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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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Thursday / January 18.
  • Lance Announcement to Appear on SNY; 'Born Ready' on MTV

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    Lance Stephenson is expected to name Kansas as his college destination when he makes his announcement Tuesday at the McDonald’s All-American Game in Miami.

    “My guess is Kansas based on his cancelling of the [college] announcement at [Madison Square] Garden and the fact that he wants to be able to have a chance to win a national championship,” a source close to the Stephenson family said.

    Brooklyn Sal of SNY will be in Miami to conduct an exclusive one-on-one interview with Stephenson after his announcement.

    McDonald’s officials say the announcement will come Tuesday morning at 11:45 during its media day. The dunk contest, 3-point contest and skills competition will take place Monday (7 p.m., ESPN2) and the game itself is on Wednesday (8 p.m., ESPN). Brooklyn Sal’s interview will air on SNY’s “Daily News Live” and “Geico SportsNite” if he announces Tuesday.

    Stephenson was the only McDonald’s All-American not on hand for Sunday’s first practice in Miami. The other 23 players are reportedly there. Stephenson will room with North Carolina-bound guard Dexter Strickland of St. Patrick of Elizabeth (N.J.)

    The 6-foot-5 Stephenson, a senior guard at Brooklyn Lincoln who is New York State’s all-time leading scorer, is the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2009, according to the Hoop Scoop and No. 9 by Rivals. He recently said he had already made his decision and had chosen from among Kansas, Maryland and St. John’s.

    Because he did not make his announcement after Lincoln won its fourth straight PSAL title March 21 at the Garden, he is not expected to announce for St. John’s.

    “The fact that he cancelled the thing at the Garden leads me to believe it’s not St. John’s,” the source said.

    Stephenson has said he wants a chance to win a national championship and he and his family have developed a close relationship with Kansas assistant Danny Manning, a former No. 1 draft pick.

    “Danny Manning, I look up to him a lot,” Stephenson said. “He’s a great player and a great assistant coach so I think he’s good.”

    Stephenson scored 14 points in his final high school game Saturday, a 77-50 loss to Rice in the New York State Federation AA semifinals.

    Behind 23 points from Miami-bound guard Durand Scott (pictured with Rice coach Moe Hicks), Rice went on to beat Newburgh Free Academy 70-68 Sunday to capture the State Federation Class AA championship at the Civic Center.

    Maryland coach Gary Williams was on hand for the Lincoln-Rice game to watch Stephenson and Maryland-bound forward James Padgett.

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

    BORN READY ON MTV

    For still more Lance on TV check out the documentary series “Born Ready” March 30-April 2 at 11 p.m. on MTV2.

    **For even more on Lance, read this extensive piece in The New Republic.

    (Photos courtesy Daily News and AP)

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    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.

    • I personally can’t wait for Lance to make his announcement because quite frankly I’m sick and tired of reading the speculation about where he will be playing next year. It seems that this has been the most dragged on recruiting process I can remember in the past few years…this is partially due to all the online media/blog coverage he is getting. Maybe it’s just me but Lance is contributing to it as well with all of the quotes/hints he keeps dropping, cancelling announcements, etc. Just get in front of someone with a microphone and make the stupid announcement already, the setting doesn’t need to be picture perfect.

      • Lance — I have no idea if you or your dad read this message board, but I have some friendly advice for you as you make your college choice: marketing, marketing, marketing. The ACC is the best and most visable conference, and Maryland offers you the greatest opportunity to market your game to the NBA. At Kansas, you’ll be one of several very good McDonald’s All-American players and will undoubtably share the spotlight. Not to mention the exposure on a national is much less than the ACC. At Maryland, you will be the “star” and will be able to showcase your talent weekly against the likes of North Carolina, Duke, etc,, on national TV. Use your head: Basketball is a business. Marketing is the key. Maryland is the best for a one-and-done scenario. Thanks and best of luck.

    • I live on the east coast and I saw more KU games than I did Maryland games. No joke. I think there are holes in your thinking here.

