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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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Monday / December 18.
  • Konchalski on Lance, Wall & Parrom; Stephenson Leads Panthers into is8 Semis

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    Recruiting expert Tom Konchalski talks Lance Stephenson, John Wall and Kevin Parrom.

    LANCE UPDATE NO. 1: A source within the Lincoln High school athletic department said the school is “planning a press conference at Lincoln within the upcoming weeks” to announce Stephenson’s decision. Take that for what it’s worth. No date has been set, and as far as we know Lance has still not made a decision.

    LANCE UPDATE NO. 2: Lance scored a game-high 21 points on 7-for-13 shooting (including 3-for-3 from 3) Saturday as the New York Panthers beat NYABC 91-81 in the second-round of the Is8/Nike Spring High School Classic.

    The Panthers will meet Syracuse-bound guard Brandon Triche and New York Elite in the quarterfinals on Sunday at 1.

    Stephenson doesn’t normally play with the Panthers but teamed up with them for the first time in four years. The Panthers were loaded and also featured Villanova-bound guard Maalik Wayns (15 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists), Pitt commit Dante Taylor (13), Arizona-bound wing Kevin Parrom (13) and St. John’s commit Omari Lawrence (11).

    “Maalik had texted Lance as he was coming up here and and said, ‘Hey Lance, can you come play with us?'” Panthers coach Gary Charles said.

    Once Stephenson showed up, Charles told him: “Lance, you started out with us at is8 as a freshman. Why don’t you finish it off with us as a senior?”

    Charles said there was no discussion of where Stephenson might go to college, and when two reporters approached Stephenson he told them he had no comment on the matter.

    “We didn’t discuss it all as far as schools,” Charles said. “I know that they came there to have a good time and enjoy the game so I didn’t want to put any undue pressure.”

    Arizona fans can dream that Parrom and Stephenson will again team up next year for the Wildcats. Parrom recently committed to Arizona after initially signing with Xavier, and Arizona and Memphis are both trying to land the 6-foot-5 Stephenson.

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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.

    • So Tom Konchalski doesn’t discount Maryland, like you Mr. Zags, but flat out says St. Johns is done. I think he proves that you, along with no one else, knows what Lance is going to do. As Tom says, he hasn’t talked to Lance or his family and I don’t think anyone has. I think Lance has no clue what to do.

    • LOL!

    • It’s getting really late in the game for Lance to still not know what he’s doing next year. I wonder what’s going through his head? There are tons of players who aren’t as good as him going to schools like Kentucky, Arizona, UNC, Kansas, etc. Lance may end up at Memphis. Sure Memphis isn’t bad, but it’s definitely not as great as the Kentucky’s or Arizona’s or UNC’s or Kansas’ of the world. At this point, when looking at it from that perspective, Lance has got to consider his college recruiting efforts to be at least somewhat of a failure. I mean seriously. There are tons of guys who aren’t nearly as good as him, going to school that are waay better than Memphis or Maryland. Lance has got to get certain people out of his ear. Fast. He’s got to start making decisions that are going to improve his career. If he wants to be considered elite (outside of NYC). He should go to an elite school. He should go to Kansas, or Arizona, or UNC. Memphis is second tier (maybe 3rd tier). Lance should be able to do better than that. Why is he letting off the court decisions limit his game? He needs to make a decision to go to a major program. An elite program. Then he needs to get back to doing what he’s been doing on the court.

