Lance Stephenson, who had planned on revealing his college choice at the start of Tuesday’s McDonald’s All-America game Media Day session, instead put his decision on hold.
“It is a tough decision because this is my life,” Stephenson, a 6-foot-5 guard from Brooklyn, N.Y.’s Lincoln High, said in informing media he was still struggling to choose between Kansas University, St. John’s and Maryland.
“It’s just hard for me and my family to make a decision and I am just going to wait it out,” added Stephenson, who said he’d talk to his father and hopefully have a decision, “soon.”
Meanwhile, the departure of Memphis coach John Calipari to Kentucky makes former KU target Xavier Henry a prime KU target once again. Xavier, a 6-foot-6 guard from Putnam City (Okla.) High, signed with Memphis over KU partly because his brother, C.J., joined the Tigers’ program as a freshman walk-on this season.
Xavier signed a written agreement with Memphis that agreed to let him out of his letter-of-intent if Calipari left for another school.
“It reopens my recruitment to anybody and everybody,” Xavier said at McDonald’s Media Day. “I’ll take a whole new evaluation of everything and anybody and try to make another good decision on where I go,” added Xavier, who said, “yes,” when asked if KU would be on his new list.
Henry said he has three campus visits available if he wishes to take visits. ESPN and others believe the Jayhawks are the favorite to land Henry and brother, C.J., whose college tuition is paid for by the New York Yankees. C.J. signed a pro contract out of high school after orally committing to play hoops at Kansas.
Carl Henry, father of C.J. and Xavier, told Zagsblog.net that Xavier could end up at KU or Kentucky, but would not attend Memphis.
“If he wants to go to Kentucky, it’s fine,” Carl said. “If he wants to go to Kansas, it’s fine. They (C.J. and Xavier) would not go to Memphis, no. C.J. was kind of in shock that (Calipari) left,” Carl added.
Xavier will play in tonight’s McDonald’s game, then discuss recruiting with his mom and dad.
“It’s definitely disappointing. I prepared my family for all of us to go there,” Xavier Henry said of Memphis. “This is another bump in the road. I’ve been through them before.”
• One or both?: It’s believed KU would not have room for both Henry and Stephenson. Adding Henry or Stephenson would put KU at 15 scholarships, two over the limit of 13. Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins have not yet announced if they are returning for another season or heading to the NBA.
Stephenson, who said he would definitely not play overseas next year, said Collins and Aldrich possibly returning would have no effect on his decision to attend KU.
“They are great players and they are one of the reasons why I want to go to Kansas,” Stephenson said.
• Case hired at SE Missouri State: Former KU guard Jeremy Case has landed a job as a full-time assistant coach at Southeast Missouri State University. He’ll be working for first-year head coach Dickey Nutt (former head coach at Arkansas State), who was hired by the Ohio Valley Conference school on March 12.
Case worked as graduate student manager this past season on Bill Self’s KU staff. He played in 94 games in his KU career from 2004-08.
“I’m really happy for Jeremy,” Self said. “It was great for Mike last year getting a position at Gardner-Webb,” Self added of former KU guard Michael Lee, who worked one year as a KU grad assistant before landing a full-time assistant coaching job.
“It’s a great opportunity for Jeremy to get on the road recruiting. At age 24, to be out recruiting, he’s ahead of the curve. I’ll really miss him. We’ll all miss him,” Self added, “but for his personal development, this is something he needs to do.”
Case said both Self and Barry Hinson of the KU staff told him of the job opening.
“I think it’s a chance of a lifetime to get out at this age and be recruiting,” Case said. “Coach Self has been great to me. I’ll miss him, all the players and coaches. As much as I love Lawrence, it’s time for me to spread my wings. I’ve been spoiled being here. I know the fans here are the best in the country.”