AUDIO: Lance Stephenson likes Louisville

Lance Stephenson, one of the nation's top-ranked juniors, didn't play Friday night at the 2K All-American shootout. But that didn't stop the 6'5 guard from making the most of this trip to Louisville. Stephenson, who will check out U of L this weekend, says he has strong interest in playing for Rick Pitino's Cardinals.

It was a disappointing night for Lincoln (NY) High star Lance Stephenson.

One of the top juniors in the nation, Stephenson didn't get to play against St. Xavier Friday night at Freedom Hall in the 2K All-American shootout because of an ankle injury.

"I wanted to play so bad," he said. "I wish I wouldn't have played in that game yesterday. I got dressed and taped but it didn't feel right today."

Stephenson, who attends the same high school as former Louisville signee Sebastian Telfair, said he's seriously considering playing for the Cardinals.

Lance Stephenson did not play against
St. Xavier Friday night.

"I like Louisville," Stephenson said. "They have a good organization, a good coach. I'm looking at their school so I happy I came down here. I like their coaching staff and the plays that they run here. And I like to play around good players and I think they've got that at Louisville."

Stephenson counts U of L sophomore center among his friends.

"I talk to Derrick Caracter – I played with him at the ABCD Camp," Stephenson said. "He's real cool and ever since (ABCD) we've been talking about Louisville."

Saturday, Stephenson will make an unofficial visit to U of L and plans to attend Louisville's game vs. Dayton.

"While I'm here I want to check it out Louisville and talk to the coach and players and see how they are doing and have fun," Stephenson said.

Though it's still early in his recruiting process, Stephenson appears to be formulating a working list of favorites.

"I'm still wide-open," Stephenson said. Besides Louisville, Stephenson also listed Indiana, USC, Kansas, Duke and North Carolina. "They all want me to come visit their schools," said Stephenson.

The strength of the 6'5 Stephenson's game? His versatility. "He can play a lot of positions on the court," Tiny Morton said. "He's tenacious on the court and gives it 100 percent all of the time."

Morton, who also coached Telfair, said he's followed Pitino's career closely and is a "big fan" of the Louisville coach. Stephenson said he's talked often with Telfair about his decision to sign with Louisville out of high school.

"I've talked with Sebastian about Louisville," Stephenson said. "He was just saying that the tradition is good, the coach is good and the players that surround you are going to be real good. He told me to just look at Louisville and don't look at no other schools."

Does Stephenson value Telfair's advice about Louisville? "Oh yeah. I really look up to Sebastian," he said.

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