Wanted to follow up on my last post on Sidney/Stepehenson with another one with couple of more articles on Stephenson.
One of our readers emailed us couple of old articles on Stephenson. The first was written by Seth Davis on SI.com, who raised a number of red flags re Stephenson. Stephenson was a ninth grader at the time (and was getting schooled by O. J. Mayo at ABCD camp) at the time Davis wrote this:
Still, while it's tempting to castigate the New York hype machine for the way it prematurely inflates reputations, the reality is that all of us who allow ourselves to be titillated by the who's-next storylines are part of that machine -- and part of the problem. For his part, Stephenson wasn't the least bit regretful about having been thrust into the spotlight at at ABCD. "I had a great time," he said Friday night. "I wanted to play against the best players in the country, and that's what I did."
Now that first story was from 2005 which one can potentially dismiss as the over exuberance of a 14 year old kid who doesn't know any better. However, there was another similar report on Stephenson from draftexpress.com which had these observations at Adidas Nations basketball experience in 2007:
Stephenson's career could go in many different directions from here. He could capitalize on his immense potential and become a one and done player at whichever school he chooses (let's take a "wild" guess and say Louisville or Memphis), and then turn into a legit NBA player, or he could completely flame out in college. It's hard to see much of a middle ground here. Hopefully he does eventually mature, because we're obviously talking about a special talent.
Also there are couple of poignant observations from the comment threads in the last post, that I think are worth sharing it with everyone else up front. From Class of 66 on Stephenson and Mayo:
However, in my eyes, he earned a lot of respect as a level headed, team player at sc, this year -- even though he played under a totally untalented and misguided coach. However much I wanted to dislike him, I couldn't
If anyone can help a kid mature from being a high school hot shot to a team oriented college player, it's CBH.
I trust CBH. Whoever he wants, I want. It's that easy.
They're kids and will make mistakes. They will also continue to grow and mature. It is far more telling to see how the two act in this coming year and find out whether they've learned from their mistakes. What if they did commit the mistakes they've been accused of and haven't been the people people/teammates, but they learned from it and are great kids now? What if they are exactly what Howland's looking for now?
I'm not saying that either Sidney or Stephenson are perfect people or will have learned from some of their mistakes. I don't know them and haven't ever spoken to either of them. The point I'm trying to make is we're talking about things that happened years before they could take the court in Westwood so ruling them out based on that may not be the best idea. Let's see what happens and how they've matured. Maybe they won't be a fit, but let's make that determination as we get a little closer to signing day and have a better idea of what kind of kids they are NOW, not 2 or 3 years ago.