      • Sure Memphis isn’t bad, but it’s definitely not as great as the Kentucky’s or Arizona’s or UNC’s or Kansas’ of the world. Your mother raised a fucking idiot. Memphis is one of the elite programs in the nation, maybe there conference is weak but the tigers want to be in a BCS conference but people are scared of the tigers. If Memphis was in a BCS conference they would dominate. Thank of the players that would come to memphis if they were in a BCS conference. Mmephis gets elite players even when a weak conference. Sure Kansas and UNC are great teams but Kentucky SUCKS and has sucked for the longest time. Even with Cal they will not do that could for a couple of years, more than likely D. Cousins and Bledsoe will not qualify. Thats just my opion since niether can read i doubt they would pass theACT or SAT. I am sure u could not pass it either . Memphis is second tier (maybe 3rd tier) where have you been the last 4 years, the tigers have been better than anyone in the country. I do not want to hear we are in a weak conference beacause we bet the other teams like UCLA more than what we bet the other teams in our conference. The Memphis Tigers Have bet everyone in the last 4 years. Texas, UCLA, MICHICAN STATE, MARYLAND,TENN,GEORGTOWN,GONZAGA, ARIZONA, ETC. THE ONLY TEAMS OUT THERE BETTER THAN THE MEMPHIS TIGERS IS MAYBE KANSAS,UNC,DUKE, AND NOT UK UNTIL THEY PROVE THERE SELFS. IF MEMIS IS 2ND OR 3 TIER WELL THEN MOST EVERYONE IS 5TH OR 6TH TIER. LIKE I SAID IN THE BEGING IS YOUR MOTHER SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF RASING SUCH A IDIOT. GO TIGERS

      • Ben, at some point we have to wonder if Lance & Dad have made the mistake of looking for the perfect basketball situation, namely someplace in a high-visibility program where he’ll be guaranteed a starting job as a Frosh in order to showcase his game for the NBA draft.. In other words where there’ll be no one else that’s any good at his size and position. That’s just never going to happen because coaches always recruit two to sign one, and recruit specific positions every other year to make sure they are always have coverage for all five spots. Wherever he goes, he’s going to have to compete with at least one D1 caliber guy his size, many of which have spent a lot more time practicing three point shots than he has. If he had grown to 6-8 in high school, maybe he could get away with being a streak shooter, but in D1 and especially the NBA, 6-6 guys just gotta be able to hit from the wing with a hand in their face.

    • What is in Conference USA?!

      • IT IS WERE YOUR MOTHER LOST HER VIRGINITY AND GAVE ME HEAD.

    • Ben

      You have to remember those top tier team you mention don’t have scholarships remaining this late in the period. Memphis and Ariz still both have scholarships to give due to coaching changes. That’s why he’ll go somewhere that can actually sign him. Kansas already said they had no more to hand out once Henry signed.

      davidpk19
      Can you come up with a better argument then that? Memphis has shown that it doesn’t matter what conference you play in. In college basketball, you don’t need to be a BCS member to compete for a National Title. Lance probably is smart enough to realize that.

      • staylor066 –
        When you mention that the top tier teams don’t have scholarships remaining, you are making my point for me. Lance messed up. He’s more talented and has more game than just about anyone in the country, yet these top tier teams have already given out their scholarships to players who aren’t as good as him. This is forcing him to sign with a team that isn’t traditionally as good as others. From strictly a basketball standpoint, Lance deserves better. He messed up his recruitment process, therefore he won’t get the best.

    • Listen Ben, I agree with you in terms on Lance’s recruitment. Terrible job.

      As far as Memphis being 3rd tier, what the he!! are you talking about? They played for the national title 2 years ago and they were great again last year. Not to mention, Derrick Rose went there for a year and was the #1 pick in the draft. Tyreke Evans went there and will be a 1st round pick as well. Lance will do just fine whenever he goes on the court. Why does he have to go to an elite school? As good as he is on the court, I don’t think the elite schools were ever interested in him which should tell you something. He could go to St Johns or Seton Hall and be a 1st round pick the following year.

    • I heard rumbles of him committing to Memphis on a Maryland fan site.

    • He has NOT committed to Memphis. I just spoke with sources on their staff.

      • ok, relax buddy. that’s just the word on the net. How do you know whomever he committed to even knows yet themselves?

        • Generally when you commit, you commit to something. If he had committed to Memphis, they would know about it. I believe, as does Tom K, that he simply hasn’t decided yet.

    • Anyone feel bad that Lance will have to go to a school that he doesnt want to go to.

