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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 / January 19.
  • Where Will Lance End Up?

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    Great story by the fellas over at the Daily News today on Lance Stephenson and where he may end up.

    The story examines a number of factors complicating Lance’s recruitment, from his father to his pending sexual assault case to the BornReady.tv website to his academics to his on-court demeanor.

    At this point, Florida, Kansas, Maryland and St. John’s have all bowed out. Arizona may or may not still be in it, and Memphis is interested but hasn’t been in direct contact of late.

    What do you think?

    [poll id=”3″]

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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.

    • It is incredibly unfortunate, bordering on sad how things are working out for Lance. I hope there is a happy ending to this saga.

      • Shoulda chose Maryland when he had the chance. Welcome to JUCO Lance!

      • The LANCE thing is a long saga.

        But, lets see how the COURT plays out.

        So, Memphis is the LEADER??

        Note:
        Memphis is also trying to get another RECRUIT, in Williams.

        He visited Memphis and was SHOCKED by the people and town.
        YES, it is NOTHING like LA baby.

        Williams said. “It’s a big difference from LA,”
        And the Memphis players were very nice in order to land this recruit.
        Maybe the players are also in SHOCK by Cali leaving and the NCAA penalities coming soon.

        So, WHO gets Williams.

        PS- MoMo was to visit Memphis but, cancelled the VISIT?
        (The NCAA penality issue.)

    • What do I think? As usual, shoddy reporting. Show me where there is an official statement from Maryland that says Lance is not welcome. There is a big difference between telling a prospect “no thanks” officially, and simply blindly following a “source” who says Lance is no longer being recruited. Of course he is no longer being recruited….all the cards are on the table. Now it’s a waiting game for the court case, and probably a few other things none of us are aware of. Gary Williams is a straight up guy. If he had no intention of signing Lance when and IF that time comes, he would have said just that. He has not.

      • Ummm…actually good reporting PKelly. Last time I checked, it was a recruiting violation for a coach to say what he thought of an unsigned recruit. Translation: Gary Williams would have gotten himself in a dicey situation even in saying he didn’t want Lance.

        Kudos to the NY Daily News guys for going and getting a source to tell them what Maryland was thinking.

        And not so kudos to you for being a little girl and trying to catch the News with something ridiculous that Gary Williams – who definitely IS a stand up guy – would never do, because I’m pretty sure he’d like to keep his job.

    • Actually, he should’ve picked Kansas when he had originally intended to do so. Maybe then X would’ve chosen to go elsewhere. I know that he said that Stephenson’s decision would have no bearing on his but you never know.

    • College coaches are not permitted to comment — much less issue “official statements” — on recruitable athletes.

      • Fair enough, Zag and others….this is true. I guess I should have made myself a little clearer. What I was driving at, and said so poorly, was that nothing has come from Gary or any official staff member that would suggest that the scholly is no longer available to Lance, without actually stepping over that line. In fact, the only information to come from a verified source would be that which is attributed to Lance’s dad who suggested this would be news to him.

        Gary and MD are finished with the actual recruiting, and have been for some time, and LS knows the offer is probably still good provided that the events of the next few weeks pan out favorably. Now it’s just a wait and see situation between the two. I am guessing this scenario applies to more than just Maryland. Gary wouldn’t recruit someone that hard, who is of that caliber, and then just stop unless there were a very good reason……and THAT kind of news would be in print everywhere. Because Maryland isn’t aggressively asking for a yes or no currently everyone assuming the deals off……without any hard proof.

        Had the many bloggers out there, including our beloved Zag, qualified the “Maryland is out of the Lance running” as educated specualation this story line would ring much more true. I won’t be shocked by wherever Lance ends up for the simple and only fact known at this time: No One Truly Knows Who’s In And Who’s Out At This Point……..except the parties involved.

    • Lance is a top 5 recruit ….why shouldn’t he go to a top 5 program like Memphis ? Arizona and Maryland are average programs which have had some success in the past …but these kids are looking to their future …..not some has been program of the past.

