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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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Tuesday / December 12.
  • Lance Stephenson to Cincinnati? (UPDATED)

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    Could Lance Stephenson be on the verge of signing with the University of Cincinnati?

    One source says the 6-foot-5 Stephenson — the all-time leading scorer in New York State history — could commit to the Bearcats as early as Tuesday.

    On Monday Stephenson heads to Brooklyn Criminal Court for his sexual assault case,  which could be adjourned for a second time in two months.

    “Word is Lance is signing with Cincinnati,” one Big  East assistant coach said. “I think he will on Tuesday from what I’m being told.”

    Lance Stephenson Sr. said his son was still going through the recruiting process.

    “We are going through the process of picking a school,” he wrote in a text. “Things are going well with the schools we are talking to. We look forward to announcing in the weeks to come.”

    Lance Jr. and several family members took an official visit to the Cincinnati campus from Friday-Sunday and Lance played pickup with the team on Saturday.

    “He got here [Friday],” said a player on the team. “We just got through playing open gym. [He played] with the whole team and a couple old players.

    “He was doing good. I guarded him. He played good. We could use him. If we get him we’ll be good.”

    Lance has visited Kansas, Maryland and St. John’s and Lance Stephenson Sr. recently said his son would take two more.

    Memphis and Arizona may still be involved, but no visits have been set, as far as we know.

    Other potential schools in the mix include Missouri, Pittsburgh and UNC-Charlotte, according to a source.

    Cincinnati returns a solid core including guards Deonta Vaughn and Rashad Bishop and forward Yancy Gates. Point guard Cashmere Wright also becomes eligible this year after sitting out last season with an injury. The Bearcats are bringing in big man Ibrahima Thomas and guards Sean Kilpatrick and  Jaquon Parker. Kilpatrick is a White Plains, N.Y. native.

    Stay tuned for more later…

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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.

    • good call pastaboy. now your just going to dog lance and say how bad a person he is. i thought he was gonna be a tiger

    • Looks like Lance Sr does read the comments.
      Hope it was helpful.

      The BEST strategy for the court case is the VISIT and the college NEWs.

      The court will have to decided on – READY or dismissing the case, tomorrow.
      NYC_DA will have to do something and Lance holds a good neg. position.

      If it does go to READY, the selection is the KEY.
      Be focused and DETAILED…take good notes on their responses to the questions.

      If the case is done on Monday…..
      is there other steps to be taken on Tuesday?
      With the court thing, clearing up….one may take a step back.

    • Lance going to a middle of the pack Big East team is better than bringing more controversy to a school about to vacate a Final Four appearance and is on its way back down to earth!

      I hope Lance has a great one year and goes on to a great pro career where his mom and dad make sure with Lance that no one rips him off. He should go to Len Elmore and Steve Smith for advice and role model/mentoring. They’re two great examples of pros who are very successful men outside of basketball. Plus they are excellent announcers/sportscasters. Both guys came from great college programs too 😉

    • bbal purist,

      Not sure what your issue with Memphis is, but we no longer need Stephenson’s services. If you weren’t paying attention, Elliot Williams is now a Tiger. He is an outstanding player and his amateur status is not in question. Honestly, I could care less if the NCAA vacates the season or not. It was a great season, I enjoyed it immensely. That can’t be taken away and it has no impact on the future of the program. We have signed some 5 star players after the controversy hit the air and these guys could care less. We have a great new coach and his enthusiasm and integrity are beyond approach. Memphis is on the way up! Derrick Williams should commit this week (probably to Arizona). Looks like Matt Pilgram will sign with the Tigers and it sounds like he is a very good player. I honestly don’t know much about him, but the Tigers are only taking good players so my guess is that he will be another good pick up.

      It sounds like Lance’s biggest problem is his parents. It seems like they are out to make a buck marketing their child. With his skills, he should be playing for North Carolina or Kansas. Instead, he is trying to find a team that will take him. A sad story for sure. If he gets signed, he may not even see the court if the NCAA determines he is ineligible.

      My guess is that Memphis will be a top 25 team before the season is over and a sure bet to make the NCAA tourney (again). Our future looks out of this world, Josh Pastner is able to recruit big time players. I think his recruiting will get even better when he fields a good tourney team next year and shows that he has a style of play that guys want to play. We lost 4 starters from last year, but we are still loaded with top 100 players (Witherspoon, Williams X2, Kemp, Garcia, Mack, etc).

