To understand Villanova guard Tony Chennault, you have to understand what it’s like to lose and persevere. Last May, Chennault received a message that would change his life forever.
Chennault, who transferred from Wake Forest to Villanova in the offseason, was informed that his brother, Mike, had been killed in a shooting. For a player dealing with a new team and new environment, the news of his brother’s death has made his transition with the Wildcats even tougher this season.
“It’s been a struggle, but I understand that everything in life is a process,” said Chennault. “I’m just trying to work through it and make myself a better player this season. My teammates have been really great, though, in showing me the ropes and helping me out whenever they can.”
Chennault is averaging just 3.6 points and 1.6 assists this season in 17.5 minutes per game. He’s a long way away from the player who was deemed the 2009-10 Gatorade boys basketball player of the year for the state of Pennsylvania while attending Neumann-Gorretti. Chennault’s focus is on finding the player that once dominated Philadelphia.
“I’m trying to get a better understanding of where my opportunities will come within the offense,” said Chennault. “I’m also trying to be more vocal on the defensive end and just trying to bring that energy off the bench that the team needs. If I can start with that, I think I’ll be in a much better position to be successful.”
Villanova (17-10) still has a lot of work to do to get a bid for the NCAA tournament and Chennault will be a crucial part of it. He’s hoping the team can play more consistently
down the stretch. The Wildcats are coming off a 71-63 win over Rutgers this past Monday.
“We’ve just gotta be more consistent, our journey’s different than other teams,” said Chennault. “We still have a lot of work to do in terms of learning how to play with each other. As a younger team we’ve definitely struggled playing on the road. Those things are things we’ve gotta fix soon, as the end of the season approaches.”