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April 20, 2009

Weekend wrap — Terps still battling for Stephenson

Despite numerous reports listing Maryland third in a three-team race for Lance Stephenson, the UM coaching staff has not relented.

SNY.tv’s Adam Zagoria reports that Gary Williams visited the five-star shooting guard last Friday.

One of the sources said Stephenson told Williams that he will decide by the end of the week. “I think everything will probably come to a head by next weekend,” a third source close to the situation said. “Everything hinges probably on what Xavier Henry does.”

Kansas and St. John's are Stephenson's other finalists, while Memphis has also tried to get involved recently.

TerpCenter.com spoke with four-star power forward DeShawn Painter late last week. Painter, who recently withdrew his commitment to Florida, is now considering Maryland.

Painter, a 6-foot-9, 200-pound power forward at Hargrave Military Academy, has heard from a bevy of major programs since parting ways with the Gators a couple of weeks ago -- Maryland, Marquette, Michigan State, N.C. State, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma State, Arkansas and Missouri -- but Maryland is the only one he's decided to visit thus far.

• UM power forward target Will Regan was named The Buffalo News’ Player of the Year for boys basketball. The News took a look at Regan’s recruitment.

On Friday afternoon, Stanford head coach Johnny Dawkins, the former Duke star, watched Regan work out in Nichols' gym. So did Providence assistant Rodell Davis. In Buffalo today will be Maryland assistant Rob Eshan and Vanderbilt assistant King Rice, the former Binghamton High and North Carolina standout. Michigan has been recruiting Regan since last summer. Villanova and Virginia are as well.

Long Beach Post Sports reports that former Maryland women’s target Monique Oliver has backed out of her commitment to Southern Cal, and is considering the Terps once again.

It sounds like paperwork might not be finalized yet, with USC not having a coaching staff in place and Oliver being out of town. We also heard anonymously that Texas and Maryland would be the two leading candidates if Oliver decides not to stay local.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 9:47 AM | | Comments (31)
        

Comments

Nice to see Gary sweating over recruits and not just during game time. There must be some significant interest from Stephenson if Gary is going up to meet with the family. Also good to see that they have some other options and this is the most active I can ever recall this group being on the recruting trail.

One thing that ticks me off are these bias articles from Adam Zagoria. This SOB always mentions MD in a negative light and throws in the UA non event when he can. Is he trying to get LS to commit to St. Johns since he is a New Yorker? Although he never writes anything bad about Memphis or Kansas. Why not write about Self's brush with the NCAA with his "accidental" bumping into John Wall. How about Calipari...I'm sure there is some real dirt there. Please stop citing him since what he reports seldom seems to be of truth anyway. I know nothing about which way Lance is leaning and this is more than Zagoria.

Stephenson, Smith, Harris, Barton, Regan and what the heck you too Painter, we want you at MD! Vinson you're out, go play for UMASS.

Self's "bumping" into John Wall WAS an accident. Check your facts before accusing someone.

can't agree with you less. zagoria does a great job and hasn't been favoring st john's at all. if anything, zagoria thinks lance is still jayhawk bound even though he is nyc based. and your claims of some sort of bias against md are also unfounded. the only thing he ever said was that a source told him that md was out of the picture for lance and that very well may have been the case at that juncture in time.

lance knows that kansas is going all the way next year and wants on board. he is just worried about xavier henry coming too. as soon as x commits to kentucky, kansas will get lance.

What I really hate is how all these Terp grads who live in DC are trying to get Stephenson to go to Georgetown because they live in DC. And how the Terp grads who live in Baltimore are trying to get him to go to med school at Hopkins to play intramural lacrosse.

Go back to worrying about the second shooter and the grassy knoll.

I don't think Lance wants to come to MD. I think Xavier will go to Kansas (and take his brother with him), Lance will go to Kentucky (if he wanted to go to St. John's or Maryland he would have commited already), and best case for the Terps would be Greivous comes back and Painter picks UMD. Painter could start with Williams and that would allow Milbourne to go back to SF where he'd be a lot more effective.

That must be Ashley "Judd" writing in to defend her Kansas coach. I'm sure Self would not think that Wall would be in the locker room right after the game. How crazy for a player to be located there...

Hey Charles...read his articles.

Here's a summary of what happened from Sports Illustrated. The NCAA issued a letter last month concluded that no infraction occured.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/basketball/ncaa/01/20/self.ap/index.html

Matt what does this mean? Does Maryland have a better chance than people are saying?

