Arizona basketball coach Sean Miller’s first recruiting class is already getting raves. Adding McDonald’s All-American Lance Stephenson would make the class one of the best in the nation.
It’s unclear how interested Arizona is in getting Stephenson, a shooting guard/small forward who is rated the No. 8 player overall for the 2009-10 class by Scout.com.
Fox Sports, citing unnamed sources, says Arizona likely won’t “make a move on the talented, yet enigmatic wing player” from Coney Island, N.Y. UA is concerned with the player’s off-the-court issues, Fox said.
But the New York Daily News, also citing an unnamed source, says Arizona is making “a big-time push” for the 6-foot-5 Stephenson, who passed NBA player Sebastian Telfair as the leading scorer in New York schoolboy history.
One thing working in UA’s favor: new assistant coach Emanual “Book” Richardson has strong New York City ties and has coached Stephenson before.
Fox Sports and the Daily News report that new Memphis head coach Josh Pastner, a former UA assistant, is pursuing Stephenson.
Kansas also was in the running, but the Jayhawks opted to take Xavier Henry instead. St. John’s and Maryland also wanted Stephenson.
Stephenson also could go the route of former UA recruit Brandon Jennings and head to Europe for a year before entering the 2010 NBA draft.
Three top-100 players already are headed to Arizona: forward Solomon Hill, center Kyryl Natyazhko and wing Kevin Parrom.
As for Stephenson, he already has his own online reality documentary site, BornReadyTV.