Lance Stephenson is on a mission.
The 6-foot-5 Stephenson dropped 46 points, 15 rebounds and 7 assists as Lincoln downed Transit Tech 91-67 Thursday in the Brooklyn Borough semifinals.
Maryland-bound forward James Padgett added 14 points and 8 rebounds and St. Francis commit Darwin “Buddha” Ellis tallied 10 points and 12 assists.
Lincoln (15-8) will face Thomas Jefferson, a 70-62 winner over Boys Girls, in Sunday’s 7 p.m. championship game at Long Island University.
Stephenson has now scored 96 points in his last two games, including a 50-point outburst Tuesday against FDR in front of Maryland coach Gary Williams. Ironically, Williams is facing increasing scrutiny for his recruiting failures.
Stephenson will make an official visit to Kansas for the Jayhawks’ Feb. 21 game with Nebraska, according to two sources close to the situation.
“Yes,” one source said.
The 6-foot-5 Stephenson is the No. 1 player in the Class of 2009 according to Hoop Scoop and No. 9 according to Rivals.
Kansas head coach Bill Self attended Lincoln’s ESPN game with Duncanville (Texas) earlier this year and sat courtside.
Self and Kansas assistant Joe Dooley also had an in-home visit with the Stephensons last fall and tried to impress upon Stephenson that he could help the Jayhawks if he committed to being coached.
“We definitely plan to visit Kansas,” Lance Stephenson Sr. told me previously. “Coach Self talked about how secluded it is, and how the college rules the town.”
Stephenson now says St. John’s, Kansas, Maryland and USC are at the top of his list and recently told me he could announce after the PSAL championship at Madison Square Garden on March 21, assuming Lincoln makes it that far.
“Hopefully when I win the city championship — hopefully we get there — I’ll name right after that,” Stephenson said last week. The Railsplitters are the three-time defending PSAL AA champions.
The Railsplitters have a busy weekend ahead, potentially with four games in four days, beginning with today’s tilt against Transit Tech.
On Friday Lincoln meets Dexter Strickland and St. Patrick in the Nike Super 6 at Fordham, a game that will be televised on ESPN2. On Saturday Lincoln faces Westchester (Ca.) in the Primetime Shootout.
The PSAL playoffs don’t begin until Feb. 24, meaning Stephenson would have a window to take the visit.
SENIOR SHOWCASE REACHING OUT TO LANCE, DEXTER
In other Lance news, organizers of the 2009 Florida-USA All-Star Game in Orlando, Fla., are in the process of reaching out to Stephenson, Strickland and Villanova-bound guard Maalik Wayns to see if they would like to participate in the event slated for April 18 in Orlando.
“We’d love to have Lance, Dexter and Maalik,” said Sean Russell, publisher of Faaz Magazine, the title sponsor of the showcase.
All three of them were not selected for the Jordan Brand Classic in New York on April 18.
(Photo courtesy Richard Orr)
Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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.