Philly hoops star dismisses talk of a lost season

Tony Chennault doesn't have a single regret.

The Wake Forest point guard realizes he burned a redshirt season to play 14 games for a struggling team.

But the 6-foot-2 Philadelphian, who is slated to start as a sophomore this season, said he would do it all over again.

"People were like, 'What are you doing? Stop!' " Chennault said of his decision to come back after missing 17 games with a broken bone in his left foot.

He gave up a possible redshirt year, and Chennault's critics were concerned that coming back out of game shape could hurt his future NBA draft status.

"People think about the NBA too much," said Chennault, who starred at Neumann-Goretti High. "You have to worry about being a college player before you worry about being a pro. . . .

"People are always wondering about the next level instead of taking care of where you are at right now."

The 2010 Pennsylvania Gatorade Player of the Year said he came back last season to get a reference point for the coming one.

"I didn't want to sit out and go into the next season, wondering how it would be to play in the Atlantic Coast Conference," Chennault said.

That's because he had very few on-court experiences at Wake Forest.

The 20-year-old missed most of last year's preseason with a stress fracture in his foot, then suffered a fracture during the season opener against Stetson.

Once he returned, Chennault averaged 4.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.9 assists while averaging 17.5 minutes for the 8-24 Deacons.

His best game came when he finished with 12 points and four rebounds in 19 minutes on Feb. 19 against Florida State.

Two weeks ago, Chennault took part in the CP3 Elite Guard Camp in Winston-Salem, N.C., hosted by New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul, a former Deacon.

"I went down there to solidify myself," Chennault said. "I wanted to show and prove to people that I'm still one of the best guards in the country."

 


Contact staff writer Keith Pompey at 215-854-2939, kpompey@phillynews.com, or @pompeysgridlock on Twitter. Read his blog, Owls Inq, at www.philly.com/owlsinq.