ESPN 60 wing Chatman in holding pattern

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The CIF denied the appeal of Kameron Chatman (Portland, Ore./Long Beach Poly), leaving the ESPN 60 wing ineligible to play until March 16, which happens to be smack dab in the middle of the state semifinals. He's here at the City of Palms Classic but has been limited to cheering on his Jackrabbit teammates.

Would the 6-foot-6, 175-pounder suit up for the playoffs after a season of inactivity? Chatman’s not sure because it might not be in the best interest of the team.

“I don’t know,” Chatman said. “If my team’s playing well I wouldn’t want to come in and mess up the way they are playing. It would definitely be a tough decision.”

Chatman was deemed ineligible because he moved in with a relative from Long Beach by way of Portland, Ore. The CIF frowned on his relationship with his AAU coach Sharrief Metoyer, who also coaches Poly. However, Metoyer and Chatman’s father are near lifelong friends.

The missed time has done little to derail his recruiting.

Chatman’s not married to any one spot but says Washington presently has the best relationship with him. Louisville, Michigan and Georgetown are also major players for him.

Dig a little deeper and you’ll understand why Michigan is on him so hard. Chatman’s a young junior who doesn’t turn 17 until next June which means he’ll graduate high school before he turns 18. John Beilein’s modus operandi is to target younger seniors, catch them when their stock is reasonable and grow them into big-time players. Seeing Chatman’s birthdate had to get the Wolverines excited.

Despite the ruling, Chatman can still practice with the team. He enjoys being on the court but is quick to note going up against 6-foot-6 shot-blocking maven Jordan Bell (eight blocks versus Omaha Central) isn’t always fun. “When you’re in the lane you have to know where he is at all times,” Chatman said. He’s right, Bell operates like a shark in the water and his defense during his time away should help Chatman should stay sharp should he return in March.