    • I gotta agree with A-rob, I live in Maryland and got to see allot more KU games than I did MD games.

      Bottom line, the kid wants a chance to win a national championship and that’s why he is going to Kansas.

      • Kennypowers there is absolutely no chance that you live in Maryland and “got to see alot more KU games than MD games.” Every MD game is on tv in Maryland. Unless you meant you saw KU more on ESPN???

    • Right, I meant nationally televised games… Not the MASN or Raycom feeds.

    • I’m a Big East fan transplanted to the west coast and have to agree with KennyPowers. I see Kansas more than I see anyone from the Big East (or ACC though UNC and Duke are right up there with Kansas). I’d rather see the Big East of course, but watching Kansas is far better than watching the B10. Snore.

    • Yeah Raycom is bush league but MASN never shows the Terps. Comcast Sports Net does though

    • Adam have you heard about any changes to Lance’s timetable today? On schedule or delayed? What would it mean if it were delayed? Thoughts?

    • Dan is right, LOL @ the rest of you. Lance is a ball hog, lets face it. He goes out and gets his, that type of play won’t bode well for him @ Kansas where he will NOT always have the ball in his hands. He’d be able to control the game more on the offensive end if he were to go to Maryland(think Tyreke Evans). The Terps are already used to not playing team basketball being teammates of Grevis Vasquez the do it all guard. Kansas had more games nationally televised this year because they won the national championship in the year prior…. Lol Duh, where’s your common sense? If he signs with Maryland they’ll more than likely televise most of their in conference games if they do not have any marquee non conference match ups. ESPN will be jumping at the chance to get a camera on this kid, trust. Hopefully you all have cable.

    • But to add to what Dan was saying….Lance will be playing against tougher competition in the ACC at the SF position. Who the hell is gonna be able to match up with him in the Big 12? Besides incoming Texas freshman Jordan Hamilton(SF). In the ACC he will be able to play alongside his high school team mate James Padgett and he will have a skilled big in Jordan Williams to help down low. Maryland beat a lot of good teams this year, who’s to say with the addition of Lance and with Vasquez possibly coming back that they won’t be able to make a run in the tourney? In the ACC he’ll be playin on the grandest stage and against the best competition. Playing well in the ACC is more impressive than playing well in the Big 12 in my opinion. There are only 2 teams that solidify a spot in the tourney yr in yr out in that conference and thats KU and TX. Doesn’t sound too competitive to me. Lance is a competitor, and if he wants a challenge he’ll pick Maryland or St’. Johns for crying a loud, at least it’s in the Big East. lol!

    • Lance would be best suited at Kansas… away from the constant distractions caused by the media, where he can work on his game to prepare himself for the big league.

      Being a “ball hog” at Maryland would only hurt his game. Basketball is a team sport and no one teaches team ball better than the National Coach of the Year, Bill Self.

      I believe Lance and Stretch have now seen the writing on the wall… and the wall says KU!

    • Somethings up. Why would he change his announcement date when he said that he already made his decision. Is this because of Calipari’s move? I doubt he is looking at Kentucky. Sounds like a lot of Memphis recruits are considering making the jump with Calipari.

      You wonder where some of these coaches will ethically stop? Remember when Calipari signed Dajuan Wagner but had to put his father on the payroll to do it?

      Personally, I think Stephenson would be best suited for Maryland. It’s a much better basketball conference, much better TV exposure, closer to his home, and he gets to play with his high school parner. Plus, he won’t have to share the ball with Elijah Johnson, et al. Kansas already has 3 senior guards on their roster next year, and I can’t imagine they will be very happy on the bench watching Stephenson.

      But Kansas is loaded, and if the guy thinks he has a better chance at Kansas, so be it. But why delay the announcement? Something is up for him to do that.

      As for Self, Williams has won a coach of the year award too. And Williams is a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame. Maybe Self will get there too, but he has a ways to go still. Sounds like Manning was a factor, but again, why in the world delay the announcement? Is Kansas now recruiting Xavier Henry instead? It just doesn’t make sense.