AS HAS BEEN anticipated, Neumann-Goretti product Tony Chennault appears close to transferring to Villanova, sources said. An official announcement could come in the next few days.
The 6-2 guard recently decided to leave Wake Forest after two seasons to be closer to home because his mother, Crystal Mortan, has been experiencing health problems. He is petitioning the NCAA for a hardship waiver, which would allow him to become eligible immediately. But sources have indicated that Chennault likely will end up with the Wildcats, which was his second choice coming out of high school, even if he has to sit out a season.
Chennault, whose father Anthony was the Daily News Player of the Year at Frankford in 1981, was also considering Saint Joseph's. But his only visit was to the Main Line, where he spent last Thursday and Friday. He started last season for the Demon Deacons, after becoming their first player from Philadelphia since Fran McCaffery in 1978. He was a high school teammate of former Syracuse standouts Rich Jackson and Scoop Jardine, and La Salle's Tyreek Duren.
Villanova lost 19 games last season for only the second time in program history and missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004. Two starting junior guards, Maalik Wayns and Dominic Cheek, have decided to leave and start their professional careers. They were the top two scorers. Five of the eight returning scholarship players will be sophomores who averaged a combined 23 points and a combined 87 minutes.
Two local newcomers, Neshaminy guard Ryan Arcidiacono and Westtown big man Daniel Ochefu, should provide some immediate help.