Recent Posts
About ZagsBlog
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.
Follow Zags on Twitter
Contact Zags
Connect with Zags:
Monday / December 18.
  • Stephenson Sweepstakes Could End this Week

    Share Zagsblog Share Zagsblog
    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.

    Written by

    [email protected]

    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.

    • It’s amazing that, despite the NY hype and top 10-15 talent, Stephenson has such weak options. All of the on and off-court baggage has really caught up to him and made him a pariah.

      His remaining options are a reclamation project near the kidnapping capital of the US and a Conference USA slot with a tyro head coach in the STD and bankruptcy capital of the US. I can’t imagine “Born Ready” or “Stretch” ever imagined this is the way Stephenson’s recruitment would turn out.

      • AZ,

        Great follow up article, AZ.

        I told you….Lance-A-Lot would be making a decision soon.

        Nice piece on how Lance fits into the Arizona scheme of things.
        Since, BOOK will be a regular on this site…maybe you can get a quote from him. He will be in NY.

        Note:
        Ban/Unfiltered…We already have the discussion about JW.
        Go talk to Javy or Frank.

        This is the LAST time, I spoon feed you Ban/Unfilter.
        If you want to read ONE thread per topic…you can goto two locations.

        uahoopscoach.com
        or
        wildcatsportsreport.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=10

        I would direct you to other comments from the pass fews days, on AZ blog;but, you will get CONFUSED, easily…LMAO,
        This explains why you do not get the stories, first.

      • Dear Infinitydivided by zero,

        Ahh the fear has crept in hasn’t it…it appears you may not get your man so you try to influence the situation by trashing Memphis and Conference USA.

        Calipari was here for 9 years and we were successful and it just gauls your backside that Memphis, even though it was hit pretty hard by Cal leaving, looks to be bouncing back fairly quickly.

        It is evident that Paster’s reputation does indeed frighten you and yet you hide behind the affectation that you really care about Lance. Anybody who reads these threads can see through your scheme.

        The fact is Pastner always speaks from the heart, without gimmicks or games.
        The man truly cares about hs players and will expend any amount of energy to help these guys reach their goals and their potential. He is genuine and tireless. He is exactly what Memphis needs.

        The murder issue in Memphis is in small concentrated area. Memphis is a pretty decent town. Have you ever been here? Have you ever been to FedEX Forum? Your cowardly character is showing buddy

        BTW you also failed to name the Univ you support…I guess that fear has you hiding who you are as well. Man up, Zero

        • PazTigerman,

          Can you shed some light as to why another recruit will NOT go to Memphis?

          —AZ, discussed this. ….a little heads up…?

          Memphis just lost on another players….
          Josh is not looking good..

          Latavious Williams, the No. 6 power forward in the nation, has postponed his college decision until next week.

          Williams initially planned to choose from among Memphis, Georgetown and Kansas State. But ……………”

          ***Memphis could not even beat out Kansas State…

          • So delaying his decision means he’s not going to Memphis? The fact that Pastner is in on 3 of the top 4 unsigned players (Stephenson, Williams, and Bledsoe) is pretty remarkable given how little time he’s had to recruit them and the fact that he doesn’t have any head coaching experience. I think he’ll be just fine.

          • I like Josh-Memphis.

            Good guy to talk to…and always makes time.
            I was there when he decided to leave.
            (CC).

            The impression that is being gathered is…that Memphis is appling pressure to “GO – make an attempt” after those higher recruits still left in 2009 class.

            People need to give Josh time to be successful. It will not happen overnight.

            [Reset- the Expectations at Memphis and this will make it a WIN-WIN situation.

            Good Luck next season. It will be a rough one.
            But, the good thing is that you have Conf. USA.

            We are discussing these items presently.
            You know which two sites?
            uahoopscoach and wildcatsportsreport

          • PS-

            Almost all the Arizona fans that I have talked to ….are wishing Josh P great success at Memphis.

            After what Cali did to Memphis…..after he was hired by UK.
            WOW….

            I can understand the welcome Cali received when he came back to Memphis…..benefit dinner.

            ..

          • Are you here for any reason other than to plug your websites? Your constant mention of them makes me NOT want to visit. If you really want people to visit, you need to be a little more subtle. Everyone here can tell that you care nothing about this conversation of this site. You just want people to come visit these other sites.

        • There is no fear on my part. By this time next year, he’ll be done masquerading as a “student-athlete.”

