Jessica Cheeks can be credited with some of USC's most thrilling victories during her time with the Women of Troy. A steady player, Cheeks has come up big when the team needed her most, including highlight performances against UCLA and Arizona in her senior season. In her four years, she played at both point guard and shooting guard, filling in the gaps in USC's roster year-in and year-out. No player was also as persistent as Cheeks, who at times struggled academically but consistently worked her way back into good standing.
2003-04 Senior Season
Despite having to sit out for the first six games of the season (due to a suspension granted during the 2003 season), Cheeks hit the floor running by the start of the conference season and regained her starting role for the final three games... She played 22 games and made four total starts... Finished second on the team with 2.2 assists per game and fourth on the team with 6.5 points per game... Also averaged a 39.3 field goal percentage, 38.7 three-point shooting percentage and 80.0 percent at the line, in addition to 2.3 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game... Just three games into her season, Cheeks helped the team start the Pac-10 with an important victory against UCLA on Dec. 28 thanks to her season-best 17 points... Enjoyed one of her best performances of the season against Arizona on Feb. 15 when she hit a career-best 5-of-5 from the field and 3-of-3 from three-point range for a team-high 15 points... Her three-pointer with less than a minute remaining, secured USC's upset victory over the 24th-ranked Wildcats... She also had a career-best two blocks in the game... Tied a career-high with eight assists against Washington State (Jan. 11).
2002-03 Junior Season
Cheeks resumed her role as starting point guard, playing in 22 games with 21 starts as a junior... Missed final 10 games of the season while "concentrating on priorities"... Averaged 8.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.0 steals per game... Had 10 games in double figure scoring... Honored as the team's `Assist Leader' and `Top Defensive Player'... Twice scored a season-best 15 points against New Mexico on Nov. 23 and Stanford on Jan. 26... Hit a career-high three, three-pointers at Oregon (Dec. 29)... Tied a career-high with three eight-assist performances against Washington on Jan. 5, Arizona on Jan. 16 and Washington State on Feb. 1.
2001-02 Sophomore Season
Started 28 games at the point guard position... Led the team with 3.7 assists and finished second with 2.1 steals per game... Also averaged 8.3 points and 3.0 rebounds per outing... Ranked third in the Pac-10 in steals and seventh in assists... Honored as the team's `Assist Leader' - the first player to do so in back-to-back years since Nicky McCrimmon in 1993 and 1994... Contributed double figures in scoring in 10 games... Led with seven rebounds against San Francisco (March 13) in the first round of the WNIT... Recorded a career-high nine boards against Oregon State (March 2) in the first round of the Pac-10 Tournament... Posted a season-high 15 points versus UCLA (Feb. 9)... Hit the game-tying and game-winning shots for the Trojans against Oregon State (Jan. 26), finishing the game with 14 points, three rebounds and three steals... Posted a career-high eight assists in addition to six steals and 16 points at Cal (Dec. 28).
2000-01 Freshman Season
Made 16 starts and appeared in 27 games as a freshman... Led the team with 2.6 assists and 1.8 steals per game, while finishing ninth in the Pac-10 in steals... Honored as the team's `Assist Leader' - the first freshman to do so since 1996... Contributed double figures in scoring in seven games... Led with 10 points (3-8), seven boards and three assists against Creighton (Nov. 17)... Made her first collegiate start against Drake (Nov. 19)... Despite not starting against Notre Dame (Dec. 28), sparked a 15-2 run with seven points and two steals to bring USC within three of the eventual national champions... Starting at the point she had a season best performance with 18 points off of 7-of-12 shooting, including three assists and four steals against Arizona (Jan. 18)... Set a season high with six assists against Arizona State (Feb. 15)... Posted 11 points against Washington (March 8), including a season-high 9-of-12 at the line while contributing four assists and two steals.
Cheeks is a 1999 graduate of Narbonne High in Harbor City, Calif. ... A four-year varsity letterwinner who averaged 14.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 4.1 steals as a prep... During the four years she shot 48 percent from the field and 86 percent from the line... As a senior, she earned All-American honors by USA Today (an honor she also received as a sophomore and junior), Street & Smith (also named as a junior), Nike and Student Sports Magazine... Named to the all-city and all-state teams (first team in 1998, second team in 1999) while leading Narbonne to the city and state championship in 1998... Narbonne won the Southern Pacific League Championship in 1997, 1998 and 1999... Named to the Los Angeles Times South Bay first team in 1999, 1998, 1997, and the South Bay MVP in 1998... The Daily Breeze Player of the Year as a junior and first team selection as a senior... Honored as a four-time first team All-Southern Pacific League selection, including the honor of MVP as a sophomore... Displayed her best performance as a sophomore when she led Narbonne in a win over Buena High in the CIF Southern California Regional by scoring 24 points and hitting 8-of-10 at the free throw line... Following her junior year, she was named a Junior Olympic Team Alternate... Cheeks was a eight-year member of the Olympic Girls Development Team... She led her U-15 and U-17 teams to fourth-place finishes... A prep teammate of current USC forward/center Ebony Hoffman.
Jessica Nicole Cheeks was born on Aug. 1, 1981 in Los Angeles... The daughter of Robert and Deborah Cheeks, she has one sister, Jennifer, and one brother, Osi... Her father, Robert, played collegiate basketball at Whittier College and played professionally in France for four years... Chose USC because of the academic reputation and highly recognizable athletic achievements... A sociology major and would like to play in the WNBA after graduation.
Year GP-GS FG-FGA FG% 3P-3PA 3P% FT-FTA FT% PTS AVG OR DR REB AVG PF-D AST TO BLK STL MIN
2000-01 27-16 73-211 .346 19-82 .232 43-59 .729 208 7.7 13 53 66 2.4 65-1 70 89 2 48 654
2001-02 30-28 87-252 .345 20-78 .256 54-70 .771 248 8.3 34 56 90 3.0 75-2 112 125 4 64 891
2002-03 22-21 77-191 .403 9-49 .184 30-45 .667 193 8.8 24 53 77 3.5 50-1 90 91 0 43 710
2003-04 22-4 53-135 .393 24-62 .387 12-15 .800 142 6.5 15 36 51 2.3 46-0 48 52 9 31 501
Total 101-69 290-789 .368 72-271 .265 139-189 .735 791 7.8 86 198 284 2.8 236-4 320 357 15 186 2756