Cheatham’s Surprising Departure Hurts Marquette
On Monday night, Marquette Golden Eagles eeked out a hangover win over Eastern Illinois in overtime. It wasn’t pretty, but they found a way to win led by Sam Hauser who dropped 30 points and nine rebounds. A noticeable face did not start for Marquette, nor, did he make it to the arena as Haanif Cheatham left the team for personal reasons. Cheatham was a starter on this team and a key contributor all over the court is no longer playing basketball for Marquette. This is a blow for the Golden Eagles success, and it makes the freshman grow up mighty quick. It’s a bummer to see Haney leave the team.
Cheatham began his career with a bang at Marquette averaging nearly 12 points a game and looked like he could be a star for years to come. Even a sophomore slump last season, there were still signs of him being a productive player. Cheatham held the team together at certain points especially on the defensive side of the ball. He became the top perimeter defender for this team. Now, he will probably do it elsewhere. It’s a stunner to say the least, and you hope it’s nothing serious in nature.
We saw what it means for Marquette on Monday night. Sacar Amin moves into the starting role with Greg Elliott and Jamal Cain seeing expanded minutes. Amin and Elliott both came through with pretty solid lines versus the Panthers. Amin finished with nine points, seven rebounds and no turnovers. Elliott played the clutch time minutes scoring 7 points with four blocks, four steals. He did miss a couple critical free throws late, but that might be some freshmen nerves. The one thing that makes me feel a tinge better is both these guys are tough as nails. They aren’t afraid of the new responsibilities. Elliott handled it pretty well, and he looks better each game. These guys aren’t going to back down as they’re asked to do more.
Marquette still has a long way to go. Elliott and Amin get what should be an easier game on Thursday with Chicago State. That’s a nice warmup before the test starts on Saturday against Georgia. Excited to see what these two can do.