On the first day of the early signing period, the College of Charleston men's basketball team inked two impact players on Wednesday, to complete the 2013-14 signing class for first-year head coach Doug Wojcik and his staff.
Next season, the Cougars will welcome 6-foot-7, 225-pound power forward Terrance O'Donohue out of Norcross High School in Norcross, Ga., and 6-foot-3, 180-pound point guard Joseph Chealey (pronounced CHEE-lee) out of Apopka High School in Apopka, Fla.
"We were fortunate we only needed to sign two players, which is much more manageable in your first year," Wojcik said. "We received an early verbal commitment from Terrance O'Donohue and he is one of those hybrid-forward type players from the Atlanta area. He is strong, athletic, can shoot the perimeter jump shot as well as go inside."
O'Donohue spent his first three years of high school at The McCallie School, a prestigious prep school located in Chattanooga, Tenn., before transferring back home to Norcross for his senior season. Rated as a three-star recruit by ESPN Recruiting Nation, he averaged 15 points, nine rebounds, four blocks and three assists per game as a junior under head coach Dan Wadley. He was named Times Free Press Player of the Week in December of 2011 and earned all-tournament and Most Valuable Player honors at the Times Free Press Best of Preps tournament.
"What makes Terrance an asset to his team is his willingness to rebound the ball," Wojcik said. "He really plays hard and does the small things to help his team out. He will be able to guard both forward positions during his time at CofC. Terrance will also give us depth in the post and bring a work ethic that everyone in the Cougar Family will be proud of."
One of the top 10 power forwards in the state of Georgia, O'Donohue also played AAU Basketball for the Atlanta Celtics, who have produced noteworthy current NBA players in Dwight Howard and Amare Stoudemire as well as CofC all-time leading scorer Andrew Goudelock. He was recruited by Murray State, UNC Charlotte, Jacksonville, Penn and Iona.
"The other key for us in this year's recruiting class, was to replace (senior point guard and 2012 London Olympian) Andrew Lawrence, which isn't really fair to Joe (Chealey)," Wojcik said. "I don't think you ever really replace a player like Andrew, but clearly we needed to sign a true point guard and Joe is that for us. He has great size and length. He is also an outstanding leader and student."
Chealey spent all four years of high school at Apopka High School, which is located just outside of Orlando. Previously an under-the-radar player on the national recruiting scene, he had a breakout spring and summer playing for the AAU Team D12 Warriors. One of the top 40-ranked prospects in the state of Florida, Chealey averaged 10.7 points and 4.5 assists per game as a junior. He currently holds a 3.9 grade-point average was recruited by East Carolina, Georgia Southern, Lehigh and UCF.
"Joe is a 6-foot-3 point guard, who has a great pace to his game," Wojcik said. "Loving to facilitate, he has a knack for getting in the lane and finding his teammates for the open shot. Joe has all of the guard shots you want a point guard to have from floaters to pull-up jump shots. What makes him special is his basketball IQ and preparation towards the game of basketball. Joe's best basketball is in front of him, and even more importantly, the character he possesses will allow him to be a great ambassador for not only Cougar Basketball, but the entire College of Charleston community."
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT TERRANCE O'DONOHUE
"Terrance has done a fantastic job for us at Norcross High School. We project him to be an impact player in the College of Charleston's league very soon and hopefully, by his second year. He has all of the intangibles you look for in a player. He is mature, is focused and has a high basketball IQ. He is extremely skilled at the small forward position. Terrance will be able to step-out at the college level and cause a mismatch for opposing teams. He has the ability to put the ball on the floor and shoot the three. He understands college-level spacing and is a very good defender as well. He has all of the little things you look for in a big man – versatility, toughness, the ability to guard multiple positions and rebound. We really do believe the College of Charleston got a big-time steal in Terrance O'Donohue." – Norcross High School Head Coach Jesse McMillan
"Terrance is a very versatile player who can score the basketball and rebound the basketball. It's hard to find many players that play harder than Terrance on a night-to-night basis. Terrance is a match-up nightmare for opposing teams. If you put someone big on Terrance, he can go around them or pull them out to the perimeter. If you put someone smaller on Terrance, he can post them up and score. So Terrance is a big-time problem for opposing coaches, because he has the ability to do so many different things on the basketball court with his size. It's just hard to find that in a player." – AAU Atlanta Celtics Head Coach Emory Walton
"He's not going to be an ordinary freshman. This is a great commitment for the program. He's the kind of guy that can start three or four years for Charleston. He runs the floor very well and he has the skill set that will allow him to play on the perimeter or in the paint." – ESPN Basketball Recruiting Analyst Dave Telep
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT JOSEPH CHEALEY
"Joseph is a great leader for us. Guys on our team really feed off of him and his energy. He is a very solid point guard and playmaker. He shoots it well and off-the-court, is a really good person and good student. He can flat out handle the basketball. He has size at 6-foot-3 and passes it well. He is a complete point guard who has a great understanding of the game. He will step in and immediately compete for time. He is a college-ready player." – Apopka High School Head Coach Matt Rutta
"Joseph is a true combo guard. He is a point guard that can create for his team, but if you put him at the two, he is a guy that can score in bunches with great shot selection. He knows when to pull up for a jumper or when to take it in to the basket. He has an array of different scoring options. As a point guard though, he can create so many things offensively. I still haven't seen many guys who can stay in front of him. Defensively, he is a great guard. He is a year younger than everyone else, so he still has some room to grow physically. He is going to be a great player at the next level." – AAU Team D12 Warriors Head Coach Carlos Morales
2013-14 COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON MEN'S BASKETBALL SIGNEES
Joseph Chealey, PG, 6-3, 180, Apopka, Fla. (Apopka High School)
Terrance O'Donohue, PF, 6-7, 225, Norcross, Ga. (Norcross High School)