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Entries in Lance Stephenson (3)


Born Stupid: Lance Stephenson Thugs It Up In Brooklyn

Lance Stephenson

One Great Season

Lance Stephenson, the one-time New York prep star nicknamed "Born Ready," was arrested here in Brooklyn for allegedly pushing his girlfriend down a flight of stairs over the weekend, according to multiple reports.

Stephenson pushed 21-year-old Jasmine Williams -- his girlfriend and mother of their 2-year-old daughter -- down the steps as he waited for her to return home Sunday at 5 a.m., the Associated Press reported. Stephenson yelled, "Are you kidding me?" before pushing her down the stairs, witnesses told the AP.

Stephenson, who had a decent freshman season at the University of Cincinnati last winter, was picked in the second round of the NBA Draft in June by the Indiana Pacers. The 19-year-old will be paid $700,000 this season.

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It's A Mistake For Lance Stephenson To Turn Pro

Lance Stephenson

One Great Season

Nineteen-year-old Lance Stephenson has quite possibly made the worst decision of his life: after just one season of collegiate ball, the Big East Rookie of the Year from the University of Cincinnati will enter the 2010 NBA Draft.

Stephenson, a 6-foot-5 guard, averaged 12.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists per game for the Bearcats. Even more telling are statistics which show that Stephenson needed to make better on-court decisions: 81 turnovers in 34 games (nearly 2.4 per game), and he shot only 44 percent from the field, including 22 percent from three-point range. In short, Stephenson played like a freshman, albeit one with loads of talent. He even left room for improvement from the charity stripe by shooting a measly 66 percent.

Now, it's an off-court decision that may cost Stephenson and his family millions of dollars.

In non-statistical terms, Stephenson's strengths are his ability to drive to the basket and create, something most average NBA players his size can do. However, in the NBA, he'll not only need to do that, but handle the ball better and open up his offensive game by hitting mid-range to three-point jumpers on a more consistent basis. Otherwise, teams will sag off of him, dare him to shoot and simply turn him into the latest version of Felipe Lopez.

Stephenson is projected to be a late first-rounder at best. A second round slot -- which in the NBA means a non-guaranteed contract -- appears to be a more likely destination as of this moment. Of course, things can change between now and Draft Day on June 24.

Any NBA team who drafts Stephenson will be doing so based on potential. And if Stephenson lands in the second round, he potentially screws over himself, first and foremost.

Stephenson has stated his desire to "emotionally and financially support" his family, which includes his 2-year-old daughter. As heartwarming as that sounds, there's also a hard, cold reality: a 19-year-old kid, who's yet to reach his potential on the collegiate level, will now rely on excelling on the world's greatest basketball stage to support his family.

God Bless America.

Who's to blame? Exclude teenager Stephenson from the list, but feel free to include those adults who have influenced his decision.

Papa Stephenson, also known as Lance's dad, said, "We feel as a family this is the best thing for Lance's future, and he is ready for the NBA."

Translation: Someone in this family needs to bring home the bacon ... and quick.

Cincinnati Coach Mick Cronin, who just saw his team's 2010-2011 expectations plummet with Stephenson's departure, laid another "WTF" quote on the media when he said, "His personal circumstances dictate that he try to continue his development in the NBA while he's getting paid. He's going to get that opportunity to do it while alleviating the (financial) pressure on his family."

Note to Cronin: continuing development in the NBA while getting paid is also known in some circles as the NBA D-League. The "D" stands for "development." And the pay? Not too good.

Lance Stephenson certainly will have a shot at playing in the NBA. But the question is, for how long? Will Stephenson be a first-round flame-out? A second-round casualty who fades into the D-League? Or will the kid nicknamed "Born Ready" live up to his nickname and make the doubters -- this writer included -- shut up?

We're all ready to find out.

Gerowitz is a New York-based television producer, a Cincinnati graduate who once covered the Bearcats and occasional OGS contributor.


Here's How Cincinnati Will Win 5 Games In 5 Days

Cincinnati Bearcats Beat Louisville, 69-66 in the 2010 Big East Tournament

One Great Season

Those pesky Cincinnati Bearcats won their second game in two nights late Wednesday and their reward is a quarterfinal game against old friend Bob Huggins and the Big East Tournament's third-seeded West Virginia Mountaineers (9 p.m., ESPN).

One night after trying to give away an eventual win over Rutgers, UC was again at times brutal to watch in a 69-66 defeat of Louisville, whose second late-season defeat of conference champ Syracuse last week seemed to cement the Cardinals' NCAA Tournament invitation.


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The Bearcats are a bad offensive team, worse from the foul line and still make mental mistakes at critical junctures the way they did even in the fat 1990s when Huggins was racking up 25 wins a year in Cincinnati.

Led by Brooklyn native Lance Stephenson, however, they held on against Rick Pitino's Cardinals under the bright lights of Midtown Manhattan's Madison Square Garden. Fellow New Yorker Edgar Sosa scored a career-high 28 points in a losing effort for Louisville.

It was only four years ago when Gerry McNamara led Syracuse to four wins in four days in this very tournament. And now with the expanded bracket, Cincinnati has the opportunity -- or tall task, depending how you look at it -- to rattle off an unprecedented five in five. Two down and three to go; here's how they can finish the feat:

+ Continue to attack the offensive glass against West Virginia. Huggins' Mounties are strong, active and physical, just as the Bearcats were under his watch. They've got many New York connections and will treat the tradition-steeped MSG floor as if it's their own. But Cincinnati's best wins this year (Maryland, Vanderbilt) were away from home, so it just needs to focus on what it's good at -- crashing the glass and collecting their many misses.

+ Shoot the ball well in the semifinal round against Notre Dame, which I think will upset Pittsburgh Thursday night. Asking Cincinnati to shoot well is like coaxing Charlize Theron to meet me for drinks, but with their interior beef, the Bearcats are more than capable of slowing down gimpy Irish banger Luke Harangody. The star forward lit up UC for 37 in one meeting, but was held to 14 on 5-of-20 shooting in the other. I think Cincinnati keeps him in check and Stephenson controls the pace the way he did in the second half against Louisville.

+ Blow up whichever hotel Syracuse is bunking in. Otherwise, I don't think the Bearcats would have much of a chance in Saturday's title game. The Orange are an NCAA No. 1 seed and play outstanding zone defense, precisely the recipe to keep a poor-shooting team like Cincinnati on the dim side of the scoreboard.

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