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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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Sunday / December 17.
  • Lance Not Close to a Decision

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    The Lance Stephenson Sweepstakes continues to drag on with no end in site.

    “They’re not close to making any type of decision. It’s not even close,” said a source with direct knowledge who had communicated with the Stephenson family. “There’s no timetable.”

    The 6-foot-5 Stephenson initially listed Kansas, Maryland and St. John’s as his options, although Kansas now appears to be out of the running with the recent signing of Xavier Henry.

    “We don’t have any scholarships left,” a Kansas source said.

    Arizona and Memphis have both tried to reach out to the Stephenson family, but sources say there has been no movement on either front. Both of those schools appear to make sense, as both need wing players and both play an up-and-down style — especially Memphis.

    The late signing period ends May 20, but there is nothing preventing Stephenson from announcing after that date.

    “He said he’s not even close to making a decision,” the first source said.

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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.

    • Lance take as long as you want to make the right decision. This is deciding what school is best for you to get you ready for the NBA. Personally I think all players should stay 3 to 4 years. Just look at Telfair and Starburry, I wouldnt want to follow in their footsteps.
      The funny thing is, is that we are making Lance’s recruitment more of a circus than he is. For the most part he has been pretty quiet the last month. We have gotten most of our info from sources who are supposed to be close to the Stephensons.

    • Lance is the one making this a circus. You have to be clear in your thoughts. Do you honestly think that Lebron or Kobe or any other high school superstar would worry about were they want to go based on others decisions. NO. If Lance had committed to the KU earlier he would have forced their hand. Now he is lost. I hope he learns a lesson from this. The early bird always gets the worm and you can’t be afraid of competition.

      Honestly it doesn’t matter where he plays as long as it isn’t St. Johns. He will have an excellent future at AZ or Maryland. But he is going to have to work. Nothing is given to you. If he has this attitude when he plays for AZ he will have a problem. Scouts know he has the skills but he needs an attitude adjustment. He needs to be humble. Follow the Mayo route and he will be the next great one and done.

      Oh and Lance isn’t a point guard. Either you or you aren’t. You can’t learn to be a point guard. Maybe in HS but not at the elite level. You have to be a giving player not a taker. Lance is a beast and a 2 guard.

    • Lance deserves the opportunity to take his time. He wanted to go to Kansas, but you don’t always get what you want and he is doing the right thing by taking his time. This is a very important decision that will have a big effect on his life. I find it surprising that both Arizona and Memphis have reached out to Lance, but there has been nothing there. I feel that Lance would not fit in a Sean Miller system that usually has a handful of players averaging around 10 points rather than one player being the star and averaging 20 ppg. Not to mention, Hill and Budinger are gone. Will Lance be #1 at Arizona… Yes, but can he compete for a national championship right away or make a deep tournament run… I don’t think so. I think the reason Memphis hasn’t gotten any movement is because they’ve lost everyone and give Lance no real chance to win right away. Evans went pro (Taggert declared too) and Wall/Cousins/Nolan Dennis/Henry brothers aren’t going to be there. It doesn’t surprise me that Lance isn’t interested in Memphis.

      It’s very late in the process… Lance should take his time and discuss the decision with his family before making any commitment. I think it comes down to Maryland St. Johns unless a program that can compete for a national championship right now swoops in and makes an amazing pitch.

    • Could he be waiting for the NBA draft to see what happens with Vasquez? Without Vasquez on the Maryland squad, Lance could be the go to guy. Maybe he’s got that in the back of his head?

      And again, UMD does not have a rigid system. Ask Vasquez….

      Maybe UMD is really out of the picture but I really can’t see why anyone would not want to play for Gary Williams.

    • I am a KU fan and I completely disagree with lanceisahawk in calling this a circus. Seems to me, Lance has handled everything very well so far and the reasons he hasn’t committed yet are out of his control. KU isn’t a good option for Lance now that X has committed. I don’t think Lance ever had serious interest in Maryland and St. John’s is the ultimate fall back plan. He doesn’t appear to like either option very much. Some team, (probably not Maryland, St. John’s or KU) is going to get a late recruiting gift with Lance. Best of luck to you Born Ready.

