Chievous picks Vols

Cuonzo Martin's newest Tennessee basketball commitment is a model of consistency.

That would be Quinton Chievous, a 6-5 swing man from Notre Dame College Prep in Niles, Ill.

"We went 23-7 last season," Notre Dame coach Tom Les told InsideTennessee by phone earlier today, "and in 29 of those 30 games Quinton gave me 20 (points) and 10 (rebounds). When the ball was thrown up for the opening tip, I knew I was going to get 20 and 10 from him. And it was a very unselfish 20."

After also considering Saint Louis, Quinton announced his commitment to Tennessee at a 2:45 Central Time news conference at his school. He is the son of former University of Missouri star and first-round NBA draft pick Derrick Chievous.

"Obviously, his dad was a great player, an All-American," Les said. "He respects his dad quite a bit, and his dad was extremely helpful in getting him to take advantage of his quickness and explosiveness."

Reportedly, that quickness and explosiveness is abundant.

"Quinton is extremely athletic, very explosive," Les said. "He transferred in to Notre Dame his sophomore year and showed improvement every year he was here. Every year when we talked about the parts of his game that were lacking he spent time working on those areas to make himself a complete player."

Chievous made considerable improvement on his shooting range during the past 12 months.

"That's one of the things he worked on quite a bit between his junior and senior year," Les said. "He became a very efficient 3-point shooter, shooting around 37 or 38 percent."

Being the tallest player on his team, Chievous also developed a pretty strong post-up game.

"From a high school coach's perspective, I liked him him closer to the basket because he was so explosive," Les said. "I liked him getting old-fashioned three-point plays."

Notre Dame often played without a post in order to open up driving lanes for its star player.

"Quinton can play with his back to the basket but his strength is out on the wing where he can attack the basket," Les said. "We kept the post open a lot, so guys could penetrate and kick, but I would slide him inside on occasion."

Like most high school players, Chievous needs some work on his defense.

"That's an area he's going to have to pick up at the college level," Les said. "But he's extremely capable because of his athleticism and his competitive nature. I've always liked his competitive nature. Whether it was practice or games, I liked the way he always competed."

Chievous was a unanimous All-East Suburban Catholic Conference selection as both a junior and senior. He was first-team All-Chicago Area and second-team all-state after shooting 53 percent from the field and averaging 20.9 points per game as a senior last winter.

Chievous opened his news conference by thanking all of the coaches, administrators and family members who helped him throughout his high school career. Then he broke the suspense.

"I'm very excited to say I'll be attending the University of Tennessee and becoming a Volunteer this fall," he said.

Chievous visited the UT campus last week and was quite impressed. That basically made his college decision for him.

"I really felt I would be able to enjoy myself at Tennessee," he said. "I really felt comfortable with the whole atmosphere there. I think Coach Martin can develop me as a player and a person."

Chievous said he has been told he'll play the 2 (shooting guard) and 3 (small forward) at Tennessee. Asked which he prefers, he replied: "I feel I can play both the same. I'm 6-5, so the 2 might be better based on my height."

Asked how he fits into Martin's motion offense, he answered: "We ran a similar type offense in high school. It will just come down to how hard I work. I can play in any system."

The strength of his game, he said, is his passion and determination.

"My main thing is I play hard," he said. "And I'm always working on my game."

Chievous is the third player signed by Cuonzo Martin. Previously signed were Wes Washpun, a 6-1 point guard from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Josh Richardson, a 6-5 combo guard from Edmond, Okla.

"I was really impressed with Coach Martin," Chievous said of his visit to Knoxville. "It was my first time meeting him. He builds a lot of character in his players."

Derrick Chievous seemed happy with his son's college choice and the opportunity he'll have to play right away at Tennessee.

"I feel his opportunity will be great," the elder Chievous said. "He'll get his tools refocused for the college game this summer."

Les believes Quinton will be a real asset to the Vols because he is still tapping into his potential.

"I would say he has huge upside," the prep school coach said. "He comes from great bloodlines. His dad was an awfully good player. The sky's the limit."

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