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 could make a college decision by the end of this week, according to a source close to the situation.
“I think by the end of the week they’ll make up their mind between Arizona and Memphis,” the source said.
The Stephenson family has kept a low profile in recent weeks, avoiding contact with the media, but it has become clear that St. John’s and Maryland, two longtime suitors, are out.
“It’s more than rumors,” the source said. “They’re not going to Maryland, they’re not going to St. John’s. And he ain’t going to Europe.”
The 6-foot-6 Stephenson is a McDonald’s All-American and the all-time leading scorer in New York State history.
Arizona and Memphis have both made late pushes, but no official visits have been set.
“Arizona has a place for him to come in and be a trendsetter,” an Arizona source said. “Along with three other incoming guys, they have arguably the best recruiting class in the Pac-10.”
Arizona got a commitment Sunday from another New Yorker, 6-6 wing Kevin Parrom of South Kent (Conn.).
Asked if he would help recruit Stephenson to Arizona, Parrom said: “I’m not a recruiter. I’m just a player. If he wants to come, he can come.”
The first source said “Memphis is very deep in the picture” for Stephenson as well.
Memphis would also seem like a good fit for Stephenson. The Tigers will play an uptempo system under new coach Josh Pastner and are in need of a wing now that Xavier Henry has departed for Kansas.
Both Arizona and Memphis have a track record of sending players to the NBA, something that is important to Stephenson.
Memphis is also waiting on word from Alabama point guard Eric Bledsoe. Bledsoe visited the campus last Friday and reportedly toured the FedEx Forum. From there he went to Kentucky for an official this past weekend. Bledsoe is due to announce between Memphis and Kentucky soon.
Many think that Kentucky’s first choice to play the point is John Wall, who is due to cut his list down sometime soon.
“I haven’t given anybody a list of leaders,” Wall told the Charlotte Observer.
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.