Also it seems like Painter is very intrested in Maryland. But could us waiting for Lance even affect Painter's recruitment?

rob-ashley judd is a Kenucky fan

Hey Ashley...If I speed and do not get a speeding ticket, does that not make me a speeder? If you honestly don't believe Self was not trying to see Wall and this was an accident you are fooling yourself. He may of dodged an infraction this time, but make no mistake about it he will be caught.

Say hello to Wynonna for me.

Mike -- I think it just means that Maryland's not giving up without a fight. It would still be a surprise if Stephenson ends up at UM, but it looks like GW will recruit him until the end. I don't think Painter's timeline will interfere with the Terps' pursuit of Stephenson. Painter just opened things up, so he'll want to take some visits and probably won't rush into a decision.

Immediately following Self's brush with Wall, Calhoun showed up with a $25,000.00 check payable to Wall's coach to play a game in Storrs, CT.

As I understand what happened (as reported by every outlet that has covered the issue), Self was standing there talking to the coach - a former player of his from his days as an assistant at Oklahoma State - when Wall walked up to him and stuck out his hand. Self said "I can't talk to you, but you played a good game."

Boy, you're right. That sounds like a totally calculated attempt to get three seconds with a player in the hopes that those 11 words would help inappropriately influence him to attend Kansas.

If we were talking about Kelvin Sampson or John Calipari or Eddie Sutton or Rick Pitino or some other coach with a history of NCAA violations, then fine - accuse away. But, Self is squeaky clean - always has been.

And, that's really funny finding humor in my name. I guess when the logic of your argument fails, you show your true stripes. Nice.

Anonymous...good point, she is a Kentucky fan, my fault.

My apologies to Judd. You're right, Self is squeaky clean. Now back to your website, kusports.com.

I hear the buffalo area has a diamond in the rough to go along with Regan. Junior point guard 6-3 Chris Secky is supposed to be a slick magician on the court. My brother lives in Buffalo and saw him for the first time after hearing hype on him for 2 years. He said he is very good and plays like Steve Nash with some flair.

Lets look at what Gary is doing.
He has got his gaurds in place for next season and now he is bringing in his big men like he did when we won the NCAA 'ship.

But all these guys we have were never really top 100 guys just like in '02.

Clearly, Lance hasn't ruled out the Terps. He would have had a golden opportunity to narrow his list when Gary called, asking him for the meeting.

I mean, what's the point. All Lance would have had to do at that point is say, "No thank you, Coach Williams, but I've decided that Maryland wouldn't be a good fit for me. I appreciate the interest though."

Having Gary travel all that way for nothing would be hugely insensitive for no good reason. No, the Terps definitely have a chance and the visit may have enhanced it.

Charles--"You wrote that "lance knows that kansas is going all the way next year and wants on board." Let's see, weren't the Jayhawks supposed to "going all the way" this past season, too? (Guess the Tarheels didn't get the memo.) Anything like that? LOL

HAHAHA...Those big man recruits are barely Top 100 players...your guards aren't that good...in line for a national championship? HA! Long ways to go!

Stephenson would have committed to the Terps already..Vasquez has stopped going to classes=he's gone too!

Did I ever say we were ready for a National Champioship?

No, I was just drawing comparisons between the recruiting classes.

I wish people would stop saying if he wanted to go to Maryland he would have committed there already. It is just inane to say that. If he truly wanted to go to Kansas he would have pulled the trigger despite Henry. If he wanted to go to St.Johns he would have committed already. The truth is that Lance is just undecided on where he wants to go.

Right now Kansas, UMD, SJU, all have a legit chance to land Stephenson. And none of us really know where Lance will go, not even Zagsfagsblog.com.

Is Vinson off the table now? I thought he was the fall-back if Stephenson doesn't sign with the Terps.

Russtinator -- Yes. Vinson committed to UMass last night.

"Charles--"You wrote that "lance knows that kansas is going all the way next year and wants on board." Let's see, weren't the Jayhawks supposed to "going all the way" this past season, too? (Guess the Tarheels didn't get the memo.) Anything like that? LOL"


Ken, wow, you are embarrassing. If you knew anything about basketball you would know that Kansas had the youngest team they've had in years this past year after losing 4 players to the NBA following our championship. No one predicted them to go all the way and I implied nothing of that nature. They were picked by most experts to come in at 3rd or 4th in the big 12 but won it outright again.

