Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Lance Stephenson- Where is he Headed?

After Lincoln (NY) defeated Rice (NY) at the Prime Time Shootout in February, I caught up with Lance Stephenson. I spoke with Lincoln's 6'6 junior swingman again this past weekend at the Rumble in the Bronx and I just got off the phone with him about 20 minutes ago. Stephenson's Raising Champions team had an extremely dissapointing performance at the Rumble 2008, and according to http://www.rivals.com/, the team did not even win a game. The squad featured Stephenson, Karron Johnson, Roberto Nelson, CJ Leslie, and Christian Kabongo, yet could not even pick up a win. Lance just told me this about the reasoning for the dissapointing showing: "I didn’t think we had the team chemistry, we never really practiced with each other. It was . . . our second time seeing each other." Despite the poor performance of the team, I still took the opportunity to chat with Lance on Saturday.

NB: There’s been a lot of reports lately about what colleges you’re considering. Can you just clear up the air and let me know what schools you are officially considering?
LS: UCLA, USC, and Kansas.

NB: What about Kentucky?
LS: Oh yeah, I like Kentucky, [it’s] a good school. I’m looking at every school, so if I just tell you a name of a school, that doesn’t really mean I’m actually going to really go there, I’m just looking at them real hard right now.

NB: Are there any other schools that are a little bit further behind . . . that you’re also considering? Anyone in particular?
LS: Memphis, St. John’s, [Pause] Indiana, and North Carolina.

NB: Does St. John’s have a bit of an edge in some ways because [it] is the home state school?
LS: Oh yeah, I was really looking at St. John’s. I think I can bring New York back [to prominence], so I’m really looking at that right now.

NB: What are going to be some of the factors in your decision?
LS: [A] good place surrounding and a good coach.

NB: You mentioned USC. What do you think about the whole OJ Mayo situation right now?
LS: I think that it’s real messed up, but [Pause] somebody did the wrong thing around him and I don’t think that should have happened, but . . . I don’t think I’m going to be in his league. I’m just focused on school and basketball right now.

NB: What do you consider to be the strongest point of four game?
LS: Down low in the post.

NB: What [is] . . . your weakest point?
LS: I don’t think I have one. Right now, it’s my attitude, that’s it, but I can change that.

NB: What are you trying to do to work on that?
LS: Just relax, but sometimes it doesn’t go my way and I get real upset. . . . I’m trying to work on it now.

Since Saturday, it seems that Lance's list has changed a little bit. "USC, St. John's, Kansas, UCLA, and Tennessee," are the schools that Stephenson just told me he is considering. I asked if North Carolina, Memphis, Kentucky, and Indiana were out of contention, and he told me that they are not: "I’m still looking at [those] schools, but I’m more focused on the other [first five] schools, then I’m going to focus on the others." As for a favorite: "I don’t have a leader right now," said the New York superstar. The only schools that Stephenson mentioned upon first questioning both times were USC, UCLA, and Kansas, so it seems that although he won't publicly say it, they may well be the favorites right now.

Note- photo is from http://scouthoops.scout.com/

1 comment:

Dylan Kitts said...

Hey, great article. makes a st john's fan like me kinda confident.

i think you may be interested in a open letter i wrote to lance. if you can get him to read it or something that would be amazing too.

http://myrandomsportsblog.blogspot.com/2008/06/my-open-letter-to-lincoln-high-schools.html

great job on the blog!