      • Pasta,

        Ugh…. I hate to do this……but I will give you props for pointing out what so many folks are forgetting (The rest of your statement is your typical immature garble). Lance is a top 5 recruit and if this legal stuff blows over there will be a top program that will bring him in. College hoops is ultimately about the almighty revenue dollar when all is said and done……and Lance is a draw.

        My guess is he’ll go to the biggest name school left on the table that offers the best combination of exposure and competition.

      • Wow, pastaboy, pretty desperate baiting there.

        • wow? Is baiting always on your mind? Nah…. couldn’t be…. only every other post, if not more than 50%, is about pasta and baiting. Obsession check?

          (The rest it not facetious)

          You all, I hate pasta as much if not more than you all do (from the posts, thats debatable) but I do believe him when he says he is a Memphis fan. Why else would he defend them? Seriously, why? Yes, he does “stir” up people (including me, I could care less about Memphis) but he has stated he was a Memphis and Calipari fan. Are these fans very common? No, but to assume that there are none out there….. is plain foolish. You’re stating it is impossible, and that none exist when you say he “cannot” be a Memphis fan AND a Calipari fan. Although not highly correlated with each other, it IS possible.

          ty for reading =p

    • Pasta, until you win a National Championship, you are not, “a program of the future”, your a petty well wisher

    • No objective college basketball observer would consider Maryland a national power at this time ….as for Arizona …. they remain on the fringe of where they once were ….. we’ll see if Sean Miller can adequately replace Lute. Memphis on the other hand is a top 5 power and will remain so under Pastner ….if …they get Lance …..which would be the best choice for him . These are simply the facts . Name calling , childish insults , and profanity will not change the facts …sorry.

      • Anyone in a semi-lucid mental state knows that a proven coach like Miller stands a far better chance of adequately replacing Lute than Pastner – who has yet to coach his first college game- has of filling Calipari’s shoes. And you call yourself objective? Poor Pasta.

    • St. John’s made the most sense. He should have signed there before they took back the offer. I still think Norm will take him and somehow find him a scholarship. St. John’s would have given him the most exposure and he would have been the last piece of the puzzle to contend for a Big East title. St. John’s has plenty of experience and talent. They should be in the NCAA the next two years. The doors will always be open for Lance at St. John’s. The more the schools are dropping out. Lance is running out of options and he should contact Norm and help revive the program. Go Johnnies!

    • Pasta, you’re not a Memphis fan. Get off their nuts you loser.

      • Thank you TerpMasterX. I was just typing the same thing. Please note that pastaboy refers to memphis as “they” in his posts which shows he is not a memphis fan.
        All indications are that he is a calipari fan so everyone please stop insulting my school when responding to this character.

        He is not a memphis tiger and does not speak for our fan base.

        • At least I capitilize Memphis …anyone who types memphis is not a true fan

          • Wow is that the best comeback you have? I am actually typing from a phone so that may explain my lack of caps. However what explains your inability to correctly spell “capitalize?” Idiot!

          • (Not a facetious comment)

            Such minutiae from both arguments constitute “nonproof” rather than the opposite. Such arguments lay ground to that of borderline fanaticism rather than logic. Mphstiger81 and pastaboy, you both demonstrate fray logic and lack of control. If you both look at your comments with a truly “level-headed” frame of mind, then you both would discern that both statements are unfair at their core.

            ty for reading =p

    • Pastaboy, aka Ceffo (“ugly mug”),

      You’re mistaken if you think JP is just going to show up on campus and his team will instantly be a top 5 program. Nevermind the distraction of the NCAA sniffing dogs still on the school’s trail.

      And it’s one thing to make provocative statements about UMD, UA, UK, KU, and whoever else you want to bash, but the Calipari magic has left the campus of Memphis. Deal with it. JP has to earn his keep. It is not guaranteed. When he does it, I’ll give him credit. Until then, he’s a 32 year old wanna be top coach.

