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.
Lance Stephenson’s recruitment has taken another interesting turn.
The 6-foot-5 Stephenson says Maryland is now on his list, and Memphis is out.
He also plans on announcing in March, ideally after Lincoln plays in the PSAL Boys AA championship game slated for March 21 at Madison Square Garden.
“Hopefully when I win the city championship — hopefully we get there — I’ll name right after that,” Stephenson said. The Railsplitters are the three-time defending PSAL AA champions.
Stephenson, the No. 1 player in the Class of 2009 according to the Hoop Scoop, made his latest comments after posting a double-double of 21 points and 20 rebounds as the Railsplitters downed PSAL AA rival Thomas Jefferson, 88-81, Tuesday night at Jefferson in Brooklyn.
Lance says his new list looks like this.
“St. John’s, Maryland, Kansas and USC,” he said.
What about Memphis?
“They’re not really recruiting me no more,” Stephenson said. “I think they got the shooting guard that they want [Xavier Henry], so I don’t want to name them no more.”
Stephenson has taken an unofficial visit to St. John’s and has repeatedly said he likes the idea of bringing the Johnnies back to prominence. Yet he has not taken officials anywhere but Maryland.
“Not as of right now, no,” Stephenson said. “But I’m going to look at all the other schools I just named.”
In a surprising development, Stephenson visited Maryland Saturday night, his first official visit.
“Maryland, I had fun,” he said. “We talked about Padge [6-8 Maryland-bound forward James Padgett of Lincoln], how we’re going to get him ready for Maryland,” Stephenson said. “That’s a good look for me and him to go to. I’m just looking at different schools and trying to see where the best fit is.”
He added: “They’re kind of high on my list. I didn’t go and visit all the other schools. I just visited that school. It’s the first official visit. I’m just going to see what the other schools look like and pick by that.”
Stephenson watched the Terps beat Miami in ACC action and said he was impressed.
“I watched the game,” he said. “They played against Miami. They beat Miami. That was a tough win. They played hard that game and after that I just chilled with the coaches. We talked about how I could make a big change in the program.”
Asked what he thought of the ACC, Stephenson said, “That’s the toughest league in college.”
Asked what he thought about the Terps’ style, he said: “They play up and down, up tempo. And they play hard defense though they don’t have a big man. They still look like they have a big man by the way that they play.”
Stephenson said Maryland assistant Keith Booth first reached out to him during the time they were recruiting Padgett.
“They come to see Padgett, so they just figured that it would be a good look if they talked to me too and tried to get me and Padgett to play together again,” Stephenson said.
Said Padgett: “He said it was pretty cool [on the visit]. He liked it up there, but it’s up to him. Nobody knows what he’s going to do. He has a lot of options.”
He added: “It would be pretty good [to play with him again]. He could help the team out on the perimeter.”
Stephenson said he would like to play with Padgett again at the next level.
“He loves playing with me and he said I always motivate him to play harder in all the games and at practice,” Stephensonn said, “so he said that would be a good look.”
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.