Archive for Tuesday, November 18, 1997

CHENOWITH SHOWS DEBUT WAS NO FLUKE

November 18, 1997

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KU frosh Eric Chenowith scored 15 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked five shots against Rice on Monday night.

Freshman center Eric Chenowith didn't take long to record his first career double-double.

Chenowith was one of three Jayhawks to accomplish the feat in Monday's 88-61 victory over Rice, the second game of his college career. He scored 15 points, pulled down 12 rebounds and blocked five shots.

The double-double came on the heels of his 14 point, seven-rebound performance against Santa Clara.

"Coach (Roy) Williams has such a good system for us, that if you play hard and do what he says, you're going to get those kinds of numbers," Chenowith said.

Williams assessed the rookie's play: "He is a youngster who is going to be a good player," the coach said. "He has done some good things. The most pleasant part is he missed seven days and is screwing things up half the time, and is still able to be successful."

Mononucleosis robbed Chenowith of six practices and kept him from playing in KU's exhibition opener. But he has still played more minutes than any other non-starter on the squad.

"I knew if I worked hard in high school and the offseason I would have a good chance to get some minutes," Chenowith said.

Chenowith, a 7-footer from from Villa Park, Calif., was no stranger to success in high school. He averaged 21 points and 16.2 rebounds his senior year at Villa Park High.

A McDonald's All-American, Chenowith credits some of his success to working with All-America forward Raef LaFrentz.

"I've learned a lot from Raef," Chenowith said. "He's taught me how to play together with big guys, how to spot up how to get on the boards. He's showed me how to work hard and when to work hard on the post."

LaFrentz said he was pleased with the way Chenowith was progressing.

"He does a lot of good things," LaFrentz said. "He can score, he can rebound and he's 7-1, so he's slightly better than the average player."

Despite his fast start, Chenowith said he had no expectations of becoming a starter.

"That's not up to me at all," Chenowith said. "It's coach Williams' decision, and I'm happy with my playing time."

Williams said although Chenowith was playing fairly well, there was still a lot he could work on.

"I've got to get him to stay on the ground," Williams said. "Everybody below three feet tall fakes him, he jumps up and fouls the guy. He can affect shots by just staying on the floor."

Chenowith said that he did not really have a specific goal for the rest of the season.

"I just want to go out there and improve every time I practice or play in a game," Chenowith said. "If I can do that, I will be happy."

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