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 a ‘Nervous Wreck’ in Opener’; Wall Hits Buzzer-Beater for Kentucky
Lance Stephenson didn’t look ‘Born Ready’ in his college debut.
The 6-foot-5 Brooklyn native started and shot 2-for-10 for 7 points in Cincinnati’s season-opening come-from-behind 69-62 victory over Prairie View A&M.
He was 0-for-3 from beyond the arc while adding 4 rebounds, 2 assist and 1 turnover in 22 minutes.
“He was a nervous wreck,” Bearcats coach Mick Cronin said. “He’ll get better. I have to make sure he isn’t putting too much pressure on himself. When we were struggling, he was the one guy getting visibly more physical. You could see his frustration and his desire to win. I have to teach him how to channel that and there is no such thing as a ten point shot. He was trying to do everything himself, which is good and bad.”
The Bearcats trailed 38-30 at halftime before outscoring Prairie View 39-24 in the second half behind 12 of Deonta Vaughn’s 15 points.
Vaughn came off the bench in the second half after going 0-for-6 to start the game.
“He responded,” Cronin said of Vaughn. “Deonta is a great kid, but he has to give us better leadership. He has to make sure these guys are ready to play. Before the game when coaches aren’t in there, he has to make sure they are ready to play. Upsets happen in college basketball.”
Cincinnati made just 39 percent of its shots, while shooting 27 percent (8-for-30) from beyond the arc.
On Stephenson, Vaughn said his teammate was clearly “frustrated” in his college debut.
“That is for any freshman that comes in,” he said. “Your first couple of games is the hardest for you. I just have to talk to him and tell him how it will be for the rest of the season. He doesn’t have to force anything, and just let it come naturally.”
Cronin won’t make Stephenson available to the media until December, but hoops fans will have plenty of chances to see Lance on TV. In perusing my TV schedules, I see that both SNY and ESPN are showcasing a whole lotta Lance.
Wednesday – Toledo at Cincinnati, 7:30, SNY
Nov. 23 – Cincinnati vs. Vanderbilt, 5, ESPN 2 (Maui Invitational)
Nov. 24 – Cincinnati vs. Maryland/Chaminade, 1:30/7, ESPN2
Nov. 25 – Cincinnati vs. TBD, ESPN2
Dec. 1 – Texas Southern at Cincinnati, 7:30, SNY
Dec. 19 – Lipscomb at Cincinnati, 2 p.m., SNY
WALL HITS BUZZER-BEATER
Kentucky freshman John Wall hit a pullup 15-foot buzzer beater to lead No. 5 Kentucky to a 72-70 victory over Miami (Ohio).
“When it hit the bottom of the net, it was a relief, a great feeling,” Wall said, according to The AP.
“John Wall catching it and going, I loved it,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said.
The 6-foot-4 Wall, projected as the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, finished with 19 points, 5 assists and 3 steals. Wall sat out Kentucky’s season opener against Morehead State because of amateurism issues.
Arizona freshman Kevin Parrom of New York will miss at least a month with a stress fracture in his left foot, according to the Arizona Daily Star…No. 12 UConn led by just one at the half before beating Colgate 77-63 beind Stanley Robinson’s 18 points and Kemba Walker’s 16 points, 6 assists and 5 steals. Gavin Edwards added 14 points……Kyle Singler put up 23 points and 11 rebounds to lead No. 11 Duke to a 74-49 win over Coastal Carolina…Syracuse comes to Madison Square Garden this week for the Coaches vs. Cancer event and will play Cal in the first game Thursday night. Defending NCAA champ North Carolina meets Ohio State in the other semi. Read my feature advance on Syracuse’s zone here…Memphis added to its recruiting haul by landing 6-7 center Tarik Black of Memphis Ridgeway, the No. 47 prospect in the nation. Josh Pastner’s club now has seven incoming recruits, five of whom are ranked among the Top 70 by Rivals. Rivals ranks Memphis as the No. 1 overall recruiting class for 2010.
(Photo courtesy Michael Keating, Cincinnati Enquirer)
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.