    • I am not sure how Maryland is completely out of it… If

      1) Lance has not publicly eliminated Maryland… Wouldn’t he say “I have eliminated Maryland” if Gary Williams had no chance on landing Lance.

      2) Why would Gary have an in home visit with Lance if Maryland was eliminated. Why would this time be wasted.

      I just can’t see how Maryland is completely out of it… You can have as many sources “close to the situation” as possible, but if Maryland was completely out of it… Wouldn’t Lance say I am no longer considering Maryland. When he has publicly reiterated time and time again he is considering St. Johns, Maryland, and Kansas.

      Do I think Lance ends up at UMD… Probablyi not… Is it a real possibility? Yes. Until Lance says I am no longer considering Maryland or something like that.

    • Arizona is a perfect place for Lance Stephenson.
      The boy would get a good education and concentrate on playing ball.
      His goal is to make it to the pros. Having him at UofA would clear his mind and put his mind on school and playing ball.

      The talent that UofA has produce is great. The spotlight would be on him and the playing time would be there.
      With the 2009 class that is coming in the wildcats and lance would really be competitive right away. Having him get away for himself and no one else would benefit him in the long run. making him a better man and great player.
      If you watch his videos on Born Ready, you would understand that he does need to get away from home for a bit and just focus on school and basketball. Arizona wildcats is a place to be. Bear Down

    • Cannot understand why Calipari is not recruiting him especially since UK lost out on X Henry………….geeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeezeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

      Come on Coach Cal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Zag,

      Are you sure that Lance-A-Lot is or should be taking his time…..?
      Just got this from the West Coast.

      ————————————————————————
      “Scholarship are being TAKEN.

      Kansas gave its last scholarship to Henry.
      >>Result: Lance is out.

      St.John just gave another scholarship to a guard.
      >>M.Stith is the new guard.

      Maryland:
      >>Not sure any offensive skill guard would like to play in that scheme.
      Too restrictive and Gary will not change.

      Memphis:
      >>Transfers are beginning voice the concern over having a coach with no head coaching experience. Does not hold well for players wanting to go to the NBA.
      Simpkins is out of Memphis, in a hurry.

      2010 Recruits:
      Coaches are focused on 2010 recruits and offering scholarships.
      The 2010 recruits will begin to commit to Arizona soon.

      Choices are running out as well as time.
      Summer workout with the Wildcats is surely needed in order to understand the offense and team chemistry.
      PAC10 championship in the horizon.”

    • Does anyone else find it odd that nobody else is seriously pushing to get Lance? Hmm… I wonder why? You’d think everyone and their momma would be throwing themselves at the kid at this point. Especially since he isn’t happy with the options that he narrowed down on that long list he once had, himself. Peculiar.

    • Gohard I absolutely agree

      I find it EXTREMELY peculiar………

    • Matt Simpkins has been suspended from the team since right before the Gonzaga game, his leaving was mutual. Memphis will have an outstanding frontline next season as it looks like Taggart will return and Coleman has recommitted. Evans has not hired an agent and there is a very small and I mean small chance he could return. Memphis only needs a 2nd PG (they have Willie Kemp who will be much better this year) and an extra wing or 2, both of which could commit very soon. Memphis has a cat quick 6’11/250 lb wing in Angel Garcia that will provide some serious mismatches for their opponents, shots the 3 as good as any. Memphis’ coaching staff looks like it will be one of the best in the nation when all is said and done. DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT bet anything against these Tigers next year as you might end up needing a stimulus package from Obama if you do. If Lance comes to Memphis next season they will be at least an Elite 8 team, maybe better. Hide & Watch!

    • Stephenson isn’t going to Memphis. He doesn’t want to play for a mid-major that disappears from national tv as soon as league play starts.

      My guess is that Memphis is in serious need of a stimulus package from Obama. To qoute your former coach: “The city of Memphis needed that championship a lot more than Lawrence did.”

