Archive for Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Prep star delays decision

Stephenson to wait; Henry now available

Kansas recruit Lance Stephenson looks to the student section as they chant his name Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009 during his visit to Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas recruit Lance Stephenson looks to the student section as they chant his name Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009 during his visit to Allen Fieldhouse.

April 1, 2009


Recruit Lance Stephenson delays college decision

Lance Stephenson didn't make his college decision known on Tuesday. Enlarge video

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 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.”


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 1 month ago

He's waiting for the coaching fallout to end, and get himself just a little more publicity.

maxcrabb 9 years, 1 month ago

I'm just freaking out at the chance of having this kid, Aldrich, and Collins next year... plus maybe all those other kids will start playing a more consistent game.. and then poof national championship.

jaywalker 9 years, 1 month ago

X won't come to KU if Stephenson does, they play the same position. At this point if we're gonna have one of 'em I'd prefer X, at least he can make a decision.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 1 month ago

If Collins and Aldrich both come back, along with the recruits already signed, KU would be a favorite to make the final four-- meaning even a player like Stephenson would only be a lock for a spot in the regular rotation, but not a role as starter.

tolawdjk 9 years, 1 month ago

I can't see X going to UK if Calipari goes. UK is too broken down for a one and done like X is looking for. Calipari will need about 2 seasons to sort out the mess that is there.

Then there is the UK fan factor. Unless it sees immediate results, I can't see UK being happy long term with Calipari. That is just a situation I can't see anyone winning with right now.

Bruce Rist 9 years, 1 month ago

Collins and Aldrich have played their last game in a college uniform

Jim Hoffman 9 years, 1 month ago

while i agree that if one goes pro, the other is more likely, why do you think sherron would be in a hurry to be a second round pick? another year of experience and he could be a first rounder like lawson.... by the way, not sure about these projections... cole doesnt exactly fit d'antonio's uptempo style.. and though i love sam young, no way my sixers would draft another small forward with lawson and tyreke evans on the board...

Jeff Kilgore 9 years, 1 month ago

takeastand, what is who writes it? I have major issues with draft selection after #3 and 4. Philly is right. Collins wants a big payday and if he stays, that's much more likely to happen. He needs another year of exposure, his name out there, and if he makes the Final Four, all eyes will be on him.

Naturally, JC's decision to bolt will affect hoops in a big way. I don't like his demeanor, nor the way he coaches, unless it's versus KU in the title game! but if Henry's decision boiled down to Memphis or Kansas and he's getting a release, well, rock chalk. I'll take him or Stephenson. They're awesome players.

geniusmannumber1 9 years, 1 month ago

Ah, yes. The site that, immediately after Cole's triple double game had him staying another year. The site that had Chalmers going 15 to Phoenix last year. Well, proof enough for me.

1029 9 years, 1 month ago

I'd be very, very, very suprised if Aldrich left. He's waited a good portion of his life to play at KU and then he bolts before he can become one of the most dominant interior players in college basketball? Plus, if he goes to the NBA, he's looking at very limited playing time his first year (or more) until he can develop some strength and be able to post up against players who are just as tall as he is and much stronger.

I'm not so sure about Collins. I think he'll stay because he knows the team can be a lot better next year and he doesn't want to leave knowing that he played his last minute in a KU uniform so poorly. However, I think Stephenson or Henry could impact his decision because he still wants to take the shots, get as much playing time as possible, and be the team leader. You would think he wouldn't want to risk having a season in which his stats drop off and/or he gets overshadowed. I'm also wondering if his not-so-clutch performance in the last minute of the MSU loss will have an impact on how NBA teams view him (similar to what Chalmers' performance in the championship did for how NBA teams viewed him).

And at Collins' height, you have to be a pretty consistent shooter in the NBA and not turn the ball over. He's not going to get the chance to redeem himself if he starts bricking too many threes or misses too many driving layups. Whereas KU has to keep him in and his stats usually level out, he might end up never getting any playing time if he plays out of control and forces shots and makes poor decisions with the ball.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 1 month ago

If Collins comes back, he's going to need to show that he can be a point guard who can score, not the shooting guard who can handle the ball some that he was this year, since any future in the NBA will be as the former, not the latter. Having either Henry or Stephenson around will help him do that (as would Reid and Morningstar getting more confident in their shots.)

Aldrich would be a first round pick if he goes now, but probably mid to late. If he stays another year and has comparable improvement to this year, he's a top-five pick. With a lot of inside help on the way with the addition of Withey and Robinson and the improved play of the twins and Thomas, opposing teams won't be able to double up on him nearly as much.

jonas_opines 9 years, 1 month ago

"I wouldn't make assumptions or statements as fact based on an internet site."

Ack!! You've just broken apart my perception of the world as told through this forum!!

Bruce Rist 9 years, 1 month ago

"The site that had Chalmers going 15 to Phoenix last year. Well, proof enough for me."

And I bet Phoenix wished they had taken him considering he is up for rookie of the year.

Jim Hoffman 9 years, 1 month ago

is it true that Henry has chosen KU?

Collins has shown he can score..with more experienced teammates, plus new talent coming in, Collins can trust his teammates more, distribute more and show his point guard skills to improve his draft status..

Leprechaunking13 9 years, 1 month ago

Thats funny morningstar and reed getting more comfortable shooting. If we get X or Lance then Brady( the best 3 point percentage in the big 12) will come off the bench to be a deep threat. Reed will not play if we get a top 5 wing.

Jim Williamson 9 years, 1 month ago

I want both Collins and Aldrich to stay, too, but to say that staying at KU would help their development is a weak argument. The coaching is so much better at the NBA level, and they get so much more of it, to say that they need to stay for that reason just doesn't hold up. And they'd get paid while they were learning.

In related news, we really need one of these two kids -- X or Stephenson -- so Brady can go back to the bench and be the role player he should be. An athletic 3 was what this team needed, and as Coach Self would say, "over time," we learned that Brady Morningstar ain't it.

Jim Hoffman 9 years, 1 month ago

for every kid who went pro early and developed while sitting on the bench because of the great coaching in the NBA, i can give you three who never panned out because they weren't ready. Just look down the list of NBA drafts and see all the kids who werent ready and came out, and you can barely remember their names.

Jeff Kilgore 9 years, 1 month ago

Here, here, Philly Jim. That list of never-to-bes would make a really interesting "where aren't they now?" social interest story. I'll give you one. The Wichita kid #2 in the US who jumped early and didn't do squat, whose name, as you've mentioned took me a minute to think of: Corleone Young.

rgh 9 years, 1 month ago

Either one would be a great addition to the KU team. I would say whichever one chooses KU first will be on a great time IMMEDIATELY and would be foolish not to sign and sign quickly.

The other will be left out in the cold even though they would both be attending a good school. KU has the best opportunity for an NCAA championship and/or NBA position.

rgh 9 years, 1 month ago

Either one would be a great addition to the KU team. I would say whichever one chooses KU first will be on a great time IMMEDIATELY and would be foolish not to sign and sign quickly.

The other will be left out in the cold even though they would both be attending a good school. KU has the best opportunity for an NCAA championship and/or NBA spot. Sherron and Cole would both be suited better for the NBA by coming back next year, plus they'd have a lot of fun!

girlyoudontknow 9 years, 1 month ago

Hope CASE will MAN up and own up to his two sons! Now that he is going to be making more money he needs to give his baby mama's some of it! Haha!

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