NILES, Ill. – Quinton Chievous arrived to Tennessee’s campus last weekend acting if he had been invited for an audition.
Chievous, a 6-5 swingman, hadn’t received an offer yet from the Volunteers, and he believed that would only change if he performed well against Tennessee’s current players during a scrimmage. Tennessee’s coaches weren’t allowed to view the pick-up game, but Chievous was sure word would get back to them.
“Every game I play whether it’s pick up or a real game in high school, I just feel I got to play hard,” Chievous said. “I knew the players there were going to take it seriously. They don’t want a new recruit coming in taking their spot. I just played as hard as I could and performed well."
Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin did produce an offer that weekend. And on Thursday at Notre Dame High School, Chievous took him up on it, choosing Tennessee over Saint Louis.
“Prior to my [Tennessee] visit, it was really just down to Saint Louis,” Chievous said. “When I talked to coach Martin, I really got a good feel for him and the program. When I got back to Chicago, I really had a chance to think about it and talk it over with my family.”
Chievous’ father, Derrick Chievous, is well known in Missouri’s basketball history. He starred from the Tigers from 1984-1988 and scored 2,580 career points.
Derrick supported his son’s decision to play at a higher level in college.
“At the end of the day, basketball is basketball anywhere,” Derrick said. “You play hard and you do what you need to compete. It doesn’t matter whether it’s BCS, mid-major or whatever. The college game has changed drastically. If he goes in with the mindset of getting better and playing hard, it doesn’t matter where he plays at.”
Chievous had no doubts he could play at Tennessee, especially after competing against its players on his visit.
“I felt like I held my own,” Chievous said. “That was pretty big on my decision. I felt I could play with those guys. I feel really confident in my game and feel I can play at that level. I just have to keep working.”
Chievous averaged 20 points and nine rebounds and shot 53 percent for the field for the Dons last season. He was an ESPNChicago.com all-area selection.
Chievous is Tennessee’s fourth Class of 2011 recruit.