Born Ready in College Park
Maryland had a special visitor on hand for last night’s 73-68 win over Miami.
Brooklyn (N.Y.) Lincoln shooting guard Lance Stephenson, aka Born Ready, made a surprise trip to Comcast Center. The five-star prospect, a teammate of UM-bound power forward James Padgett, was greeted with chants of “We want Lance” by the Maryland student section.
The Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell noted that Maryland’s potential courtship of Stephenson seems a little familiar.
If Stephenson ever wound up at Maryland, it could serve as a quick fix for a program that has struggled mightily on the national recruiting scene. But according to recruiting sources, the recruitment also reeks of desperation by a program likely destined to miss the NCAA tournament for the fourth time in five seasons.
After spending the past week discussing the 2008 recruitments of two talented yet controversial players -- Gus Gilchrist and Tyree Evans -- Maryland Coach Gary Williams has now set his sights on another talented player with a checkered past.
For Maryland to have a chance at landing Stephenson, something will have to change on UM's roster. The Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens explains that the Terps presently have all 13 scholarships tied up for next season.
Maryland loses one scholarship player (Neal) after this season and has two signed for next year (Jordan Williams and James Padgett). That puts the Terps at the NCAA-maximum 13, yet star swingman Lance Stephenson made a visit to College Park last night.
Clearly, Maryland is still looking at available players for next season. But someone would have to go to make it happen, either via a transfer or an early departure for the pros (with Greivis Vasquez the only logical possibility for that route).
Even though Stephenson made the trip from New York to Maryland, SNY.tv’s Adam Zagoria thinks it’s still uncertain where the Terps stand in his recruitment.
It’s unclear if Stephenson has added Maryland to his list, but apparently he’s checking it out. Maryland coach Gary Williams is under pressure because his team has struggled this year, and landing Stephenson would be seen as a step in the right direction by some, a quick-fix by others.
Click on the YouTube player for highlights of Stephenson.