Maryland in Hot Pursuit of Stephenson

**See the SNY video interview with Lance Stephenson here.

If you don’t think Maryland is serious about landing Lance Stephenson, consider this.

The Terps staff plans to watch Stephenson, a McDonald’s All-American, four or five more times this season as Lincoln pursues its record fourth straight PSAL championship and third consecutive New York State Federation crown.

Lincoln opens defense of its PSAL title on Tuesday.

Maryland head coach Gary Williams previously watched the 6-foot-5 Stephenson, ranked No. 1 in the Class of 2009 by Hoop Scoop and No. 9 by Rivals, when he dropped in a career-high 50 points on FDR in the Brooklyn Borough championships.

Williams has taken some heat in The Washington Post for his recruiting failures, but Stephenson said he likes how the Terps play.

“He’s a good coach,” Stephenson said. “I like the way he plays up and down. I play like that a lot. I think I can fit into all the programs. Maryland is up and down. I really like playing like that.”

Stephenson, whose 6-8 teammate James Padgett has already signed with the Terps, said he will decide between St. John’s, Maryland, Kansas and Wake Forest, but Wake is apparently not recruiting him, according to a report.

Stephenson has taken official visits to Maryland and Kansas, and St. John’s still hopes to set one up.

Stephenson hopes to announce March 21 after the PSAL championship at Madison Square Garden, assuming Lincoln gets that far.

Maryland assistant Keith Booth tripped to New York City on Friday to watch Long Island Lutheran play The Collegiate School. Maryland is also recruiting LuHi junior forward Tobias Harris and wing Achraf Yocoubou. The 6-8 Harris had 21 points, 14 boards and 3 blocks in a 91-34 blowout.