Junior guard Haanif Cheatham departed Marquette men’s basketball for “personal reasons” Monday morning. per the Marquette athletic department. Cheatham had 70 career appearances and averaged 8.7 points per game on 45.7 percent shooting last season.

The team has an immediate problem, playing with only eight eligible scholarship athletes until next semester when sophomore Harry Froling becomes eligible.

But the sudden departure of Marquette’s most experienced player also creates a dilemma on the recruiting trail. Marquette has an open scholarship for next year with limited prospects available. Eighty-four of the top 100 players in the country have already committed, according to 247Sports. Graduate transfers are an option, especially in the spring, but are no guarantee. Head coach Steve Wojciechowski has landed two of them in his three-plus years at Marquette: Matt Carlino in 2014 and Katin Reinhardt in 2016.

This leaves Marquette waiting until 2019 as the most viable option for filling the final scholarship. Marquette has offers out to five of the top 30 recruits, according to 247Sports’ rankings, as well as several players outside the top echelon. Guard targets that could replace Cheatham’s ball handling include Mario McKinney, D.J. Carton, Rocket Watts, Tyrese Maxey and Josh Green.

Power forward CJ Felder is one of them. Marquette visited Felder, the 66th-best power forward in the country, a few months ago. Felder discussed his recruitment with the Wire.

Which schools have reached out to you the most so far?

“Marquette is definitely one of them. That’d probably be the school that reached out to me the most so far right now. Marquette, Georgia, Old Dominion and Clemson are the ones coming pretty hard right now.”

What has assistant coach Stan Johnson been telling you?

“He’s just been telling me about how he really likes my game and the players he compares me to and what they’ve got in goal and just the player-coach relationship they have on campus and just different stuff like that.”

Have you gone on an unofficial visit to Marquette yet or are planning on it?

“I’m planning on it. I haven’t scheduled it yet.”

What is your timeline for your decision?

“Really I haven’t given that too much thought, but by the time I narrow the list down, it’ll be after this upcoming summer.”

With the high school basketball season coming up, what are you trying to work on?

“I’m trying to work on all facets of my game. Most important is focusing on shooting and dribbling more so that I can be more versatile in the college game and going into the future.”

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