    • i agree memtiger87. we will be a top 25 team, and possibly a top 20 team before the season. we should be the favorites to win the cusa now, not tulsa. watch memphis to be a 4 seed or higher in the tournament. and btw, we don’ t need lance or derrick williams

    • I wouldn’t mind Derrick Williams, he seems like a good kid. I am not too sure how much he would help us, but some added depth is never a bad thing. My guess is that he signs with Arizona anyway, so it really doesn’t matter if we want him or not… We would still have scholarships available for 2010. If we sign Pilgrim, not sure if we need him though. He comes in as a Junior, so he will only have two years of eligibility. 2010 looks like it is going to be a great recruiting year for us, I think Joe Jackson will be a Tiger. I am stoked about our future!

    • Trojan

      Are you saying that Lance Sr. has read your stellar legal advice advice on these threads and is doing what you advised? You don’t really believe that crap you write do you?

      As far as Lance goes, Cincy is probably a decent option; Playing in the Big East is a good challenge,

      • OldGary,

        Before you write anything….best to go back and read the comment.
        Go back and read what was written about starting his Visits bofore the case starts.

        Guess what….Lance started his visits before the court date.
        The timing is very good.

        Thankfully, Lance can read better than YOU.

        What were the reasons given….Lance is not a Terp?

    • Too bad he didn’t tell you what schools are in the hunt, zag.

    • The saga continues…

    • No offense to Cincy fans, but to go from being recruited by the Elite schools to now being on the verge of signing with a middle-of-the-road Big East school is almost comical. Why not help out poor Norm Roberts & stay at home and play for St Johns? He’s going to be a big fish in a small pond at either school.

      Where did this joke of a recruitment go wrong?

    • Because Norm Roberts will be a color guy on ESPN regional broadcasts in a year and St. Johns is horrible.

    • In a year Lance will be in the NBA Draft so it wouldn’t matter if his coach would be working at ESPN.

      I wonder if once Lance enrolls in school, any school, if the NCAA starts their investigation then or in the middle of the season or once the season is over.

    • That was kind of my point regarding Roberts–why not help the guy out & possibly help resurrect St Johns?

      I could really care less where he goes. Once KU got X I stopped really caring too much about where Stephenson ends up. However, since Roberts & Self are tight I would’ve liked to have seen the kid stay close to home.

    • I doubt he’d pick a school for what it would do for the nice guy coach. Guessing its more likely he’ll pick one based on which of the available options will benefit him the most in terms of supporting cast, style of play, conference and exposure to media markets.

    • do you really feel Charlotte has a chance with Lance? We have no open schollies for the upcoming season.

    • Cal never recruited this guy ……. the only reason Pastner did was he was desperate for players after the Exodus …….for that reason I would loved to have gotten him …but hey …sumpin ain’t right here ….and even the PB haters know its true ….. this kid could be a bust out …or he could be another Lebron …my guess is somewhere in the middle …..and please do no post I’m trashing him because Memphis didn’t get him ….. I would have loved getting him …but it is what it is …..I still can’t believe Cincinnati

    • Pastner lost this recruiting battle and now Memphis fans will re-enter Larry Finch loserville ………..all aboard for the doughnut express ………….Mr. workaholic is in over his head …… this isn’t AAu ball son ……. you think Joe Jackson will come play for an 18 and 12 rookie coach ….guess again …..my cat could sell Lance on coming to Memphis ….seeya punk ………Cal rules college basketball and Pastner is his butt boy . oh btw butt boy here’s a kid I cut from the team ……..hahahahahahahahaha

      • are you trying to be sarcastic?

        cuz if you were serious that statement would have contradicted everything else you have ever posted on here.

        i also find it humorous that missouri is listed as a possible school. no way lance wants to play 40 minutes of hell like they do.

        • He’s just showing us his true colors, and they aren’t blue and gray.

      • pastabitch,

        ur incessant, if u even know what that means, pessimissim is truly a sight to gag at. pastner will do good as a head coach, and will win more than 25 games this year. u should get off ur knees in calipari’s office and act like a man for once and remain faithful with ur supposedly team. and cut the shit with the whole doughnut thing. larry finch was a good coach who just had a run of bad luck. if u can do a better job than pastner the first 3 months, i’d like to see u try and fail. eat shit and die motherfucker. u get on my last nerve with ur dumbass posts. grow the fuck up u jackass

    • My lord this kid has issues.