          I’ve been to Memphis many times. Even by American standards, it is a currupt, poor, very violent, decrepit city. The Fex Ex Center is an averaage pro arena, but, with the lack of entertainment options available, becomes the third most popular entertainment option in town. We’ll see if Memphis becomes as relevant as post-Tarkanian UNLV, after failing to attract any major head coaches and hiring this virgin head coach.

          If you want to buy into Pastner’s character like idiotic fans have bought into John Calipari, Larry Brown, etc. through the years, feel free.

          • Infinitydividedbyzero = 0
            ZERO is absolutely correct. Did your mother make that up for you?

            What a name and what an idiot.
            Where do you live at Hotshot?
            Who is your team, boy?
            You want to trash our town and team so tell us who you are. Your probably one of those guys who is moving to another state who passed the law that states you can marry your boyfreind. That would explain your terrible disposition.

    • Any second now USC.trojan aka jessiewildcat will be here to post about how arizona is blowing up and Lance-a-lot is committing to arizona this week. He wont post it just once, but about twenty times and he will do it using retarded punctuation that leaves the post barely readable.

    • Between Arizona and Memphis, the answer is pretty easy.

    • So lance is going to pick a school without even visiting? Smart.

      Who the hell is advising him on his recruitment? Whoever it is, they’re doing an awful job.

      He wants a school with a track record of sending kids to the NBA. I guess he’s worried if he goes to St Johns he won’t make the nba. Lance – If you can play, doesn’t matter where you go next year, the NBA will come calling.

      • I agree that he should take visits before making a decision, but as far as St. John’s goes, it could be that he actually wants to win a few games, which won’t happen very often at St. John’s.

    • njhoop, good post. This kid is getting terrible advice…but I can’t say that I’m surprised. What a soap opera.

    • The answer is pretty obvious:

      Go to a school that creates a pedigree for you in the molds of Mike Bibby, Jason Terry, Agent Zero, Iguadala, Jefferson, Walton, Bibby, Elliott, and soon to be Bayless, Hill, and Budinger.

      Big time conference, go up against Howland/UCLA, Floyd/SC, Sendek/ASU, Monty/Cal, Romar/WA, Obama’s Bro in law/OSU, Stanford, WSU.

      Big-time basketball city, big-time freshman class, and a big-time POINT GUARD feeding you the rock (Yes, Nic Wise will be back).

      You know Sean Miller, you know Book, and you know the facilities.

      The campus is beautiful, and the women are WAY HOTTER than in NY.

      I sound like USC Trojan here, but guess what, I’m being serious.

      Lance will dominate the pac-10, extend the tourney streak to 26, and Arizona will have a chance under Sean Miller’s system to make some big time noise… nationally.

      Bear Down

      • It’s funny. Almost all of those players you names were recruited by Josh Pastner, so if he wants to be like those players, shouldn’t he go to Memphis?

        • It’s hilarious, because Pastner only recruited Bayless, Hill, and Budinger of that group. Hell, he played with half of them. Pastner started at UA as an assistant in 2002. That means anyone who wasn’t a freshman by then can’t be attributed to him. Furthermore, Lute was the principle reason these kids committed. Josh is a great recruiter, but it’s harder to sell himself as a rookie coach than a hall of famer. Iguodala was set to go to Arkansas, so Pastner technically lost that battle until Arkansas fired their coach and Iggy switched.

          • Also, please point to one player who attributes Pastner with developing them for the pros. Those are his question marks right now. He’ll recruit, but whether he can develop players and in game coaching remain to be seen.

          • Memphis v. Arizona = McDonalds v. Ruth Chris

            period.

          • Actually, going back to his playing days, some of his teammates gave him alot of credit for working with them to make them better. Not that he would get all of the credit, but he gets some of it. From what I’ve heard, he worked as much, if not more, with Bibby than the coaches did. So, you’re right in that he doesn’t get exclusive credit with developing NBA players, but he’s been involved with several. Plus, this is part of the reason he’s putting together such a great staff. Willis Wilson was the head coach of Rice for something like 19 years, and now he’s an assistant for Memphis. Wilson developed some NBA players at Rice, which should be impossible. The 3rd assistant, who can’t be officially hired until the Nuggets are out of the NBA playoffs, holds individual workouts with all of the Nuggets’ best players on a regular basis, so he knows what it takes for players to get to the NBA. Now, Pastner may miss out on all of these recruits this year. Who knows. If he does, you can hardly blame him. He’s only had about a month on the job, and half of that time was without a staff. But I really think that he’ll be fine in the long run. He’s a good coach, and Memphis’ facilities rate with anyone in the country, and the city produces very good talent (3 Memphis area players in the Rivals.com top 100 in 2010) so there’s no reason the Memphis program can’t continue to have success. The only drawback to Memphis is the conference, and that’s been overcome in the past, so it can be in the future as well. Plus, Memphis plays a top non-conference schedule to make up for it.

