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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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Monday / December 18.
  • What's Next for Stephenson?

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    Now that Xavier Henry is headed to Kansas, the college basketball world is waiting on Lance Stephenson.

    Will Stephenson sign with hometown St. John’s? Will he surprise some people and pick Maryland? Or will another school, such as Kentucky or Memphis, both of whom were spurned by Henry, jump in the mix.

    “This is my life. I want to go somewhere that I’m comfortable and I can play at,” Stephenson said on March 31 when he delayed his announcement for the second time.

    As of Wednesday afternoon, the Stephenson Camp is still keeping a low profile, perhaps waiting for Henry’s official announcement on Thursday at Putnam City High School.

    Another factor in Lance’s decision could be the fate of Maryland point guard Greivis Vasquez. Vasquez announced Wednesday night that he would declare for the NBA Draft but would not hire an agent, meaning he could return next season.

    “Just to see where I am at, just to see who is going to be my competition,” Vasquez previously told The Washington Post. “It will get me better, so if I come back I know what I will have to work on.”

    If Vasquez does indeed leave, what effect will that have on Stephenson? Does it turn him off because Maryland would be losing a great player, or does it open up a chance for Lance to come in and star right away?

    I have reported all along that Maryland was out and that it would come down to either Kansas or St. John’s. I also hear that the Maryland coaches are not that optimistic about landing Stephenson. That said, head coach Gary Williams made a trip to Coney Island last Friday to meet with the Stephensons.

    Meantime, the St. John’s coaches patiently await Stephenson’s decision. There has been no new news on that front since Stephenson visited the Queens campus and head coach Norm Roberts’ house more than a week ago.

    Memphis head coach Josh Pastner tried to reach out to the Stephenson Camp, but we have no reason to believe that is going anywhere.

    Before the Henry news broke, I was also told Kentucky was not involved with Lance. John Calipari could suddenly make a late run at Stephenson, which would certainly make things interesting, but I’ve heard nothing concrete on that.

    For a long time, it appeared that St. John’s was the favorite to land Stephenson even though Lance and his family have said they wanted to get him out of the city. Why? Because it’s close to family and friends, it affords him the chance to play regularly in Madison Square Garden and it could easily springboard him to the NBA next year.

    Then he appeared poised to announce for Kansas on March 31, only to hold off at the last minute.

    With Kansas now seemingly out of the picture, I honestly don’t know what Lance will do. If I had to bet, I’d say he goes to St. John’s for a year, but this recruitment has been filled with one surprise after another from Day One.

    So perhaps the ending will follow suit.

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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.

    • Given that this is the last day that Norm Roberts is allowed “on the road” until July, do you know which recruits he will visiting today? Is Coney Island on his itinerary?

    • My sources tell me he is still considering Kansas even though the Henry Bros are attending. They tell me that is where he really wants to be, but he needs to think about not being the man and having to share top billing.

    • oldy75—My sources say that you have no sources.
      I really feel sorry for Lance in this situation. I hope wherever he goes he kills it and has a great freshman year.

    • If Lance still committed to KU, I would go full blown retarded!

      Sherron, X, Lance, Mc Morris, and Aldrich? That would be absolutely sick!!

      But, not gonna happen.

      • jayhawkfan11 would KU really need this guy now? There is only one ball you know. KU is going to be ridiculous next year w/o lance.

    • I believe Greivis Vasquez will be on Comcast SportsNight on Thursday not tonight. Show airs at 6:30pm

    • I hope Lance still is considering Kansas. Essentially he would have to beat out Morningstar and Taylor for the 3 spot if he were to choose Kansas. That isn’t a pipedream.

    • I didnt say we would need him, but it would be great to have him.

    • Thanks TriCity but there was nothing in that BaltimoreSun.com report that confirmed there would be a feature on him tonight. Maybe there is one though, I’m not a Comcast customer and won’t be able to see it unless they put it on the net.

      But there appears to be nothing new to report with Greivis…still gonna test the waters (hate that saying) and go to the NBA pre draft camps. Doesn’t appear he’ll hire an agent either so more than a month before we’ll know if he comes back for his senior year or not.

    • Calipari should reach out and grab him………

    • Give me a freaking break!!! Do you think just because Cal may be interested in someone means that the player is interested in you. UK fans just relax Cal is a good coach but don’t think you can get whatever player you want and all you have to do is show interest.

      • Dude, you need to calm down. Way too quick to anger. You just jumped all over the poor guy! How long you been sporting a raw nerve for UK?

        It’s cool the KU fans feel so good about their team and their chances next year. It’s fun to speculate about yet another outstanding recruit. But be fair. Allow other fans to daydream, too.

    • Could you even imagine Ku next year with Lance? Unbelievable

    • How many scholarships does Kansas get? 25. There is no way Lance is going to Kansas. There’s no room.

    • In a perfect Jayhawk world: Sherron – PG, Xavier – SG, Lance – SF. All pushing each other to take their games to a higher level…….the stands filled with NBA scouts for every KU game.

    • [email protected] Rondawg. Hahahaha, right? Like they’re a football team.

    • but what’s this about John Wall not knowing if he has the SAT scores to qualify as a freshman? And if it’s a non issue why are various news outlets bringing it up?

    • If Lance came to Kansas along with X, they would both get a lot of TV time and be on the best team in the country. At this point they would not have enough scholarships, however the Hawks have several opitions to make room.

      1) Tyrel Reeds’ sister is an equipment manager and right now the Reed family is paying for her to go to school. They could pull Tyrels’ scholarship and give one to his sister, thus the family is still paying the same amount of tuition.

      2) Rumor has it that Self had a deal worked out with Brady Morningstars’ father that he would pay for Brady to go to school if Bill needed a scholarship. This rumor has picked up steam since the chance of signing both X and Lance came up. Remember Brady is from Lawrence and I believe is dad works for KU in some capacity (not athlecticly).

      However, I do think its a long shot not because we don’t have a scholarship but because Lance doesn’t want to play with X. He wants to play for a team with a chance to win it all, and with a team that has a good PG & Center, both of which KU has. But he wants the spotlight, but he needs to realize that had X not came, he still would have had to share the spotlight with both Collins and Alrich. I think that if he thinks about it he may very well choose KU even after X committed.

    • From what I’ve seen, you guys will sacrifice anybody to get Lance even X. You just pointed out the perfect reason why you guys shouldn’t be interested in him. “He wants the spotlight” He’s gonna try and get his every game and might even cost you a few games because of it. If he REALLY wants to win it all he’d stay a few years but he doesn’t. Yea, sure …it would be nice if he could win a title on his way to the draft and a big shoe deal but I don’t believe he’ll base his choice on that. If that were true, UMD and the Johnnies would have been out of the question a lonnggg time ago. He’s just blowing steam up you a$$es. What use is a good pg gonna do him if needs the ball in his hands? From what I’ve read he wants to play with a skilled big man, I haven’t seen anything about a pg. The only team out of the 3 that has a skilled big man in the post is KU but since he doesn’t want to share him with Xavier it doesn’t look like he’ll pick Kansas. Which do you prefer: X the team player or Lance the guy who wants the ball all the time?

    • lance. Lance wants to win no matter what and at the end of the day thats what I want to. I love Lance and I think the kid is going to be a stud.

    • If Lance wants to win, why on God’s Green Earth would he ever consider St. John’s?

      See what I did? I worked “Earth” into this comment because yesterday was Earth Day and tomorrow is Arbor Day. Brilliant.