      Here’s Reality:

      Bill Self – future HOF coach;
      Calipari – future HOF coach even with vacated Final Four(s)
      Lute Olson – HOF coach
      Gary Williams – future HOF coach

      Sean Miller – ???? Who Knows
      JP – ???? Who Knows

      • pastaboy is NOT a Memphis fan, how many times do you need to be told this?

        • You couldn’t have trust issues. I mean, even though pasta has stated he is a Memphis fan several times, you seize the moment any time he claims he is by saying he’s not. I mean, I should believe Lord2FLI about pastaboy’s basketball allegiance, rather than what he states himself. I mean, he obviously has a lot to gain about lying that he is a Memphis alum! Whoa! Let’s believe Lord2FLI instead! Great Idea!

    • Pastboy, I would like for you to show us one college basketball pundits preseason picks that actually has Memphis as a top 5 team. Because all I can find is polls that don’t have them as a top 5, get off the sauce man.

      • What part of “pastaboy is NOT a Memphis fan and he’s just baiting you” do you not get?

        • Might it be the part where he states he’s a Memphis ALUM? Who knows, it’s a mystery!

    • I really hope Lance comes to Maryland. It would boost up the program a whole lot and contend in the ACC this coming year.

      And Lord2FLI is correct, pastaboy is NOT a memphis fan.

    • Pastaboy not a memphis fan? That’s fine with me I could care less, its just entertaing debunking a putz like himself.

      • So it’s the part where he’s baiting you that you don’t get? I hate to break it to you, but you aren’t debunking him. He knows what he says is bullshit, but because you’ll come back with a response that puts Memphis down he says it anyway. All you’re actually accomplishing is helping pastaboy, he’s mad at Memphis because most of the town no longer worships the ground Calipari walks on, so to get back at us, he pretends to be the most arrogant Memphis fan possible to rile everyone else up against Memphis. I’ll give him credit, it’s reverse psychology at its best, but ultimately he’s tricking you into doing his dirty work for him.

        • Ya….. he’s ALWAYS baiting, I mean, nobody else does that on here either………… Why would anybody prod one another about their schools? It’s just a blog! Doing any proding, or “baiting” as you call it, just doesn’t make any sense! By the way Lord…… does the term paranoid personality disorder ring a bell? Since you’re so familiar with psychology………

          • Aw, I feel so special, I have my very own troll now, isn’t he just precious everyone? I shall call him minipastaboy. Let me ask you something minipastaboy, do you get bonus points for throwing out random neurological disorders when you beat The Internet?

          • Ya, I’m precious (blushes). But, no, I don’t get bonus points for throwing out random “neurological disorders”. I do get my kicks when I throw out psychological ones that describe the culprit……… try this one though — Borderline disorder! Na, I don’t make fun of people with cerebral palsy (which is neurological), I make fun of the personality deprived people (that is psychological), like you =). But seriously, have a nice day! Don’t forget to tip your psychiatrist on the way out =p He/she might give you a little something something extra if you do. lol Say, why don’t I call you SILLY SALLY! Since your logic is slap stick silly, and because you continue to associate me with pasta even though we hate each other (talking from my perspective). But hey, baiting people is what you DON’T do Lord2FLI, because you have NEVER had any post that might provoke a thought ever. You’re perfect and not a hypocrite. People should aspire to be more like you.

    • pastaboy has said that he is a memphis grad (and while that can imply him being a fan, it isnt explicitly stated) and a calipari fan

      • (not a facetious comment)

        He has stated that he is a Memphis fan too, explicitly. Great post, finally somebody that doesn’t believe in conspiracy theories. GREAT POST.

    • Pastaboy is a poser – he doesn’t even know who Marcella Hazan is… ha ha ha

    • “pastaboy has said that he is a memphis grad”

      Oooofff! Exactly my point. There are WAAAAAY too many colleges. And how does one attend class from their mom’s basement when they don’t own a car?

      • no comment other than……. LOL!

    • Pastaboy’s mom is so ugly, when she sits in the sand on the beach, cats try to bury her

      • Hey – let’s be nice to Pastaboy’s Mom. I heard she roots for Maryland.