      It is most likely one of three issues:
      1. 14 year old kid
      2. Mentally ill
      3. Has a gay love affair with Calipari

      Maybe it’s all three. I’ve never seen such a neurotic individual in my life.

      Zags, this dude is ruining your blog…

    • Looks like Arizona fans have more faith in JP …then , at least memphis- Pastaboyz.

      memphis has a good foundation for JP.
      It may take some time for JP.

      BUT, EW was a HUGE get.

    • Trogan

      He had already visted schools WAY before your stellar advice – and with the charges already filed.

    • So, the weekend before the court….of all weekends.

      Lance is visiting.

      NO, this is just an ODD coincedence.

      I like the Visit…. hope he does well in Cinci….or

      Note:
      Not to mention…a different direction from before.
      “We want to clear his name first….”

    • I love the passion some of you Memphis fans have. Everyone but Pastaboy. Who is the most obnoxious poster I have ever seen on the internet. But, I would be bitter to if I lived with my Mom and had never touched a female that wasnt part of my family.

      Back to my point. You Memphis fans have passion but also I think you are a little high on the Tiger juice. You guys lost A LOT! Pastner has never been a head coach. We dont know what he is going to do in game time situations. You guys arent still “loaded.” Of course you will be the favorite in Conf USA. My high school team my senior year would finish in the top half of conference USA. But, to say at the end of the year you will have a 4 seed in the big dance OR HIGHER? Is absurd. Or higher? I think you guys need to see how Pastner is as a head coach. Need to see how the team actually performs after the mass exodus of players.

      Good Luck to you guys though.

      • jayhawk just be lucky u got X from us. without him yall are a top 15 team. we will progress as the season goes along, and will run more than with calipari. we may have lost a lot, but we still have talent here, and have recruited good talent. we may not be loaded as usual, but we have plenty of talent to be a top seed. especially when we actually have plays against a zone

        • Kansas was the consensus number 1 for next year even before Calipari left for Kentucky and X switched allegiances.

      • Fluke Nc

        • Next time tell your mancrush Coach Cal to call a timeout so there won’t be a situation for a “fluke” to happen.

      • It’s not juice, we drink kool-aid here in the South 🙂 All kidding aside, I think the only elephant int he room now is whether or not Pastner has the coaching chops. That has me a bit worried, but it isn’t keeping me up at night, I think a blind man could get this team in the Tourney. #4 seed? Yeah, it’s a little earlier to be calling seeds that high, but the talent on the floor is there, so it’s not unreasonable.

        For me, and I imagine I speak for a lot of Tiger fans when I say this, I don’t think I’ve ever followed ANY sports team where there has been so many ups and downs in such a short period of time as I have with the Tigers since Calipari left. As it stands, the dust is finally setting and there’s a lot of optimism in the air, Tiger fans are excited about the upcoming season. After getting the living shit kicked out of us, please forgive folks if they are happy to still have a great program to cheer for.

    • actually, we were already pegged as a potential preseason number 1 without X by all the talking heads on espn. without him we are still top 5 team, perhaps the top team.

      but i agree with you tsmooth that memphis has a chance to be a good seed in the tourney. if i had to guess right now i would say a 4 or 5 seed. conference USA champs, but not as dominant as years past. if i was a memphis fan i would be thrilled with a 4 seed after everything that has happened, and a 4 seed would really legitimize pastner as a good head coach.

      • totally agree jayhawk 4. without X, KU would still be a top 5 team, but he instantly gives yall a number 3 scorer behind Aldrich and Collins. i will settle for a 4 or 5 seed. that signifies a good turn around from the calipari debacle. if we get a 3 seed, i will be ecstatic, but i doubt we will. we will be a top 20 team this year, and possibly a top 10 team next year if we have almost everybody back plus the bartons and maybe joe jackson or casey prather

    • Without X, we still have 2 1st team All Americans in Cole and Sherron. We still would be Pre-Season #1.

      But, fortunately for us we do have Xavier Henry which makes us even more powerful.

      Memphis will be a solid team, but not top 15-20 caliber.

      I could gret Adam, usc.trojan, and myself and play with Cole and Sherron and we would still win 20 games.

      No one will be able to guard Cole.