    • USC.trojan said: “Maryland: Not sure any offensive skill guard would like to play in that scheme. Too restrictive and Gary will not change.”

      What’s wrong with you flipping people? UMD’s offense is NOT restrictive. Gary Williams is one of the most brilliant coaches out there and is a master at taking advantage of his player’s skill sets. Where do you guys come up with this crap?

      You think his offense is too restrictive? Go ask Gilcrist, ask Juan Dixon, ask Steve Francis, ask Vasquez…. then get back to me.

      You want to rule out Maryland? You’ve better come up with a better reason that!!!

    • I believe Lance Stephenson and his coaches said Marylands offense is to restrictive.

      Lance mentions it on his schools he had left to choose from and thats why he is unhappy with Maryland, And is looking and opening his options to Arizona and 1 or 2 new schools offering. Read the quotes on the different sites of Lance Stephenson, he does say that.

    • Lance just holding out for the best perks to go along with that scholarship offer. That’s what’s really “restrictive” at Maryland. Gary Williams doesn’t play that.

    • The reason Lance cut Maryland is he did his research and doesn’t want to play in Europe like the rest of Gary Williams’ more hyped players. Can’t blame the kid for that.

    • Big Ben: “Lance did his research”? So you’re saying he thinks if he went to Maryland that he’d end up playing in Europe like the rest of Gary’s more “hyped” players? So you’ve talked to this kid about his decision not to go to Maryland or was that something on his web site? Who are these hyped players and who does the hyping? I’m pretty sure Gary is honest with his players.

      We all know most players think they’re destined for the NBA because they have people sucking up to them from the time they’re in grade school. Usually it’s the player who thinks he’s greater than he really is – not anybody associated with any college program (except during the recruiting process, of course). Maryland has had a lot of their players end up in Europe, but so do most of the other colleges in the country. They’ve had their share of NBA players as well.

      So this kid wanted to go to Kansas for a year, be the star of the team, and lead them to the National Championship al la Carmelo Anthony. I can’t say I blame him for wanting to do that and wish him well in his future. He came to visit Maryland, probably just because his team mate (Padgett) asked him to – and to check out the Under Armour plant, of course. His Dad said, “The shoe sucks”, which either means they were concerned about a potential recruiting violation or they failed to strike a deal. No doubt he’ll look at Adidas, Nike, or Reebok as soon as he’s done his his first year in school, where ever that might be.

      I’m a long-time Terp fan – first time blogger. I’ve really enjoyed the passion (and fights) on this site.

      • Steve Francis was the last Maryland player to get a guaranteed contract. That was when Lance was 12.

    • Huh? Chris Wilcox was the #8 pick in the 2002 draft. You mean to tell me the 8th pick doesn’t get a guaranteed contract? Aww shucks.

      • You’re right, got my Steve’s confused. Meant Steve Blake not Steve Francis. The last Maryland guy to get a guaranteed contract. And Lance was actually 11 not 12. Prob a pretty decent factor in his decision to cut Maryland.

      • Forget it, just googled it. Blake didn’t get a guaranteed contract either so you’re right it was Wilcox getting guaranteed money when Lance was 10. You’re not helping Gary’s case.

    • But Maryland still has had their share of NBA players, guaranteed contract or not.

      Look – do you honestly think these Blue Chip recruits pick a school based on theor belief that the Coach is really responsible for getting them ready for the NBA? No way – many of them think they can go to the Pros right out of High School except for the rule of “one year removed”. Actually, given the number of one & done success stories of recent years, I’d say they have a case.

      Only Lance Stephenson & his inner circle knows why he doesn’t want to go to Maryland. All of us on this blog are just guessing, right? Personally, I don’t really care one way or the other. I went to Maryland & lived in the same dorm with Albert King, Ernie Graham, & Buck Williams. It was a great place to go to school and we saw some great basketball every year. I’ll watch kids like Lance wherever they go to school next year because I just love the sport.

    • Big Ben you are a joke…keep hating on Gary he is a 1st ballot HOFer! I’m going to laugh at all of you when Lance signs with MD. Funny how all of you KNOW he’s not going to MD. We will see.