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Monday / December 18.
  • Lance Talks Kansas, Jordan Game; Stephenson, Strickland Chosen McDonald's All-Americans

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    **Read the Lincoln-St. Patrick game story and learn about the Nike sneaker controvesy here.

    Lance Stephenson confirmed that he will visit Kansas and both Stephenson and North Carolina-bound guard Dexter Strickland will play in the McDonald’s All-American Game April 1 in Miami.

    The two players made the news after Strickland scored 16 points on 6-for-6 shooting to lead St. Patrick over Lincoln 63-58 in the Nike Super 6 at Fordham University.

    The 6-5 Stephenson, ranked No. 1 in the nation by Hoop Scoop and No. 9 by Rivals, confirmed that he will visit Kansas Feb. 21 for the team’s game against Nebraska. The news was first reported Thursday by ZAGSBLOG.

    “Oh, yeah,” said Stephenson, who scored a game-high 21 points on 9-of-23 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds.

    “I can see myself fitting in their progam. They play as a team and they’re just willing to win, so I’m just going to see what they’re about and see how can I fit into the program.”

    Kansas head coach Bill Self and assistant Joe Dooley had an in-home visit with the Stephensons last fall and Self later watched Lincoln lose to Duncanville (Texas) earlier this year on ESPN.

    “I’m thinking about going to play with Bill Self,” Stephenson said. “I think he’ll change me around and [make me] be a smarter player and more focused.”

    Stephenson’s list now consists of St. John’s, Kansas, Maryland and USC and he has said he could announce March 21 after the PSAL championship game at Madison Square Garden, assuming Lincoln gets there.

    [Somebody needs to tell the ESPN graphic folks that Lance is not looking at Kentucky and UCLA.]

    He recently took an official visit to Maryland, where his teammate James Padgett has signed. He has been to St. John’s several times unofficially.

    He said he had no immediate plans to visit USC.

    “As of right now, no,” he said. “The list that I gave everybody, I’ll make sure I go to all of them. But right now I’m just worrying about Kansas and my season.”

    Stephenson said he watched Kansas lose to Missouri this week on ESPN.

    “I didn’t finish watching the game, but I saw the beginning of the game and they weren’t really playing that good,” Stephenson said. “But I think if I was playing, that would be a good look”

    Lincoln is in the midst of playing five games in six days, but will have a break next week enabling Lance to take the visit.

    Asked if the odds of of him going to St. John’s were stronger than the other three schools, Stephenson said,” I can’t tell you that. I can’t tell nobody that….We’ll see, we’ll see.”

    STRICKLAND, STEPHENSON GOING TO MICKEY D’S

    As for the Jordan Brand Classic and McDonald’s All-American Games, both Stephenson and Strickland were left off the former, but made the latter.

    “I think McDonald’s is more important than anything,” Stephenson said. “If I didn’t make the McDonald’s I’d be more mad, but the McDonald’s I’m happy to be in it.”

    Strickland said he was “surprised” that he wasn’t chosen for the Jordan Brand game, but “I just moved on from it.”

    “I just look at it as other players getting an opportunity to showcase their talent,” Strickland said.  “But God Bless anyone making it.

    “But I’ll have an opportunity to play in the McDonald’s All-American Game.”

    As reported here earlier, the Senior Showcase in Orlando on April 18 has also reached out to both players, along with Villanova-bound guard Maalik Wayns, to play in their event.

    “We’d love to have Lance, Dexter and Maalik,” said Sean Russell, publisher of Faaz Magazine, the title sponsor of the showcase.

    (Photo courtesy Richard Orr)

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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.