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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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Wednesday / January 17.
  • Stephenson Among Top Recruits Still Waiting; Wall Eligible for Draft?; Patterson to Test Waters

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    Wednesday marks the beginning of the NCAA late signing period and several of the top basketball recruits in the nation — including Brooklyn’s own Lance Stephenson — have yet to pick a college.

    Three of the Top 10 recruits in the Class of 2009 according to — No. 1 John Wall, No. 3 Xavier Henry and No. 9 Stephenson — are keeping college coaches and fans sweating until they make their final decisions.

    “It’s unusual that that many of the elite players are still available,” said Queens-based recruiting expert Tom Konchalski. “Part of it is due to the dislocation and movement in the college coaching ranks. Xavier Henry would’ve been all settled [at Memphis] had John Calipari stayed. … Some of them like to be the last guy [to pick a school] because that gets them into print more.”

    Read the full story here.

    **In a related story, Tim Stevens of the News & Observer reports that John Wall could potentially be eligible for the 2009 NBA Draft because he is 19 and is a year removed from his high school graduating class. It should be pointed out that Wall himself has not expressed any interest in going to the NBA this year and instead says he’ll pick a college in the late period.

    **Also, Kentucky center Patrick Patterson will test the NBA waters but won’t hire an agent, meaning he could return to play for John Calipari for his junior season. Teammate Jodie Meeks will do the same thing. projects Patterson as the No. 23 pick by the Portland Trailblazers.

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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.

    • Adam,

      I know you’re posting something everyday or every other day on Lance and/or X. Where do you think they will land?

      I would love to hear your thoughts.

    • You may want to mention the circumstances surrounding CJ Henry’s situation at Memphis. The way it’s written is a bit misleading (that he received his release from Memphis).

      Xavier has said that the NCAA’s decision on CJ is extremely important to the process. I don’t think Memphis would have to release CJ from anything, but either way it is a non factor.

      The real issue for the Henry’s is that unless the NCAA grants CJ’s appeal, he would have to sit out a year in the event he transfers. With Xavier a likely one and done, this would mean they would never get the chance to play together.

    • That’s true Smurf, but Carl is on record saying Memphis isn’t an option even if CJ loses his appeal.

      On another note, there is a report that Kansas sophomore Tyrel Reed is willing to pay his own way for a year or 2 if Kansas wants to bring in both X and Lance. If that’s the case, the hold-up is not on Self’s part but Lance’s.

    • I don’t think Memphis has a shot but the most recent word from any of the Henry crew is this…

      From ESPN chat yesterday:

      John T. (Lexington, KY): Xavier, what’s the official list of top contender schools?

      Xavier Henry: Kansas, Memphis and Kentucky.

      Brian (Chicago): Will you wait to hear from the NCAA on CJ’s status next year before making a decision?

      Xavier Henry: Yeah. CJ’s a big part of my decision. I’m waiting to hear about him before I decide where I’m going.

    • LOL @ Big Ben, that’s a croc of you know what. Not gonna happen.

      @ Smurf… I don’t think X is worried so much about playing with his brother anymore. His brother is almost 25 yrs old and he doesn’t want to play @ Memphis. His brother didn’t get any burn @ Memphis when he was there anyway, what makes ppl think that he will if he gets the appeal @ Kentucky or Kansas? The only time they’ll be playing with each other is @ practice. He should just go where he feels fit, following his brother around isn’t gonna help him any.

      • Well it is hard to get playing time when your foot is broken, as CJ’s was. As it currently stands, CJ would be #2 on the pg depth chart for Memphis.

        As for Xavier not caring, I can only go by what he says.

    • A player MUST transfer first before you can petition the NCAA to rule on a matter.

      The Henry’s are not up to date on this rule. They can not petition the NCAA to find out answer to their question. That is getting the cart before the horse.

      • Proof? Every media outlet coast to coast has reported that he has already submitted the petition and is awaiting the decision.

      • Xavier may not be up on the rule but their dad, Carl is. I read a quote from him in where he said that CJ must first decide on a school then they’ll petition for him to be able to play immediately.

        This whole thing is fascinating to watch play out.

        • Right, which basically means they’ve already decided where they’re going (or they haven’t petitioned the NCAA).

    • they’re also saying memphis is still an option but somehow everyone else thinks it isn’t. Could honest Xavier be blowing steam up your ass?

    • Definitely a long shot, Gohard, but apparently the KU staff believes it is a real possibility… As far as Memphis, Carl Sr. has stated that ‘Memphis isn’t an option’ on a couple occasions. Too bad, but when you let the calipari cancer in your program you knew it was going to eventually kill you.

    • Looks like Lance has officially eliminated Maryland. Adam’s been telling us this for a while, but a few Maryland fans were still unconvinced so here’s the official word.

      • I’ve never thought Lance would ever wear a Maryland uniform, doubtful he would have qualified to get into the school. But wake me when Lance announces his decision.

        • That’s a good one, not qualified to get into Maryland.
          Signed, Steve Blake, etc

    • This portion of Konchalski’s quote (from the above-article) sums up what drives most of these over hyped athletes today:

      “…Some of them like to be the last guy [to pick a school] because that gets them into print more.”

      I read your stories about these guys and many seem to play the media like a bad violin. “I’m announcing, I’m not announcing, may be I will announce, I thought I announced, my mother announced.” Obviously, they want the attention. Let’s see them perform. I bet there are more McDonalds All-Americans who drive trucks today then those that played in the NBA.

      My rant for today!!

      I love your blog!!