    • It doesn’t really matter what the pre -season rankings are ……most coaches would rather be under the radar ……of course insecure fans like the Kansas fans in here must be as bellicose as possible about an unofficial ranking to try and mask their fluke NC . Memphis needed to get Lance to continue in 09 as one of the top 5 programs in the country …..without him they will be pretty good …..but certainly not a one or two seed …..unless someone steps like CDR did out of the blue .

    • Kansas has insecure fans, macaroniboy?

      that’s odd:

      Comment by pastaboy
      2009-06-28 23:38:12
      Pastner lost this recruiting battle and now Memphis fans will re-enter Larry Finch loserville ………..all aboard for the doughnut express ………….Mr. workaholic is in over his head …… this isn’t AAu ball son ……. you think Joe Jackson will come play for an 18 and 12 rookie coach ….guess again …..my cat could sell Lance on coming to Memphis ….seeya punk ………Cal rules college basketball and Pastner is his butt boy . oh btw butt boy here’s a kid I cut from the team ……..hahahahahahahahaha

    • If I rooted for Memphis, I would cringe every time I saw your name on this website.

      Anywho, after the whole Calipari saga happened and it was all about “X or Lance”, I was just about the only one who preferred to get Lance. I still feel that way, because this kid’s a stud (not saying X man isn’t), but there’s something about that New York chip on your shoulder that I love (Russ Rob).

      It woulda been pretty cool to do for Lance what we did for Robinson: “And, starting at the other guard, a 6’1″ senior from New Yooooooork, New Yooooooooork..”

    • rockchalkin… at first i felt the same way, but after everything that has happened with the court case and the bornreadytv stuff i would disagree. i would rather have X. X’s attitude reminds me alot of B Rush coming out of high school, whereas Lance’s reminds me alot of JR Giddens.

      i do miss the new york new york thing during the starting lineups though, that was awesome.

      im also not sure how we are insecure by saying that we are going to be preseason No. 1. would you rather have us not talk about that pasta?

    • Jayhawkfan11,

      We did lose alot! We had an awesome recruiting class. We lost almost all of them. We thought we were going to lose our current players. We lost one, Taggert, who was probably our best player. We have an ongoing investigation that was dumped on us by our previous coach who desperately recruited Memphis signees.

      What do we get? A very young coach with no head coaching experience. What has he done? He kept Will Coleman and every current player except one. He signed Latavious Williams, a top 20 recruit. He found a Frenchie overseas (we’ll all have to see how good he is). Elliot Williams signed through a family illness. He signed the Bartons, with Will being a top 10 player and on rated the number one SG on many sites. He remained positive despite being hired without knowledge of the Derrick Rose situation.

      Game coach? I think that is a piece of cake with what he has been through. He hired good assistants. This young man has prepped for this job since he was 12. He is a fanatic about being in phenomenal shape and will have a very athletic team. We are full of top 75 players. We don’t have a Tyreke or D Rose this year, but we have 10 guys that could play for anyone. I have no doubts about Pastner being prepared.

      I can’t honestly tell you that our team is a good as 2007-2008. I thought we would have dropped a little last season, but we entered the NCAA tourney ranked #2 and made it to our fourth straight sweet sixteen. What will happen this year? I don’t know, but I see us as a good team that will make another NCAA appearance. After that, I don’t know, but I am as excited about next year as I have been. Just my thoughts…

    • How hard is it to make the NCAA tournament out of C-USA?

      • Actually its pretty hard …ask Tulsa or Uab …..

    • Thanks for backing my point pasta. Most years C-USA only deserves one bid. So Memphis winning C-USA and making the tourney is not that hard of a task.

    • Tulsa deserved a bid last year ….. its not that hard of a task is you win every conference game UA ….Memphis the last 4 years didn’t go to the tournament because they won CUSA ..LOL …they went because they were ranked either 1 to 5 in the country and had great players and great teams …are you really this dumb?

    • I’m not bringing up the past you are, just like a fan of a team that is on the skids to bring up past seasons. I’m speaking of the up coming season and all the talk about Memphis winning C-USA and being a four seed. I think a club needs to do more than win a mid-major conference to receive a seed like that.

      • Would you not trade UA’s 2009-10 roster for Memphis’s, UAWildcat?

        • Wouldn’t trade the roster or coach

          • Interesting. Obviously you wouldn’t trade coaches, but the rosters aren’t really even close. Memphis has 3-5 guys better than anyone on the Arizona roster.

          • I’m not sure which roster is better. We will find out this coming season.

