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March 23, 2009

Weekend wrap — Stephenson, Padgett take home title

Terps shooting guard target Lance Stephenson made history on Saturday.

The five-star prospect led Brooklyn (N.Y.) Lincoln to its fourth consecutive New York Public Schools Athletic League championship.

Stephenson, a 6-6, 205-pound shooting guard, ended his PSAL career with an exclamation point, scoring a game-high 24 points and grabbing 10 rebounds to earn MVP honors in leading the Railsplitters to a 78-56 win over JFK Saturday in the "AA" title game at the Garden.

Maryland power forward signee James Padgett chipped in with a double-double.

But James Padgett, Lincoln’s 6-8 Maryland-bound big man, who had 17 points and 14 rebounds, scored inside, and Shaquille Stokes made two steals that led to baskets.

Stephenson’s scheduled to announce his college decision April 1 at the McDonald’s All-American Game. He’s down to Kansas, Maryland and St. John’s, but according to’s Adam Zagoria, the Jayhawks are the heavy favorites in his recruitment.

Based on numerous interviews, Stephenson’s comments in recent days and the history of his recruitment, it’s a safe bet that he ends up in a Jayhawk uniform next season. Lance says it was between Kansas, Maryland and St. John’s, but several sources said Maryland is not in the picture and one source very close to the decision-making process said Kansas is a heavy favorite.

Jordan Williams’ Torrington squad dropped a 58-57 game to Bulkeley in the Connecticut Class L title game on Saturday, but the Maryland-bound forward had a memorable performance in his final high school game.

The 6-foot-10 senior scored a game-high 36 points shooting 15-for-20 from the field, and he missed a triple double by one blocked shot as he also had a game-high 13 rebounds.

With his 21st point, Williams broke the all-time Naugatuck Valley League scoring record.

In his 400th and final game, [Torrington coach Tony] Turina saw his prize pupil make history by becoming the all time leading scorer in NVL history, finishing a magnificent career with 2,228 points, good for seventh place overall in the state.

• UM small forward target Terrell Vinson (12 points, 10 rebounds) helped St. Frances to a 64-58 win over DeMatha in the semifinals of the Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament at Frostburg State on Friday. On Saturday, Vinson scored 13 in the Panthers’ 66-56 championship-game loss to Gonzaga (D.C.).

"We didn't come to play the whole game - we showed up in the second half, but it was too late then. We weren't playing enough defense, and our shots weren't falling in the first half. And Gonzaga executed, especially down the stretch," St.Frances junior forward Dante Holmes said. Holmes and senior teammate Terrell Vinson were named first-team All-Tournament, and Calvert Hall junior forward Jonathan Graham was named to the second team.

• Terps shooting guard target Victor Oladipo made the play of the game in DeMatha’s loss to St. Frances.

Victor Oladipo had nine points, six rebounds and perhaps the best dunk of the weekend, a powerful two-hander in traffic after taking a pass from Quinn Cook in the second quarter.

• Maryland women’s combo guard recruit Natasha Cloud led Cardinal O’Hara in scoring in the Lions’ 67-58 loss to Mount Lebanon in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class AAAA championship game.

For the Lions, Natasha Cloud drilled five of eight three-point attempts en route to 20 points. Holzer (14 points, six rebounds and five blocks in 18 minutes) and Alicia Manning (10 points) were next in the scoring column.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 9:53 AM | | Comments (13)


God here we go again, another recruit gets close then signs else where. Guess we'll have to settle for 2 3 star recruits that arent even in the top 100 in the country. How UMD doesn't get a top 100 player in the country is flat out embarrassing. There are no excuses for that.

Matt - if LS is indeed favoring KU, who do you think the Terps will focus on? Have you heard anything about JUCOs?e

Mariolucasforthree -- If he does pick KU, I think the Terps will turn their attention entirely toward Terrell Vinson, whom they're already recruiting. I don't know any specifics on JuCo guys, but this time last year nobody knew about Tyree Evans, so those guys will undoubtedly emerge in the coming months.

I think the Top 100 can be difficult to judge pv. Rivals Top 100 still shows Jordan Williams based on August 2008 rating. He is improving as is Padgett. Look at their offers. Their are enough good programs after these guys to make me think smarter guys than us like them a lot.
Gary has way of getting the most out of lower rated players anyway and I think to term this class as "embarrasing" is not fair and rather premature to say the least.

I think Maryland should use Under Armour as a tool in the recruiting process. I feel is though that relationship could bring some very good talent to UMD.


I live in Florida, former Mt. Washington
resident & Terp Class of 1970.
I read your articles daily.
Question: Are any of the Jr./Sr. players in Baltimore City targets of the Terps and what schools other than MD are they looking at?

Same question-Baltimore County?

Thank you.

Can you elaborate on the recruiting status of Vinson? Who else is he seriously considering? Is he going to wait for MD or Stephenson to make their decision or is it likely someone else will snatch him up before that?

Asher -- Terrell Vinson of St. Frances is the only remaining local senior that UM is recruiting. For juniors, Will Barton (Lake Clifton), Antonio Barton (Lake Clifton), Roscoe Smith (Walbrook) and maybe Jonathan Graham (Calvert Hall) are the ones to watch. Will Barton and Roscoe Smith are five-star guys who have their pick of schools. The recruiting pictures of Antonio Barton and Graham are still developing. Click here for more on the Bartons.

AK -- Vinson has a final four of Maryland, Cincinnati, UMass and Charlotte. St. Frances has another tournament next weekend. After the season he'll make some visits. His father told me recently that he's not in a huge rush to commit. Stephenson will make his choice public before Vinson's ready to decide.

The terps have one senior (Neal) and the talk is that Vasquez is leaving, so I understand having two players - J. Williams and J. Padgett signed for the 2009 -2010 season. However, now I hear they are trying to sign another high school guard Lance Stephenson. How is it possible to bring him or any other player, unless they drop someone from their roster?

I hope we get Stephenson because he is the right player for what we need as a team. I'm not sure that we need Vinson since we have similar players. If Stephenson goes to Kansas, which looks like the case, we need to look for another player who can dribble, drive, and take it to the hoop with authoirity. Bowie and Tucker, excluding Vasquez, are the only two that can drive to the hoop but lack on the finishing part. We need a true PG since our current answer does not seem to be the solution. Let's not get scared and think we need to pick-up a recruit right away (See Goins). Opportunities will open up, even if Stephenson makes the wrong decision to play for KU, let's make sure we make the right ones.

Henry -- Neal opens one scholarship and David Pearman will go back to walk-on status, so that's where Padgett and Williams' scholarships are coming from. If Vasquez leaves or someone transfers, that would open additional slots.

zagsblog is reporting that Stephenson will announce on March 31st, and that "all signs point to Kansas." Any thoughts? Does this make a space for Vinson?

terpfansteve -- Seems like a lot of NYC-based publications are reporting this. That would seem to open a spot for Vinson, but he'll take his visits after his season's done.

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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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