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 will take an official visit to St. John’s beginning Friday night, according to sources at St. John’s. An official visit can last 48 hours so Stephenson would leave the Queens campus Sunday.
The 6-foot-5 Stephenson has taken officials to Kansas and Maryland, but not St. John’s. He has been to campus several times unofficially.
Additionally, Kansas coach Bill Self will visit with Stephenson Friday afternoon at his Coney Island home, according to another source.
“They’re getting closer to making a decision,” a third source said of the Stephenson family. “They [the coaches] are all making their last minute pitches and I think this is St John’s last chance to beat the other couple [schools, including Maryland]. This is their best opportunity right now. This is their last chance right now.”
The story was first reported by the Daily News.
Stephenson was initially expected to pick Kansas during a March 31 press conference in Miami, but various sources said Kansas asked him to hold off in part to check out whether the BornReady.tv website would pass NCAA eligibility requirements and in part because the school is also hoping to land Xavier Henry of Putnam City (Oklahoma City).
Henry got his release from Memphis this week and lists Kansas as his favorite. He chose Memphis over Kansas last November to play with his brother, C.J.
Henry could still wind up at Kansas or at Kentucky with former Memphis coach John Calipari. Carl Henry, Xavier and C.J.’s father, said no decision was imminent because Xavier is in Portland, Ore. this weekend for the Nike Hoop Summit and will be in New York next weekend for the Jordan Brand Classic.
If Henry picks Kansas, Stephenson would likely wind up at St. John’s.
Kansas freed up two scholarships Thursday when Quintrell Thomas and Tyrone Appletonboth announced they would transfer. Still, if Sherron Collins remains at Kansas and/or Henry commits to Kansas, Stephenson might have concerns over playing time.
“I think this weekend is the major decision day,” the source said of the Stephensons. “They [the Stephenson family] are just waiting to see what the numbers are at Kansas.”
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.