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February 1, 2009

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,’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.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 4:06 PM | | Comments (16)


This is another player that should not be recruited and I agree with those that call it a quick fix. as for players leaving, I would be shocked if Cliff Tucker stuck around next year. He is another player that got in Gary's doghouse never to return.

Are you Kidding me? This kid is filthy he is dominating on AAU teams that would probably run with MD. Get him in here even if only for a year!! Do you want to win or do you honestly care if these kids get degrees hes going to play pro in a year either way! Bring him in to drop 30 on Duke next year!!!!

if you only want gary to get 4 year players your most likely looking at the best team you can get. One recruit like a stephenson can turn the whole program around. Say he comes and we win the title other big time recruits who may stay a little longer will follow. Fans like you miketerp should never complain about the on court product if you wouldn't take a kid like stephenson.

The would be contenders next year if they got Stephensen. Kid is straight Dirty!!!!!!!! Hopefully Padgett is his boy and can convince him to come!!!!

Why would we not recruit this guy? Do we not need better players? A quick opposed to..what? A slow fix?

The state of Maryland has the dumbest sports fans in modern american history.

So Gary gets a top-10 player in for an official and you say "go away"? Brilliant.

Exactly. To say that this kid shouldn't be recruited is laughable. Tucker, Dupree, and one or two others who aren't getting playing time could be convinced to head elsewhere.

A mix of mostly 4 year players and a few 1 or 2 year studs seem to work fairly well for UConn , UNC, etc....

By the way, The you tube video should sway your vote either way. I would score 20 in an All-star type scrimmage.

Born Ready will come to MD like Melo goign to cuse and Win a Ring, HE can play in the NBA and start right now at 17.
All Maryland fans should get on your knees and pray James his team mate can talk him to play for MD. HE is the next labron James. Kobe Byrant. Dwayne Wade like talent.

Really is anybody going to care if he comes and MD wins 20 games. Even with Padgett, and Williams coming in next year MD still doesn't have anyone besides GV who who is suspect at best, that can create off the dribble. If Lance comes here which one of you would say that it was a bad decision? I know he would come in here and be an impact right away and for all those recruits on the board that we are trying to lock down will see that they have a chance to come in and make an impact on a team that will lose 4 players 2010. Besides earlying playing time what other reason would a recruit not come here, 1) possible coaching change 2) weak conference. MD has a lot to offer even the average student not just student athletes, Epps had a chance to get the ball rolling for the 2010 recruits but chose to go else where. Big time recruits follow other big time recruits because more often than not they have seen or played with one another in the AAU circles. To get Lance would be an investment in your teams future even if it's for one year.

Mind boggling that some are calling this a quick fix - what would you rather have, a slow and painful death? Because thats where this program is heading unless we start bringing in tier 1 talent, and Lance is that.

I think MD will have several leave the program after this season. Tucker, Dupree, Goins...take your pick. But honestly, are 3 freshmen going to make a huge impact when it comes to turning this team around? Maybe when they are juniors. That said...if they can get this guard, then make it happen.

I still to this day find it that hard to believe that Goins is that bad to where you keep him on the bench this long knowing that the MD low post game is invisible with the players that he is already playing. GW williams is a great coach but he sucks at subbing players in. I think Hayes lost his job along time ago but GW takes a long time removing his guards from the lineup than his bigmen. I have heard a lot about how he developed players but I see players wanting to transfer because they feel left on the shelf which in Tuckers case could really be a confidence killer for him. For college ball players confidence is a major factor in thier game and you wait until the end of the season to put them in and see if they have developed their game, your not going to get a whole lot, but if you give them chances during the year you can build from that. Tucker and Goins may not be stars in the ACC yet but consider you have no low post at all. Your guards are very streaky at best so if hayes can lose his starting spot GW needs to make it know to everyone on that team and give some of the other guys more minutes. Isn't that called coaching anyway?

We really need this kid right now. He Is already bringing some national recruiting attention to the program. I can see him playing really well with Bowie in the backcourt and with two big men coming in we can get milborne in the three spot where he belongs. We're going to be legit in a year or two

In this scenario, I would think they would drop Dave Pearman from scholarship. IIRC, he was told at the beginning of the season that his scholarship would be decided on a year-by-year basis. (Info per Terrapin Times).

Pearman was a walk-on, so I think this would be a no brainer.

I'm convinced that Dupree will be gone after this year. He'll go to Loyola the way of Hassan Fofana. Braxton is not an ACC caliber player and everyone knows it.

Stephenson would be a huge addition, even if only for a year. Right now, we cannot lure a big-time 4-year recruit. We need to build a base with the Born-Ready's of the world.

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About Matt Bracken

Matt Bracken was a lightly recruited football and tennis prospect out of East Lansing (Mich.) High School in 2001, but spurned all (nonexistent) scholarship offers to attend the University of Michigan. Matt graduated from UM in 2005, earned a master's degree in new media journalism from Northwestern University in 2006, and spent the first 11 months of his career as an online producer / videographer / blogger at the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. He has worked at The Baltimore Sun since July 2007, where he currently serves as the deputy sports editor for digital.

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