And Morton has called upon super sophomore Lance Stephenson to play different roles in helping Linoln advance to the State final in Glens Falls, New York tomorrow night.
Stephenson, a 6-foot-6, athletic and dynamic swingman from Lincoln, first did a solid defensive job on talented guard Nathaniel Lester of Canarsie High School in the PSAL semifinals. And then Stephenson showed he can be an offensive threat too by helping Lincoln crush Boys & Girls High School in the final at Madison Square Garden.
"He's very motivated," said Morton. "He can do so many things well on the court. He's an outstanding athlete and has done what I have asked him to do so well."
Stephenson has learned he can be a force on both ends of the court. He worked very hard in trying to limit Lester's chances in the semifinal. One has to give kudos to the great effort of Lester too who was able to shake away a bit during a fourth quarter run. But Lance did a great job in helping disrupt the usual flow of the Canarsie offense.
And in the final, Stephenson provided points from the perimeter and around the paint. Morton said to us the following day that he thought Stephenson was a big factor. "He likes a challenge," Morton said.
The next challenge will be Saturday night in Glens Falls, New York.
Stephenson is a highly prized recruit in the 2009 class. It's no surprise that the list of schools recruiting him is long, too long to list in this story. It's likely we'll get a feel of a short list over the next year.