    • Pastaboy’s mom is so fat, when she eats home made pasta, she eats an entire home sized plate of pasta

    • Maybe you don’t get my point. I have no problem being “baited” if it involves the chance of railing against both, Memphis or Coach Cal……….especially Cal. If he wants to get into trickery, or baiting………i.e. having others trash schools he hates instead of himself………well honstley comes off a bit moronic, and trite, if he is in fact using reverse psychology.

    • As I stated earlier ….Memphhis is a top 5 program due to their body of work the past 5 years ….as far as the pre season rankings are concerned …..Memphis should be ranked around 20th right now …maybe 22nd ……when they sign Lance they will zoom into the top 10 …when the legitimate polls come out in Oct.

    • Like I’ve said before, if Lance goes to Memphis, the NCAA investigators may as well take up residence in dorm rooms for all of next school year.

    • With Lance and LW Memphis should be a final 4 contender …… these two would make almost any top 40 team a final 4 contender

      • Only to have the Final Four appearance later vacated – ha ha ha ha ha

    • If Lance and LW go to Memphis IMO they are not a final four team. MO=RO

    • I think a final 4 “contender ” ….. I didn’t say they were a lock for the final 4 ….. a young team developing late could get a 4 seed and with some luck go pretty far ….

    • the only problem with the young team developing late is that by the time the young guys develop it will be conference time and all the marquee non conference wins memphis usually gets will have passed them by.

      even if they turn it on and roar through february and march undefeated, if they dont have a stellar non conference they wont get a high enough ncaa seed. for memphis to get a 4 seed next year they will have to win alot early, which is tough for freshman.

      if memphis gets lance does he play point guard? or does he move to off guard for Kemp? just curious

    • Let’s say, just for fun, that there were no issues surrounding Lance these days. No court issues, no documentary issues, etc. I think that wherever he signed would get a huge boost in the national rankings. It’s way to early to tell if they would translate into a final four. I think that the “National Power” moniker can float around based upon their recruits, coaches, and the ability to really build a TEAM – vice a lot of one-on-one players. I think Lance would help any team get better if and only if he can play within the confines of the team and just let the game come to him. Real teams win the tournament – very rarely is it a team with a collection of superstars.

      I’ll give Memphis a lot of credit for the past few years – they’ve pulled in some good recruits and have had some success. Having said that, Arizona, Maryland, and Florida should have pretty good teams next year and I don’t think Memphis will be that far ahead, if at all, then any of those teams.

      This whole recruitment has been a real circus. I realize Lance’s Dad is trying to do the best by his son, but he may have tried too hard to get the money train in motion. Let’s hope that this kid can come back to earth, sign with a school, and try to enjoy his year(s) in college.

    • Here is a pretty good article about Stephenson:

      http://www.allkyhoops.com

      • Thanks – that was interesting. It made me think of players like Michael Jordan who had the same type of talent ih High School and went to Carolina to play within Dean Smith’s system. His basketball skills were obvious from his first year on, but he played unselfishly for all three years at UNC.

        A combination of Wall & Stephenson at UK would be sick to watch – if both could play their roles and work within the team concept. I don’t see that happening, mostly because both probably want to go pro next year and would never share the ball. Nobody thinks long-term anymore – pity.

    • Well that was a positive interaction of thoughts and ideas about Lance ‘s future ….thanks for not insulting my Mother ….. bottom line is that Pastner can’t be choosy with 9 roster guys at this point ……he needs to load the wagon and forget about the mule being dead ……I think Memphis will take him and I think Lance will be a team player and probably help Memphis continue their success .

    • AZ,

      BREAKING NEWS…….

      We are hearing that Arizona may have some more recruiting announcements coming.

      Williams appears to be a LOCK as a Wildcat.
      Williams trip to Memphis was a complete CULTURE SHOCK.
      The people and the place is VERY DIFFERENT than LA LA land.
      And he will NOT be a tiger.

      And the other recruit is ….NYC- MoMo.
      You should have the inside INFO on this news ALREADY.

