Sources: Cheek could be leaving Villanova to turn pro

Posted: March 28, 2012

SOURCES HAVE confirmed Internet rumblings that junior swingman Dominic Cheek could leave Villanova early for the NBA draft.

The Wildcats already are losing junior lead guard Maalik Wayns, their leading scorer (17-plus points a game) and a second-team all-Big East selection.

Neither Cheek nor coach Jay Wright, who was out of town recruiting, could be reached for comment.

The 6-6 Cheek averaged 12.5 points in 30 minutes per game, both second-best on a team that finished 13-19 and missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004. He also averaged 3.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists. He shot 39 percent from the floor, 32 beyond the arc, and 80 at the free-throw line. His biggest problem, like much of the team, was probably inconsistency. So at this point, it's hard to say whether he'd even project as a second-round pick. But it takes only one team. And if nothing else, Cheek is athletic, with a skill set best suited for an up-tempo game.

Also, there is apparently no truth to the rumor that 6-11 Maurice Sutton, a fourth-year junior, is departing as well. He averaged 3.6 points and 3.1 boards and had 19 blocks, second on the team, but only seven fewer than junior Mouphtaou Yarou in almost 500 fewer minutes.

The Wildcats have nine scholarship players returning, including three starters and five guys who will be entering their second season.

In other news, Allerik Freeman, a 6-4 junior guard from Charlotte, N.C., who's considered one of the top 20 overall prospects in the Class of 2013, has narrowed his choices to Villanova and Kansas.

"I just don't know about a timetable," he told CBSSports.com. "Just when the time is right. They are both even."


Send email to kernm@phillynews.com.

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