          • aejohn3, Bibby does attribute Pastner with helping him develop his shot. other than that, his recruiting and developing was questionable at arizona. half the people believed he was a great recruiter and coach, the other half point to fendi onobun.

            also, jessiewildcat stop posting. get out of your basement and get some sunshine cause you’re completely insane.

        • Josh Pastner has always been one of the best recruiters in the country and was always a tireless worker but a lousy talent evaluator! I can make a long list of Houston to Arizona recruits who Josh was responsible for and they have all been busts, one after another!

          We love Josh and wish him success, but his talent evaluation will have to improve!

          • Yeah, he really missed on guys like Bayless, Budinger, Hill, and Jennings (who he recruited to AZ before Jennings decided to go to Europe), and going back to his AAU days Stephen Jackson, Emeka Okafor, and T.J. Ford. What was he thinking?

          • Did you know one of his “sells” to the recruits?

            “Arizona has been successful for many years.
            And the Head Coach will get you to the NBA.”

            Lute to Miller…

            I would like to see Lance-A-Lot sign the papers….
            Show it live…Web Cam it…
            (sign the fin. papers….etc..)

            .

          • I don’t question Miller’s coaching ability, but I’m just curious as to why people think he’s a coach that gets kids to the pros when he has no track record of sending kids to the NBA. I do agree that Arizona has sent plenty of excellent players to the pros under Olsen, but Miller has yet to produce any significant NBA players. If anyone knows of any pros who have played for Miller, please list them. Calipari at Memphis and Olsen at AZ have sent kids to the pros. Arizona is a program that will allow Miller to recruit a higher caliber player, so we will see if he can actually develop NBA players. He’s a very good coach who hasn’t coached in a major conference and hasn’t developed any NBA players yet. With that said I believe he will do well at Arizona if he recruits the West Coast well, because Book or no Book he’s not going to regularly beat out top BE and ACC schools for East Coast kids. East coast kids rarely go across country to play in the P10 if they can play at a great program in the ACC or BE. While Arizona is a program that stands on its own I think Calipari was the program at Memphis. Conference USA is just not a power conference and any coach that has success there will probably be looking to go to the first major conference that comes calling. Memphis is not a school that kids dream about playing at and neither is Conference USA. Prior to Calipari you guys could not recruit nationally. You could forget about beating out top east coast schools for kids. Stephenson was not recruited by the top BE schools for whatever reasons, so don’t get excited over his recruitment, thinking that you’ll all of a sudden start recruiting the east. Even locally, why would a kid choose Memphis(CUSA) over Tennessee(SEC). As far as Stephenson’s recruitment is concerned, you have to wonder why so many top programs in the BE and ACC stayed away from him.

    • Thnk god, I can’t wait til this thing ends!

    • Honestly, I couldnt be happier that Lance isnt staying in NYC. He is clearly a big diva trying to be something. And, if the only person in his life he listens to is his dad then he will go absolutely nowhere, as a bball player or not. Another thing is, the kid is a tool. He claims for the passed 2 years that he was gonna bring back NYC basketball to greatness and this is what he does. The kid is a total tool.

    • Looks like no one is sleeping these days…
      West Coast folks are reporting …..

      Kevin P talks about Lance-A-Lot during his connecting flight in Atlanta.

      “Any thoughts on Lance Stephenson joining you at Arizona? Are you guys good friends?

      PARROM: I know him. I’m cool with him. We’re not best buddies. He knows me. I know him. But I don’t know him personally. I heard that he is considering Arizona. That’s great. I wouldn’t mind another East coast guy joining me out there. If he wants to join me, Kyryl and Solomon, and come out to Arizona that would be a good thing. I’m not biased about it. If he wants to come, that would be great.”

    • There were about 5 more questions asked of Kevin P.

      WILDABOUTAZCATS.COM: You must have had a great experience for you to sign with Arizona. What were the main factors in your decision?
      PARROM: The biggest thing about Tucson is that when I went out there, I felt like I was at home with the coaching staff and with the people on campus. It was great weather, a great program. My mother came out with me and she felt the same way. We were both very impressed with everything.

      WILDABOUTAZCATS.COM: How did you mesh with the current players on the team?
      PARROM: The current guys? What can I say? Man, they are really good people, great athletes, good people to be around. I watched them workout. Those guys work hard. They want to win as much as I do, so we will be working hard to make that happen.

