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Tuesday / February 21.

Maryland in Hot Pursuit of Stephenson

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**See the SNY video interview with Lance Stephenson here.

If you don’t think Maryland is serious about landing Lance Stephenson, consider this.

The Terps staff plans to watch Stephenson, a McDonald’s All-American, four or five more times this season as Lincoln pursues its record fourth straight PSAL championship and third consecutive New York State Federation crown.

Lincoln opens defense of its PSAL title on Tuesday.

Maryland head coach Gary Williams previously watched the 6-foot-5 Stephenson, ranked No. 1 in the Class of 2009 by Hoop Scoop and No. 9 by Rivals, when he dropped in a career-high 50 points on FDR in the Brooklyn Borough championships.

Williams has taken some heat in The Washington Post for his recruiting failures, but Stephenson said he likes how the Terps play.

“He’s a good coach,” Stephenson said. “I like the way he plays up and down. I play like that a lot. I think I can fit into all the programs. Maryland is up and down. I really like playing like that.”

Stephenson, whose 6-8 teammate James Padgett has already signed with the Terps, said he will decide between St. John’s, Maryland, Kansas and Wake Forest, but Wake is apparently not recruiting him, according to a report.

Stephenson has taken official visits to Maryland and Kansas, and St. John’s still hopes to set one up.

Stephenson hopes to announce March 21 after the PSAL championship at Madison Square Garden, assuming Lincoln gets that far.

Maryland assistant Keith Booth tripped to New York City on Friday to watch Long Island Lutheran play The Collegiate School. Maryland is also recruiting LuHi junior forward Tobias Harris and wing Achraf Yocoubou. The 6-8 Harris had 21 points, 14 boards and 3 blocks in a 91-34 blowout.

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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.

  • Hey Adam,

    If lance is the #1 player in the country according to hoop scoop why are some schools not recruiting him? He says he’s considering Wake, but wake says they’re not interested. Why wouldn’t Wake or some of the other schools be trying to land him? He also didn’t make that national team over the summer either. Didn’t seem like the Davidson coach was too impressed. What’s the deal? Is he just out to get his and isn’t a team player?

  • Maryland should have been recruiting him as long as Kansas has! If they wanted him so bad they should have done so. I believe that Kansas and St. John’s are his only serious interest, and I don’t think he leaves NY.

    Norm Roberts and Bill Self are good friends, I don’t know if that’s good for KU or bad.

  • Hey lance – If you’re reading this I want you to know that I’m thinking about you, yo. Ur off the hook. I fixed my text message thing, actually it wasn’t broken, it’s just that some of the numbers make more than one letter.

    Gary

  • NJHoop,

    Some schools decided not to get involved with Lance, either because of perceptions that he was difficult or because they didn’t want to get involved with those around him. He was cut from the U18 team after Bob McKillop decided he didn’t fit with the team concept. Lance and his father say there was a miscommunication on one play where they thought Lance was supposed to play point guard and McKillop had other ideas. That led to a shouting match in front of the media and observers.

    Still, Gary Williams, Norm Roberts and Bill Self have all decided Lance is worth it and are going at him full force. Roberts may need Lance to help save his job in the short term.

    I think Lance is a good kid with a tremendous amount of talent. He is under a lot of pressure to succeed and be the next NBA star out of Lincoln, which also produced Sebastian Telfair and Stephon Marbury.

    The question will be whether he picks a program like Kansas or Maryland where he will be more of a piece to the puzzle at a championship contender, or St. John’s where he will be counted on to be the man and the savior under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden.

    Adam

  • http://www.fannation.com/truth_and_rumors/ncaa#?eref=fromSI

    Interesting development in the Stephenson recruitment

    According to the WaPost, Maryland is going to speak to UA and aggressive booster/CEO Plank tomorrow.