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.
NEW YORK –– Fresh off scoring 38 points in Lincoln’s victory over Transit Tech Thursday night, Lance Stephenson arrived a little late for the UConn-St. John’s game at Madison Square Garden.
But the 6-foot-5 senior guard liked what he saw.
“This was a good game,” Stephenson said in a Garden hallway after the No. 4 Huskies downed the Johnnies, 67-55, behind 21 points from former Rice High School star Kemba Walker.
“They played against Connecticut. It was real tough. I think if I come here I could change that around. We would win that game.”
Stephenson, the No. 1 senior in the nation according to the Hoop Scoop, did not commit during the fall signing period and will wait until the spring to announce his college choice.
“I’m just looking at it right now,” Stephenson said of his college options. “I see a lot of games on TV. I’ve been watching UCLA, Kansas, St. John’s and Memphis.”
Asked if he was considering No. 1 Pitt, Stephenson said, “No, no, no.” Pitt associate head coach Tom Herrion attended a recent Lincoln game.
As Stephenson stood outside the St. John’s locker room and was greeted by various people, he sure sounded like he was thinking seriously about playing for the Red Storm, which already has commitments from 6-4 wing Omari Lawrence of South Kent (Conn.) and 6-2 shooting guard Dwight Hardy of Indian Hills Community College.
“I think if I come here I could bring New York back, that would be a good look for me and St. John’s,” Stephenson said. “I love playing in the Garden, the bright lights, the fire comes out of me so I’m ready for all challenges.”
Still, he’s keeping his options open.
“It’s wherever is best for my family,” Stephenson said. “We’re just going to work it out after the season and see what we can do. After the season ends, I’m going to decide.”
Stephenson could well be a one-and-done before heading to the NBA.
“Right now I’m focused on my team and college,” Stephenson said. “And after that, hopefully the NBA.”
Stephenson’s first goal, however, is to lead the Railsplitters to their fourth straight PSAL championship at the Garden this March.
“That’s very important,” he said. “I would break history if I do that.”
Stephenson and the Railsplitters will be at Baruch College to face Syracuse-bound Brandon Triche and Jamestown-DeWitt Saturday night in the Big Apple Invitational at Baruch College.
On Monday, Lincoln faces LeFlore (Al.) in the Spalding Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass. That is one of four games that will be shown on ESPNU. LeFlore hammered Derrick Favors and South Atlanta 78-66 on Thursday night on ESPNU despite 36 points from the 6-9 Favors, who on Wednesday night committed to Georgia Tech.
“That will be a good game,” Stephenson said. “Demarcus Cousins [of LeFlore] is a good big man. [Maryland-bound big man James] Padgett [has] got a lot on his hands. I told him that. “
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.