Florida Out of the Mix for Lance Stephenson
Words. Devin Davis
Lance Stephenson could have made Florida a National Championship contender. He could have helped Billy Donovan compete in the ultra-tough SEC. But it doesn’t look like that is going to happen. Lance is believed to be at the front of a pending NCAA investigation, which sources say that is the reason Florida has decided to pull out of the race. “There’s a zero percent chance we take him,” a UF source told Gary Parish of CBS Sports.
There is officially a pattern that has developed with Lance. Schools seem to show interest then suddenly pull away. St. Johns is one school who was very big on Lance then cooled off. Arizona is another, hot then cold. Now Florida appears to be following the same trend.
However, Born Ready isn’t the type of prospect that will go without interest from high-majors. There are some schools still interested in Stephenson. Memphis head coach Josh Pastner is still interested in adding talent to the program. Pastner recently received commitments from five star recruit Latavious Williams and 6’ 8” forward Martin Ngaloro of France. Adding Lance – even with the question marks – would be big in Pastner’s attempt to solidify his status as Calipari‘s successor.
Sean Miller, Arizona’s head coach, is on record saying he plans on keeping his recruiting class to three. Part of the speculation behind Miller’s reasoning is that he’s still skeptical about Lance’s legal issues. But there’s a good basketball reason to lay off of Lance. Two of the three incoming recruits are 6-6 SG/SF’s – Solomon Hill and Kevin Parrom.
Maryland coach Gary Williams has been in the race longer than Memphis and Arizona.
“I talk with Coach [Gary] Williams, Coach [Keith] Booth and Coach [Chuck] Driesell, they’ve just been there,” Lance Stephenson Sr. said. “Maryland is going through their process where they want to pick a player and they’re not putting any rush on us. They want Lance to be sure if he does want to go to Maryland, that he really wants to be there. Maryland has been really patient in working with the family.”
Lance’s sexual assault case is still open, and it is scheduled to resume in Brooklyn Criminal Court on June 29.