      WILDABOUTAZCATS.COM: Did you meet with Nic Wise on your visit? If so, what was he like and did you get any indication he will be coming back for his senior year?
      PARROM: Yeah, I got to hang out with him for a little bit. He’s a great guy, a very funny guy (laughs). The way he talked to us, you know, he gave me the impression that he is coming back. He can see the potential that we have coming back next year, and I know that is exciting to him. I would count on him coming back.

      WILDABOUTAZCATS.COM: What was it like visiting the UA campus at the same time as Kyryl and Solomon?
      PARROM: That was real nice. I got to fly out to Tucson with Kyryl from Atlanta. He isn’t flying back with me, but it was good to spend some time with him and Solomon. I played against Solomon in a tournament in Los Angeles a couple of years ago, I think. He’s a great ballplayer. With all those guys, they are great ballplayers, but the are also great guys. That means a lot to me.

      WILDABOUTAZCATS.COM: Any thoughts on Lance Stephenson joining you at Arizona? Are you guys good friends?
      PARROM: I know him. I’m cool with him. We’re not best buddies. He knows me. I know him. But I don’t know him personally. I heard that he is considering Arizona. That’s great. I wouldn’t mind another East coast guy joining me out there. If he wants to join me, Kyryl and Solomon, and come out to Arizona that would be a good thing. I’m not biased about it. If he wants to come, that would be great.”

      WILDABOUTAZCATS.COM: How important was your relationship with assistant coach Book Richardson in your decision to sign with Arizona?
      PARROM: It was not only because of Coach Richardson. A lot of people say my decison is based on him. He’s part of it. But a lot of it had to do with Coach Miller and the entire coaching staff there. I have a great connection with Coach Miller. He’s a great person and a great coach.

      WILDABOUTAZCATS.COM: Were you able to play any pickup games with the guys?
      PARROM: No. I had to meet some important people out there, like academic counselors. My schedule was full. I did get a chance to shoot around a little bit and watch the guys (current team) work out. That was cool.

      WILDABOUTAZCATS.COM: What are your thoughts about McKale Center and seeing the retired jerseys of players like Mike Bibby, Steve Kerr and Sean Elliott?
      PARROM: I was just amazed. I was amazed to see all the great guys they’ve had go through that program. Arizona has so much of a good history, I was not even aware of a lot of that. I mean, I knew Arizona was good, but seeing the arena and all the players who played there, I was shocked…But, who is JessieWildcat.

      WILDABOUTAZCATS.COM: Do you think your signing will open the door for others from New York or the East coast to travel west to Arizona?
      PARROM: I hope so. It should help. I am sure a lot of guys will consider Arizona anyway. But I’m hoping they think, “Look at Kevin, he went out there and he’s doing good.” I hope that helps them consider it more. I’m also hoping that we schedule a game sometime soon where I can play close to home and my family can come and see me play. That would be nice

      • AZ,

        We expect your inputs on what’s happening in the East Coast.

        Look forward to a great article…

    • Today is both a great day and a very sad day for Wildcat fans. Coach Miller and his staff landing Kevin Parrom was huge. With the addition of 3 top 100 players in less than a month Miller has proven that his coaching reputation and commitment to winning combined with the Arizona brand name is an unstoppable combination. When he has a full year or two on the recruiting trail he will be pulling in top-10 classes year in and year out.

      Today is a great day, however if it’s true that Lance Stephenson has narrowed his choices down to Arizona and Memphis, today is also a sad day. This is the first day that we Cat fans have to root against Josh Pastner. As much Wildcat fans have waited for Josh to get his chance as a head coach, if we land Stephenson to go with Kyryl, Solomon and now Parrom then there will be no rebuilding project in Tucson this season and the streak will be well on its way to 50 (Miller is only 40 years old after all).
      So… I wish you well Josh, but I have to root against you now…

      I am new at this, but here goes:

      Come to Tucson Lance Stephenson. The weather is warm, the women are hot and McKale center and Lute and Bobbi Olson court is a venue that has a history of producing loud fans, huge wins and great players. Pastner is too young and too inexperienced. Do you really want to play for a head coach who has no D1 wins and isn’t even old enough to shave? It’s time to sign with coach Miller and the Arizona Wildcats Lance. You were born ready to be part of the legend of #26

    • I don’t know his father at all or anyone else related to Lance but….. Why would he not listen to his dad, mom, girlfriend, son, grandma, close friends. At least if those guys made a mistake and told him to go to the wrong school they would all be in it together. Lance will be fine in whatever decision he makes. The main thing for Lance when he gets to college is to stay quiet emotionally and just play and improve his image. The guy is clearly one of the top three players and isn’t rated that high because of perceptions. Whether Lance likes it or not the NBA will do the same thing to him if he gets in trouble. A lot of people probably forgot but that is why Lawson came back to school this year because of off court issues.

