Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Lance Stephenson and Dominic Cheek, who guarded one another in the Boost Mobile Elite 24 event in August, both plan on visiting Kansas for “Late Night in the Phog” Oct. 17.
Stephenson, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard at Brooklyn Lincoln, has made Kansas the first of his official visits, with several more still in the works.
“We’re going to Midnight Madness at Kansas Oct. 17,” said Hassani Stewart, Stephenson’s AAU coach with Raising Champions. “Right now Kansas is the only one we’re sure about.”
If Stephenson spends the weekend at Kansas, it is possible he would miss the 2nd Annual Jim Couch Reunion Game on Oct. 18 at John F. Kennedy High School in the Bronx.
Stewart said Stephenson also hoped to visit Memphis, USC and UCLA, although none of those are set yet. Stephenson recently took an unofficial visit to St. John’s.
“I’m going to call Coach Cal (John Calipari) to see what’s going on with Memphis,” Stewart said.
Stewart said he was trying to schedule the other visits so as not to interfere with practices under Lincoln coach Dwayne “Tiny” Morton.
“We don’t want it to interfere with Coach Morton’s workouts,” Stewart said.
As far as Kansas, Stephenson said in August: “I like the tradition of Kansas, the coach (Bill Self). I like the players that have played there. Brandon Rush, he’s a good solid player. I see me in the same predicament as him. ”
On Memphis, Stephenson said: “Me and Derrick Rose are cool. We went to the adidas Nations last year, we talked about how he’s doing. I wish him the best of luck. He said, ‘You next, so watch me and I’m going to show you how you do it.’ And he showed me.”
As for the 6-5 Cheek of St. Anthony in Jersey City, Friars coach Bob Hurley had just returned Saturday from a clinic in Seattle, but said Cheek was ready to schedule three visits.
“I think he is kind of ready to schedule Kansas, Memphis and Villanova,” Hurley said. “That was the three that we’re gonna get scheduled, and then we’re going to talk about the other two.”
Asked if Cheek would attend Kansas’ “Late Night in the Phog,” Hurley said: “I think that was set.”
Cheek’s former St. Anthony teammate, Tyshawn Taylor, is a freshman at Kansas, something which Cheek is well aware of.
“That’s a big plus that Tyshawn’s at Kansas,” Cheek said. “He can tell me what he likes and he doesn’t like. He can tell me how the coaches are and everything.”
Cheek recently completed in-home visits with a number of schools, including Seton Hall, Rutgers, Indiana, Villanova, Memphis, Kansas and Pitt.
He would still have two officials to choose from among Wake Forest, UConn, Pitt, Rutgers, Seton Hall and possibly Tennessee.
Cheek said recently that Kansas, Villanova and Wake Forest have been with him “since Day One.”
Villanova has long been considered among his favorites. He is close with Class of ’09 recruit Maalik Wayns, with whom he teamed on the USA U-18 National team.
“The Villanova coaches, they saw me play for a long time,” Cheek said. “They been with me since Day One. Coach (Jay) Wright and Coach (Pat) Chambers, they know what I need to work on. I talk to Villanova a lot.
“I’m excited,” Cheek said. “I’m ready to take every visit right now.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.