Once a high school phenom, marred by a tumultuous recruiting period, the next player up in the TrueScout™ series, Lance Stephenson, is out to show that he is the player that everyone thought he could be. Remember, leave me your comments or shoot me an email in the Contact section.
Lance Stephenson, Cincinatti
Shooting Guard- 6'5, 227 ™
12.3 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 44% FG, 66% FT, 22% 3FG
DraftSite.com Mock Draft Position - #44 (2nd Round, 14th Pick)
Post Skills- Stephenson has great size for a shooting guard with a solid body. He does a great job establishing position in the post on smaller guards and has good footwork and a variety of moves to get him to the basket. A big issue is he tends to try and force shots over the help defenders once he makes his move.
Ballhandling/Hands/Penetration- For a big guard, Stephenson has excellent ballhandling skills, but often finds himself getting into trouble by over-dribbling on the perimeter and looking to make the spectacular play when a simpler one will do as well. He has good hands, but has to work on making sure he has the ball secure before making his move. When he does make a move to the basket, he does a good job causing separation and finds ways to get to the rim. He has the ability to finish strong at the rim, but, at times he tends to rely on floaters and fade-away shots.
Perimeter Shooting- Stephenson has excellent form on his shot, a high release point and a quick release with excellent range. The big question with him is his shot selection. He is prone to forcing shots against tight defense, as well as taking too much time setting up his move that he is then forced to take a bad shot.
Rebounding/Passing- When he makes an effort, Stephenson can be a bull on the offensive boards. While not very athletic, he uses his body well to create space to grab missed shots. His passing skills and court vision are excellent, but as in everything else with him, he often tries to make the spectacular play when a much easier one will do the trick.
Free Throw Shooting - His free throw shooting is average, but should improve over time. He does a good job getting to the line, but with some effort could easily get there more often
Perimeter Defense- While Stephenson shows good footwork and lateral movement for his size, he tends to take too many plays off on defense, leaving too much space between himself and his man leading to open jumpers. When he does make the effort, he is a good on-ball defender and uses his arms well to disrupt passing lanes.
Rebounding- Stephenson is not a fundamentally sound rebounder, often forgetting to box out and go after the ball. He has the potential to be a good rebounder because of his size and the ability to make himself wide. It is an effort issue he needs to get past.
Summary & Intangibles
Athleticism - Average
BB IQ - Above Average
Stepehenson is obviously a naturally gifted player, and after a rough start to his college career, seemed to avoid any of the major problems which plagued him. He still has a tendency to try and be a one-man show and prefers to play a free-flowing style rather than set offenses. He has the ability to be a NBA scorer, but will need to improve his defense to ensure he stays on the court, and if he can keep his ego in check, he can be a solid addition to any team. Skill-wise he is a first-rounder, but there are too many questions about his effort to risk a first round pick on him.