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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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Thursday / December 14.
  • Isiah Interested in Lance?

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    I will preface this post by saying that at this point almost nothing would surprise me about where Lance Stephenson ends up.

    The latest rumor is that Isiah Thomas, the new coach at Florida International, has reached out to Stephenson.

    “Thomas is going after Lance hard,” a source told blogger Zach Smart.

    “He tried to get [Kentucky-commit] Eric Bledsoe as his first step to reviving that program. As of right now, Zeke has the upper hand on Arizona, Memphis and whoever else, for reasons I’m not at liberty to speak about.”

    Now we need to keep a couple things in mind here:

    **Zach is a hard-working, smart guy, but he also previously cited sources saying Lance was definitely headed to St. John’s and we know how that turned out.

    **I have reached out to a few sources and am trying to confirm whether this rumor is true.

    On the one hand, it kind of makes sense. Isiah is new on the job and is trying to get involved with some of the top players out there. He got Latavious Williams to visit campus and Williams said he enjoyed it. He’s due to announce among Memphis, Georgetown, Kansas State and FIU.

    Isiah obviously has NBA connections and I’m sure that’s appealing to many of these kids.

    On the other hand, Lance has repeatedly said he wants to play in the NCAA Tournament and have a chance to win it…yet it’s hard to imagine FIU making the Big Dance in Thomas’ first year, let alone having any kind of shot to go deep.

    One thing I can confirm: Arizona IS still recruiting Lance despite rumors on blogs to the contrary. This from a source with direct knowledge.

    Memphis reached out to Lance Stephenson Sr. through an intermediary and is believed to be investigating the situation.

    While I feel that the descriptions by my journalistic colleagues of  Lance as a “program-killer” and a “supermodel with herpes” are unduly harsh — guys, he’s just an 18-year-old kid! — there is definitely a growing feeling that Lance’s options have diminished and he and his family may have painted themselves into a corner.

    Stay tuned….

    ***For more on Lance, watch this video interview with recruiting expert Tom Konchalski.

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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.

    • Isn’t this suppose to be a dead period Adam? How can they contact these kids without the NCAA approval.

      FIU would be horrible for him. He needs discipline for the next level. There is only two schools mentioned that will give him that.

      Kansas and Maryland.

      • Agree with you, come on now AZ, FIU? no way.

        I still think it is either Maryland or Arizona. Kansas i think was out of it when Self said they werent recruiting anymore for this class and got Henry.

    • I highly doubt he’ll go there(FIU)

    • Hey, that would be good for Lance….all that TV time…..LMAO.
      Come on AZ.

      But, to more real stuff….

      What is up with USC….It does not matter.
      Because USC allows comes out looking ROSEY….

      Quit your whining. I have known Floyd a long time (since his days in New Orleans), and the dude has always been skeezy and shady. This is not a SAD day, it is a GLAD day. We don’t want nor need a coach like Floyd in the Pac-10. So, “Blowing Ditka”, while you see Pac-10 doom and gloom with the Floyd situation, I see an on-going and bad situation finally being addressed.”

      I suggest that you read the post that you commented on one more time, and maybe this time take it a little slower. My son finds it helpful to place his finger under the words as he sounds them out. Maybe you could benefit from a similar technique. Although, I do give you props for rhyming SAD and GLAD. Very impressive.

      Nowhere in my post did I express sympathy for F-Loyd. While you and I differ in our abilities to read, our opinions of F-Loyd are very similar. I am gald to see him go, if, in fact, that is the final outcome. What I view as regrettable is the whole situation, from the hiring of Tim F-Loyd to this final outcome that will ultimately damage (not lead to the downfall of) the pac 10. Now, i know that you have a tendency to let meanings and details get by you so let me summarize with the following: I am HAPPY to see F-Loyd go. However I would have preferred that it occured under circumstances that didn’t result in adversely affecting the Pac 10, thus adversley affecting the UofA.

      “USC has never had a good Bball program, so this hardly tarnishes a non-existent program.”

      “USC will be fine with a good new head coach; remember they are located in one of the hottest markets in the country.”

    • I find it difficult to fathom that USC.trojan has children. That is scary. An even smaller, just as annoying version of his Dad I am sure.

    • U of A is the no brainer choice for Lance. Kansas signed X, he doesn’t want to go to Maryland or St. Johns (not sure I blame him), Memphis has a first year coach and their whole team has been poached, and FIU…GIVE ME A BREAK! FIU is the opposite of what Lance is looking for. No TV time, no chance at the Tourney, no history of success and Zeke…as good as a player he was, has done everything short of burn the Knicks to the ground when he was in charge.

      As long as Arizona will have him, which by what Adam has been saying, sounds like they are very interested, then that is where he will go. It fills both clubs needs. A young talented team in need of a Big time scorer, a great PROVEN coach, a top tier conference (in a down year), and all the Exposure he can handle! On top of that it gets Lance away from all the distraction he apparently has, and puts him in a basketball town, with great weather and hot girls.

      Lance will be a WILDCAT next year, or he will be in Italy somewhere…If I was Zeke, I wouldn’t hold my breath!

    • do you think usc.trojan is already grooming his kid to annoy the hell out of all the other kids at school by writing in some crazy format

    • USC.trojan=english as a second language

    • If Lance goes to FIU, the main pressing poll question is:

      Will Isiah grope Lance’s girlfriend?
      Yes/No?

    • I’m thinking Arizona – he has indeed boxed himself in a bit, but I’ve heard Arizona has a great campus and I think he’d have fun out there. I also wish these guys would stop thinking that the NBA is the only option after their first year. If they become stars at the next level (Durant, Rose, Beasley, etc.) so be it. But they can also stay in school if their first year isn’t all they had hoped & try again the next year.

      I read a few posts blasting his Dad, but I think any 18 year-old kid benefits by listening to his Dad so I’m glad to see him getting advice by Family members. Let’s take it easy on this kid; this really isn’t a big deal.