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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.
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Friday / July 21.
  • Gary Williams Watches Lance & Padgett's Last Game; Sherrod Wright on the George Mason Visit

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    The high school careers of Lance Stephenson and James Padgett came to an end Saturday…and Maryland coach Gary Williams was there to watch it.

    “I was surprised to see him,” Stephenson told the New York Post.

    James Stukes, an uncommitted 6-5 small forward, had 22 points and Miami-bound guard Durand Scott added 16 as Rice crushed two-time defending State Federation champion Lincoln 77-50 in a Class AA boys semifinal in Glens Falls, N.Y. Rice will meet Newburgh Free Academy on Sunday for the state championship.

    Stukes, who decommitted twice from Robert Morris, will prep next year at South Kent (Conn.) and said he could still wind up at Robert Morris.

    Stephenson, New York State’s all-time scoring leader, had 14 points, six rebounds and two assists for Lincoln and the 6-8 Maryland-bound Padgett posted 12 points and 10 boards.

    “You gotta lose some games,” Stephenson told the Post. “I thought it would be closer. We gave up. I was surprised, but it happens.”

    As first reported here, the 6-5 Stephenson is expected to announce next week that he will play at Kansas, which lost to Michigan State Friday night in the Sweet 16. Maryland and St. John’s also made Stephenson’s final list.

    Speaking of Kansas, guard Sherron Collins told the Topeka Capital-Journal that he plans to come back to campus for his senior season.

    “What I’m saying right now is I’m coming back,” said Collins, who added that he is in fine shape financially and has the blessing of his family to return. “Coach [Bill Self] has to tell me something, if coach doesn’t tell me nothing, I’m coming back. Whatever he decides is what I’m gonna do.”

    Collins said the addition of Stephenson could help Kansas win the NCAA championship.

    “We could be a contender for a national championship next year,” Collins said. “Possibly win it.”

    Stephenson shared the co-Mr. New York Basketball award with  Syracuse-bound senior guard Brandon Triche of Jamesville-Dewitt. Stephenson broke Sebastian Telfair’s state career scoring record in February and has helped Lincoln win a record four straight PSAL championships.

    “I’m sad because I don’t really want to leave high school,” Stephenson said. “But I’m ready for the next step. I’m ready to have a career, go to the NBA and go to college. I have no regrets.”

    WRIGHT ON THE GEORGE MASON VISIT

    Sherrod Wright just finished up his official visit to George Mason and said he enjoyed it.

    “It was good, I liked it,” the 6-foot-4 wing from Mount Vernon (N.Y.) High wrote in a text.

    Wright spent Thursday-Saturday on the campus of the Virginia school.

    Several other schools are also in the mix for Wright, including Hofstra, Seton Hall, South Florida and Central Florida.

    He said he’s not sure what his schedule is going forward.

    “I’m not sure yet,” he said.

    The NCAA late signing period begins April 15.


    (Photos courtesy New York Post & Daily News)

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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.

    • I must preface this comment by saying I’m an avid reader of your blog and I enjoy the coverage you provide. However, all of you recruiting mavens write the same thing when you report about a recruit’s official visit — Here’s your familiar refrain: “Sherrod Wright just finished up his official visit to George Mason and said he enjoyed it.”

      Do we really need to know that — every single recruit story says the same thing — I really enjoyed it. I could care less — I want to know when they don’t enjoy it!!

      Don’t waste our time by feeding this dribble — its not interesting..

    • Thanks for the insightful comment. I’ll certainly take it under advisement.

    • Adam:

      I am not familiar with the recruiting process but I know that lance is making his announcement on the 31st – is he really keeping the coaches in the dark about his decision until then? Or do you think he has already let them know? If he is done to Kansas like you have been saying, don’t you think Gary Williams would know this and not be up there wasting his time like an idiot watching a player he has no chance at? Or maybe he was just there to watch Padgett…

    • Adam, is Fordham no longer involved with Sherrod Wright? Thanks.

    • DRSUPREMO, perhaps you would like some cheese to compliment your whine?

      • Briehan —

        Either Gary is there to watch Padgett only or he’s there to watch both and thinks he still has a shot at Lance. Either way, I still believe he’ll announce for Kansas next week.

        Ram723 —
        That’s right. Fordham is no longer recruiting Wright.

        Peter —
        I don’t really have time for this. I’m working hard on reporting and blogging. If you want to trash it, please go elsewhere. Thanks.

        • Thanks for the reply.

    • SOrry, that last commented was directed at the first poster, not Peter. Sorry about that.

      • Thanks for the clarification AZ. Love the blog & don’t like people trashing it…

    • If he were there to watch Padgett then wouldn’t Adam put “Gary Williams watches Padgett play”?

      I kind of feel like the Lance to Kansas thing is not 100% done. I think Gary might have known that right? I hope he goes to KU but I am not betting on it.

    • I really don’t see why he wouldn’t announce for KU, unless there are ulterior motives that haven’t been reported. He wants a chance for an NCAA title, he wants out of NY and the “hate” associated with it, etc. Sure, College Park isn’t NY, but it’s fairly close. Even if Vasquez stays next year, Maryland honestly doesn’t have much of a shot at a title next year. KU really does seem like the obvious choice.

      However, I won’t count my chickens before they hatch. I’ll just say that whatever happens, if Cole and Sherron stay next year, we’ll be a national contender, with or without Lance.

    • It’s probably wishful thinking, but count me among those who isn’t sold on the idea that Lance to Kansas is a done deal.

      Perhaps Gary was just there to see Padgett, or perhaps he’s simply appeasing his critics. But after years of following the Terps, there’s one thing I know Gary Williams does not like to be made into: a fool.