Stephenson not ready, says Stephenson

February, 24, 2010
2/24/10
2:30
PM ET
The "Born Ready" quips -- derived from Cincinnati forward Lance Stephenson's high school nickname -- are too easy to make, so I'm going to refrain. Instead, I'll just tell you that it looks like Lance Stephenson is leaning toward staying at Cincinnati for another season, telling the Cincinnati Enquirer's Bill Koch that "he has not had an NBA-type year."

This would be great news for Mick Cronin and the Bearcats. It would also, given Stephenson's circuitous path to Cincinnati, be a surprise. Stephenson was a five star recruit ranked No. 4 at the shooting guard position in the class of 2009, but issues related to his attitude, eligibility, and a since-resolved sexual assault charge put a major damper on his high school success. By the time Stephenson eventually signed with Cronin, he had been fawned over and eventually discarded by a host of coaches unwilling to risk their jobs on the off chance Stephenson's issues followed him to college.

Since arriving at Cincy, though he's been a model citizen, at least outwardly, even if his play has been slightly disappointing. Sure, Stephenson is solid -- his 11.2 points per game leads all Big East freshmen -- but he's been far short of spectacular, and his game has several noticeable weaknesses to iron out. Could he develop these in the pros? Sure. But as Stephenson hasn't done enough to warrant a first-round selection yet, another year in college looks like the only plausible way forward.

In other words, "Born Ready" thinks he isn't -- . Whoops. I almost did it. Phew! That was a close one.

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