    • Adam,

      First off great site. In your opinion do you think he will end up at Memphis or do you believe AZ has a chance or is Europe the best option?

    • Zags,

      Any chance you can convince Konchalski to take his HSBI Report to the web? I’ll even help him out, gratis. I’d like to access his insight online.

      • I’ve talked to him about it and he has no interest at all in the Internet.

    • nah, i don’t feel bad for him because he brought upon himself. Good luck to him though.

    • I don’t feel bad for him either. Bill Self offered him a scholarship and Kansas appealed to him for two reasons: a). it’s a long ways away from New York City (which he claims he wants to get away from), and b). Kansas will compete for a National Title next year (which he says he wants to do). And please stop the whole “Kansas says their done with recruiting” rhetoric. If he called up Self & said he still wanted to come they would find room for him.

      At this point if he wants to be “the man” he should just stay close to home and be a star on a team that doesn’t really make any noise and/or compete for anything next year (i.e., St Johns, Seton Hall, or Rutgers). No offense to anyone from those programs.

      As for Memphis, they are not third tier. I’m not sure they’ll be able to maintain the status they were able to achieve under Cal–only time will tell. But I also wouldn’t label them as an “elite” level program either. Remember, they became a lot better after teams like Louisville left for the Big East.

      • Well, he can do both at Memphis. He can be competitive and be the man, We have a very solid core. We are only missing one or two pieces. Lance Stephenson is one of those pieces. He can step in and play the point if he wants, or even play off the ball.

    • Two questions for Adam:

      1) Is it true that Arizona decided to stop recruiting Lance once he started considering Memphis?

      2) Does Lance have a court hearing this month?

    • As far as I understand it from the Arizona staff, they are still recruiting Lance. The situation is confusing to all the coaches involved — Memphis, Arizona, St. John’s and Maryland. They all say the same thing.

      Yes, he has a court hearing May 19.

    • As a big basketball fan from NY who loves the Big East, I feel there is only one logical place for Lance to go….ARIZONA. Here’s why;
      1. Top 3 backcourt in America; With Nic Wise running the point, there is no west coast team that can compete.
      2. Primary scoring option- Arizona needs a number 1 scoring option, they have some great role players but Lance can step in be the focal pt of the offense and take 15 shots per game.
      3. Move to Arizona- Sometimes young men need to move away form home, leave behind any baggage and get a start fresh. Arizona is the right place to go, they have a loyal and passionate fan base. Additionally, he has the opportunity to reach out to countless NBA stars (Bibby, Arenas, Iggy, Jefferson, etc.) for guidance.
      4. Less Pressure with equal national attention-Arizona will play a lot of nationally televised games this year including Gonzaga, Maryland, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, UCLA, USC, and the rest of the Pac-10. But he will be in Sunny Tucson and will not be followed by NYpost/Daily News reporters 24/7
      I can think of MANY reasons why he should go to the UofA (Great coaching stag, beautiful women, great basketball facilities, etc.) and very few why he shouldn’t.
      Lance if you read this, think about the 1 year you will play in college…it should be at the University of Arizona.

    • I second that mpausfef1. Great post.

    • Like Lance really needs to be around a lot of beautiful..That is what has him in trouble now!

    • Arizona has one of the Top 3 backcourts in America? Then who are the other two?

      I’m not trying to flame, just want to hear the analysis behind this because it’s a bold statement.

      • RockChalkWoody –
        I’m not sure I agree with the top 3 backcourt either, but with Nic Wise at the point, Lance, Solomon Hill, Kevin Parrom and Pac-10 all freshman team honorable mention Kyle Fogg sharing time at the 2 and 3 spots, Arizona’s backcourt would be pretty formidable. Throw former five star recruit swingman Jamelle Horn into the mix (even though he’s more likely to be logging most of his minutes playing at the 4) and Arizona’s looking tough in the backcourt. Not sure about top 3, but probably vying for best in the Pac-10 along with UW.