      A DOUBLE RECRUITING announcement.

    • “Williams trip to Memphis was a complete CULTURE SHOCK.”

      This has been pointed out by many. Without Cal’s masterful dirty hand, Memphis is in for a slow, painful ride back to Mediocreville. On the bright side, it’s just a matter of time before he get’s caught at Kentucky….so we have that to look forward to….which is nice…..

    • Derrick Williams is an unranked practice player …..I’m surprised Pastner even looked at him ….Arizona can have the USC. leftovers …..Memphis will dine on 5 star cuisine …… Lol ……Mediocreville includes the Barton brothers and Latavious Williams and Lance ….probably Joe Jackson next year …good luck on selling that theory ……

    • “Arizona can have the USC. leftovers”

      yeah…those grapes were probably sour anyway. Right, Pasta?

    • The only sour grapes I see on this board are the Lance isn’t going to Arizona grapes coming from you Kelly…..like I said top programs land top recruits …good luck with the Usc leftovers and that exciting brand of Sean ball …..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

      • “Leftovers?” You mean, like the Memphis coach, who is a “leftover” from Arizona? As for top recruits, Arizona has one of the top recruiting classes in the country–and Miller accomplished that in under two months. I’ll take a proven winner who can accomplish that over a guy who is a good self-promoter and can sell a head coach like Lute or Cal. Have fun with your unproven head coach and the coming NCAA hammer…

        On the Lance front, I’ve never wanted this guy in an Arizona uniform. This: “When Lance Stephenson is playing, you know exactly where Lance Stephenson Sr. is at all times. It’s not his hulking frame that gives him away; it’s his mouth. Whether he’s antagonizing opposing players from the stands, cheering on his son or yelling about how Lincoln High coach Dwayne (Tiny) Morton is using Stephenson during a game, Stephenson Sr. usually has something to say.” (From http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/high_school/2009/06/21/2009-06-21_end_zone_who_wants_lance.html?page=1#ixzz0JH52oqOR&C)

        Arizona has had this kind of parent around the program a couple of times in the past. It never ends well. Add the court case, the eligibility issues, etc. in, and this guy is an NCAA investigation waiting to happen. Although, Memphis has never shied away from shady players and treading the line of impropriety, so perhaps that’s not a problem for them or their fans. A program who has welcomed World Wide Wes for so many years is ready-made for a Stephenson type of player.

        • Are Arizona fans allowed to talk bad about Josh Pastner?

    • Now that you know Lance has rejected Arizona …..you say you don’t want him ……typical rationalization for losing another top recruit ….. scraps from Xavier and Usc, won’t get you anywhere playing Sean ball …..top programs recruit top players …….In the past year Memphis has recruited enough talent to stock 2 teams LOL …….. Cousins …Wall ….Henry …Dodson …LW …..Lance ….Coleman …. Arizona is on the skids …..

    • Rastaboy,

      Your Phoenix of a program was guided by the incomparable salesmen JC. Once recruits realize they were sold the Emperor’s New Clothes by JP, not JC, they’ll stop going to UM, unless they just cannot resist that style of ribs. That’s all podunk Memphis has going for it. I personally like Carolina and KC/St. Louis style ribs better!

    • Andy Katz is reporting that Florida International is no longer interested in Lance

      http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=4279088&name=katz_andy

    • I have a question about the Born Ready Documentary: Why should that be an NCAA violation? I know the NCAA is pretty stupid when it comes to enforcing rules but I really don’t see the problem. What happened to the revenues from “Hoop Dreams”? Did Arthur & William ever see any of that money? I sure hope so. I sure would like to hear an explanation if anybody knows what the rules are.

      As far as Memphis goes, they have some pretty good players coming this fall and I really think that the Barton brothers are going to give them a lot next year. Some schools get on a roll for a few years with recruits but can just as quickly fall off the map for a few years. Remember UNLV in the late 80s, early 90s? Or UCLA after their great run through the 60s & early 70s? One & Done players make it harder to sustain a good run through multiple years.