My statement was completely concerned with the future. Don't get upset about the fact that Kansas was/is/will always be a powerhouse and is the favorite to land Lance and win a championship next year.

Oh, and btw, tell me one other team in the recent past that made it to the sweet 16 with ZERO returning starters....yea that's right, I can't think of any either.

Scott, you still pissed that Duke did not go far in the NCAAs? You are a Duke fan aren't you? How are all those top horses over at Duke? You riding them far again next year? I know, your team of McD players and top 100 recruits equals a national championship. That formula certainly has been working for you and Coach K. since when...2001?

What is it going to take for St Johns to keep just one of New York's premium players home. Last year it was Kemba and Sylvan and now it is Lance. Is SJU that bad a deal. First Jarvis screwed it all up by alienating the AAU system and allowing the inmates to run the jail and now Norm Roberts can't seem to get one big recruit. I would think that being "the one" to help bring SJU back into the upper echelon of College B-Ball would be awesome! Maybe I am missing something but if Norm can't get the kids to stay home it might be time for a change. If one more kid goes to Unconn I will be sick.

Signed,
Depressed SJU Fan

Hey David, cry us a river and build us a bridge and get over it. You want to compare notes on the big time recruits that left MD versus NY to go play for another state university? We have to go to Venezuela and Korea to find players.

Time for us to get busy and sign Barton and see what we can do to lock down Smith. Here are two guys that can be hometown heroes if they stay and play for UMD.

Vinson, good luck at UMASS.

I'm sure all of these hotly pursued athletes will choose the school that will offer them the best education-right. you all sound like it's recruting for the NBA-oh I'm sorry, it is for the NBA prep.

Talk about keeping players in their hometown? Look at Maryland... Carmelo is from Baltimore and left for Cuse, Rudy Gay is also from Baltimore and left for UConn, Durant went to Montrose Christian in Rockville and went to Texas, not to mention Diamond in the rough Marcus Hatten from a while ago left for SJU. And now Vinson left for UMass. UMass? I love G-Dub but he needs to start working in the cities right under his nose. Baltimore and DC consistently bring out some of the Nations best and most under rated players. Not to mention how tough the kids coming out of those cities are(obviously) Where UMD is located, what conference they play in and the amount of success they had under Williams should all help make this team the Maryland of old, but for some reason it is just not working. I miss the old Terps. I want to fear the turtle again and maybe that starts in looking at our own cities.

Matt, Is Gary supposed to have anymore contact with Lance. Such as, in-home visits ext.?

It was my understanding St. Johns was just in the discussion because he lives so close not because he has shown interest in going there.

Come to Maryland Lance! Unlike St. Johns you will actually win games!

Mike -- Pretty sure GW can't make any additional in-home visits to Stephenson.

Charles, I stand corrected about Kansas being picked No. 1 by some, but you're also wrong to say "They were picked by most experts to come in at 3rd or 4th in the big 12..." In reality, both the AP and ESPN/USA Today Polls had them in the preseason Top 25, and the only Big 12 schools ranked ahead of them were Texas and Oklahoma.

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/rankings?seasonYear=2009&weekNumber=1&seasonType=2

So it looks like I'm not the only one who needs to do his homework. (Guess that means you don't know anything about basketball either. LOL)

You make a valid point about the Jayhawks excelling without any returning starters, but that doen't make them a lock to win next season, just one of the favorites.

The question is whether or not Lance wants to go to a school that has a legitimate chance to win a National Championship, but with him riding the bench much of the time or go to one that won't be elite, but will have him as a starter.

If, as most predict, he's only going to play a year and then enter the NBA Draft, it makes more sense for him to play on the team that gives him the best opportunity to showcase his talents.

Can he crack Kansas' starting five? If so, it would definitely give him the best situation, no question. But if that's unlikely, then the Terps should have a good shot at him.

Well, this speculation may all be moot now, because it appears that Xavier Henry is going to the Jayhawks (see link below), which if true probably puts Maryland in the driver's seat, especially with Lance's high school teammate James Padgett already committed to the Terps.

And if Lance does come to College Park, it may mean that Grievis will come back for his senior year, and the two together, along with Jordan Williams and Padgett, could make the 2009-2010 Terps an excellent team.

http://www.cjonline.com/sports/2009-04-22/henrys_expected_to_pick_ku_thursday

P.S. Congratulations on finding your "Shift" key!

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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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