    • Oh come on UAWildcat. Are you telling me the Pac 10 is the cats meow?

      The Big East and the ACC are the only two conferences that have bragging rights, the rest are just also rans.

      Pastaboy, your ritalin and prozac cocktail must be working. Last night you were going to off yourself after you thought Lance was going to sign with Cinci. And today you hate him again. And now Memphis and Pastner are OK again. Got the old swagger back?

    • I am not saying Memphis is not a quality program just saying the rest of the conference is a joke.

    • Well I agree if Memphis next year is around 22 and 8 and they win the conference tourney …then of course they wouldn’t get a 4 seed just on the merits of winning the conference ……and again I must emphasize ….. Memphis didn’t turn down an offer to go to the Big East just so they could dominate a gutted conference …..they were not asked ….. Cal played the hand that he was dealt and he played it pretty damn well imo …..

      • first u say 20 and 10. now u say 22 and 8. make up ur mind pasta. u obviously dont know what the hell u are talking about. memphis was not good enough to play in the big east. i bet they wished they had invited us now though. we would have dominated that conference too. maybe not as well as we did cusa, but we would have. we beat uconn and georgetown already. we would have attracted a lot of talented players to us and the big east, not to mention constant competition. there would have been unprecedented tv coverage.

        • Based on Calipari’s results vs. top competition (roughly .500 vs. the top 50 in the last 5 years), you should be glad Memphis didn’t jump to the Big East.

          • i actually would rather us have jumped to it. i love the competition and talent level in the big east and memphis would only have added to it. memphis should replace south florida. what are they doing? nothing. we are a top program in a middling conference. if we played like this in a major conference nobody would doubt how good we are. unfortunately, we will not be given that chance anytime soon

          • S Florida is bringing the Tampa market, that’s what they’re doing. Similar to Baylor in the Big 12 and DePaul in the Big East. It’s all about television revenues.

          • memphis brings good television ratings when we play on espn or cbs. examples: gonzaga, georgetown, tulsa, tennessee, mizzou, arizona even. we bring in a lot of fans when we play nationally televised games. which is not what south florida or depaul can say. the big east would love to have those ratings to boost their conference up even more

    • Actually …..Memphis was more attractive than say a Depaul or a S.Florida from a talent and strength of program aspect ……but the Big East was going after T.V markets as well as teams ……I use a 20 and 10 or a 22 and 8 example merely from a hypothetical basis to amplify my point ……these numbers should not be taken literally . Under Cal Memphis would have been consistently in the top 2 in the Big East …..however the guady record would not have been there …bottom line Cal was a one or two seed the past 4 years ……conference affiliation would not have affected that .

      • His record against the top competition indicates his record would be far from gaudy. Besides the 07-08 team, I don’t see any of his last 5 Memphis teams breaking the top 4 in the Big East.

      • cal wasn’t a one or two seed. memphis was. dont be blinded by cal too much. he is a good recruiter. that is it. i hope kentucky knows what they are getting themselves into

    • Keep in mind Cal always played a tough non conference schedule to compensate for Cusa and to load up the schedule for top recruits coming in ……his teams would have murdered most of the Big East fodder …….. Pitt. Uconn maybe Louisville would have been tough competition … but Memphis would have always been in the top 2 ….. his team that lost to Ucla may have been his best.

      • his team tht went to the final was the best. that’s why they got farther

    • just be patient memphis, soon your bball team will be relevant again. maybe in 2010-11. those bartons can ball. just wait it out and watch KU, UK, UNC, ‘Nova, and Texas play it out and enjoy. ive enjoyed rooting for your team the last 3 tourneys.

      • Memphis will be good again, under JP.
        It may take some time.
        The Bartons were a good steal from Cali.

        Use one of the same tricks to get the Bartons.
        The two for one offers.

        Hope you get Matt P. as well.
        He got a raw deal from Cali.
        Big time – Romared.

        Give JP some time and the forthcoming teams will be very good.

        Wining Conf. US is a big challenge.
        Tulsa appears the team to beat.
        And Conf. US may only get one bid from the tournament.
        (worst case)

      • haha well i am looking forward to 2010. but we will be a solid team this upcoming season. in 2010 we shall be one of the top programs in the country with the bartons, maybe joe jackson or casey prather, and most, if not all, of our team from this year returning. thanx for the rooting

    • This year the CUSA tourney is played in Tulsa ( ouch)