      Lance listen to the family because that is who you can trust more than anyone else. Pastner is pretty close though

    • Adam~

      Great site dude and great info.

      When is USC.trojan going to get banned. The guy is a joke.

    • With the John Wall arrest do you think Calipari might decide to get into the Lance sweepstakes?

    • FOX SPORTS: Goodman: ARIZONA LIKELY WON’T ADD STEPHENSON

      http://community.foxsports.com/blogs/goodmanonfox

      John Goodman

      SOURCES: ARIZONA LIKELY WON’T ADD STEPHENSON
      May 04, 2009 | 8:19AM | report this
      Don’t expect Arizona to add McDonald’s All-American Lance Stephenson to its current class.

      According to sources close to the situation, new Wildcats coach Sean Miller has had communication with the Stephenson camp – largely due to the relationship between Stephenson and Arizona assistant coach Emanuel “Book” Richardson – also a New York native.

      However, Arizona is not expected to make a move on the talented, yet enigmatic wing player.

      Stephenson (Scout.com, No. was thought to be headed to Kansas – but the Jayhawks elected to take Xavier Henry instead. Stephenson was also involved with St. John’s and Maryland, but sources indicate he and his family have reached out to numerous schools and have put both St. John’s and Maryland on the back burner.

      Memphis and Arizona were two that expressed a level of interest, but the Wildcats – according to a source – are concerned with off-the-court issues involving Stephenson.

      Another source said that Memphis first-year head coach Josh Pastner is researching the situation and that the Tigers could be the eventual home for Stephenson.

      Europe is also an option that has been discussed with Stephenson.

      NEW ORLEANS STUDENTS VOTE AGAINST FEE INCREASE; HOPING FOR DONATION

      Despite a student vote that opposed a fee hike that could have solved New Orleans’ potential budget issues, Privateers men’s basketball coach Joe Pasternak isn’t concerned.

      Pasternak said that business leaders and, in particular, New Orleans Hornets owner George Shinn, have expressed interest in helping the program financially.

      “It’s no secret that there are budget cuts everyone in America,” Pasternak told FOXSports.com on Sunday night. “But I think this may end up being a blessing in disguise.”

      “George Shinn is getting involved and wants to help,” he added.

      The state legislature proposed a budget cut for the school at approximately $15 million and the school’s chancellor, Tim Ryan, reacted with a potential $1.4 million cut to the athletics department.

      One option was a vote from the student body to nearly double tuition fees to nearly $200 per year. However, the vote was turned down when 53 percent (1,418 to 1,251) of the 2,669 students who voted went against the proposal.

      Pasternak reiterated that from what he’s been told, the proposed budget cut will be reduced at the end of the day – and the athletic department won’t necessarily need to come up with $1.4 million.

      “We don’t even know if it’s going to be $1.4 million yet,” Pasternak said. “In fact, Senators have told me it won’t be that high and it’ll be reduced significantly from that figure.”

      Pasternak is a New Orleans native who is entering his third season as the head coach at New Orleans.

      He said that former New Orleans star Gabe Corchiani and Imperial Trading Company owner John Georges, a local businessman, made a $1 million donation at the beginning of the year.

      “I don’t think this is going to be an issue,” Pasternak said. “We got a $1 million donation and I expect more to jump on board this week.”

      RANDOM NOTES: John Wall didn’t wind up making a visit to N.C. Central late last week after all. However, according to a report by WRAL-TV, Rivals.com’s No. 1 player in the nation was charged with misdemeanor breaking and entering in connection with an April 27 break-in at a home in Raleigh. … Georgetown sophomore Omar Wattad is transferring to Chattanooga.

    • See my latest post at the top of the blog on this. Thanks.

    • This kid is about to ruin his life by choosing either memphis which may be the most dimolished program in the nation or to arizopna which comes ina close second right behind memphis.

    • Folks,
      Please keep the comments centered on basketball and refrain from making personal attacks on anyone, especially teenagers. Thanks.

    • this kid doesnt know what to think because he doesnt think his dad does the thinking for him

    • Lance has said for a LONG time he wants to play in the NCAA Tournament while in college.. that preference eliminated St. John’s 2 months ago but St. John’s fans (which I am sadly one of them) don’t want to grasp this reality and continue to hope and pray that LS signs with them and this always had Maryland on the bubble…