Archive for Wednesday, June 20, 2001

ll be drafted

June 20, 2001

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Six high school seniors, 47 college underclassmen and 17 foreign players have declared for the NBA Draft, meaning some recent college graduates like Chenowith could be left out in the cold a week from tonight.

"It's funny. I was just in Chicago talking to Shane Battier, a good friend of mine," Chenowith said of the Duke graduate. "We were both disappointed because it's supposed to be our year where we are in the high first round.

"All these high school guys and youngsters are coming in and taking our spots on potential. It's tough to see, but that's the way it is."

The six high school players -- Eddy Curry, Kwame Brown, Tyson Chandler, DeSagna Diop, Ousmane Cisse and Tony Key -- are all big men. They figure to push down the stock of guys like former KU big-man Chenowith, though Battier remains a possible top-three pick.

"It's kind of funny that some of these guys can't buy a beer, but can go out and buy a $30,000 car or $2 million home," Chenowith said. "That's the analogy I think of. But who wants to restrict someone from working somewhere? It's a job and they have the right to work."

Chenowith, the guest speaker Tuesday at Roy Williams' basketball camp, said he agreed with North Carolina coach Matt Doherty's statement that college underclassmen now feel they have to consider leaving NBA early or they are "not cool."

"I absolutely agree with coach Doherty," Chenowith said. "After my sophomore year I didn't talk one bit about leaving. By me not saying anything a lot of people didn't think I was ready. That's absurd.

"Troy Murphy (Notre Dame junior who has declared for draft) is in a tough situation. If you'd ask him, he wanted to stay. But he had to put his name in the draft. He had to make it look like he's ready, which he is. No question he's ready, but many are not. It's getting a little out of control."

Chenowith said he thinks Duke's Battier should be the No. 1 pick in the draft. The Washington Wizards currently hold the first choice.

"Shane Battier is a perfect example of what everybody wants," Chenowith said. "He played college four years. He won a national championship. He's an All-American and an Academic All-American. He graduated school. He has all of these intangibles the guys in high school and early entrees don't have.

"You've got to travel with these people, be in the locker room with them. These people are around you all the time. Shane would be a perfect top draft choice."

Chenowith believes he'll be drafted next Wednesday.

He has had personal workouts with Houston, New Jersey, Seattle and Vancouver and will work out for New York, Philadelphia and Orlando later this week.

"I feel good. I've gotten some good responses," Chenowith said. "Everywhere I've gone I've gotten good feedback. Guys like what I can do. I am pretty sure I am going to get drafted. I'm not sure where, but I will. I'll have the opportunity to play in the NBA."

He told Williams' campers if he could pick a team it'd be the Dallas Mavericks.

"I don't know why I said that," he said after his speech. "I just picked that team because it's closest to KU. I don't care where I play. I just want the opportunity because it's a lifelong dream to play in the NBA."

-- Assistant sports editor Gary Bedore can be reached at 832-7186.

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