Tuesday, May 26, 2009
If I had a dime for every Lance Stephenson article that mentioned either “highly touted,” “tons of potential,” “troubled,” “endless recruiting drama,” “campus can’t contain this kids ego,” or “the coach is prepared to give up his left testicle,” I would DEFINITELY cover lunch today at Subway. And not just a bullshit $5 dollar foot-long, I’m talking big, like foot-long turkey. How Subway rationalizes charging more for meatballs than they do for turkey is absolutely ludicrous. You get a turkey sub, guaranteed, you’re not getting more than six slices. They never, ever, ever, give you any more than the standard six (without forking over a fucking $2 extra meat charge). It’s like written in the company’s mission statement. You gotta compensate by LOADING up on veggies and such, and, guess what fuck-stick, you’re going home hungry and we’re STILL not gonna let you in on the 5 dollar foot-long deal. You go meatballs, well then, it’s like a Jewish mother’s dream-come-true: more food, lower price, greater satisfaction knowing you’ve completely fucked Subway’s bullshit pricing system. Need proof? Go to a Subway and order their meatball 12-incher. They don’t give you AT LEAST six meatballs and I’ll personally reimburse you. I’d say the average ratio is around 6.8 mps (meatballs per sub), but I’ve been to many a Subway where it can reach in excess of 8 mps. So say you’re ambivalent between the two, maybe you like meatballs just as much as you like turkey. That’s fine, that’s how I usually go about the mental ordering hassle, except no shmuck I know is gonna look at a Subway turkey slice and a meatball and think the turkey’s more filling. It’s a fucking no-brainer.
Which leads me to the Stephenson kid.
He’s supposedly ‘narrowed’ his final choices down to Maryland and Arizona, this after playing “just the tip” with Maryland, Kansas, and St. John’s. (Yes, I realize he’s flirted with other schools, but I’m including only the schools known to be factually linked to the SG from Lincoln HS, because clearly every school that wants a solid and still-available #2 wants their fans to think they’re still in the hunt). I’ve followed the whole Stephenson recruiting relatively closely and I think it should be stressed that landing this kid doesn’t make the Terps a title or even ACC title contender. Sure, I’ve seen his youtube videos, know all about his impressive stats, and read the hype. BELIEVE ME, a Vasquez/Stephenson backcourt is an immense improvement from Vasquez/Mosely or, god-forbid, Vasquez/Hayes. (Whether Vasquez even returns to CP is a question onto itself). Landing Stephenson accomplishes three MAJOR things for the Terps, not necessarily important to most top programs but seem to plague the Terps year-in and year-out.
First, it gets a lot of unnecessary flack off Gary Williams’ shoulders. You land the #11 ranked player in the Class of 2009, you get three years (knowing the Post they’ll give him half-a-year) from public crucifixion, and should silence any criticism from Debbie Yow and her minions.
Second, you give Terps fans a reason to believe the team can succeed in the ACC, fills some embarrassing empty seats at Comcast, and shines a spotlight on a team that a decade ago was deservedly considered ‘elite.’
Third, and MOST important, adding Stephenson should (but not necessarily) keep the Terps from completely fucking-up their pre-ACC schedule. I’m not going to argue the also-rans in this region don’t have the heart to compete with the Terps, because losses to VCU, American, and Morgan State validate how rich our region is with overlooked basketball talent. There’s a reason why those squads finish where they do in-conference but beat the Terps, because everyone wants to knock-off the top dog in a game those players had circled way before the season started-up. But you land Stephenson, along with two other highly regarded recruits, and STILL have losses like that next season, well my friend, that has to be on Lance. No one, I mean no one, not a single person that follows college basketball, is going to believe Stephenson is worth shit if his squad losses to a team that finished first in the MEAC.
I’ve touched on only the cosmetic reasons why Stephenson should spend what will probably become a single-year education in College Park, and look, it’s FAR from a guarantee that this kid comes to Maryland, but I have to like our chances going up-against Arizona, if only because GW seems to have developed a close relationship with the kid and he’s never really been able to shake off the overtures from Terps Nation.