Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Lance Stephenson may become friends with Nick Lachey


It's fortunate timing, too, because Nick is single again, and with Matt Leinart all like "I'm going to do MMA and focus on my career," Nick might need a new wingman, brah.

Yes, according to Adam Zagoria, who is right more often than not, Lance Stephenson could sign with the Bearcats as early as Tuesday. Stephenson visited Cinci all weekend and played pickup with the current Bearcats on Saturday, which is the sort of normal basketball-player-being-recruited thing that wouldn't be worthy of reportage were Stephenson's situation not so unique.

But it is: Stephenson is one of the best players in the country and also one of its riskier prospects; there are reasons why his recruiting process has lasted this long. Among them -- his grades, his potential eligibility issues, his attitude -- one of them is being confronted dead-on today. Stephenson is in court for a sexual assualt charge for the first time. According to his accuser, Stephenson and a teammate allegedly groped a teenage girl near their school. Today is only the first day of hearings for the trial, and uncertainty about its outcome could push Stephenson's recruiting even further into the summer.

In any case, a move to Cincinnati would make logical sense for Stephenson, as he and senior Deonta Vaughn would be an immediate scoring powerhouse in the Big East. Whether the move makes logical sense for the Bearcats, whether the risks associated with Stephenson are worth the reward, is considerably less certain.

If it does happen, I fully expect a joyous welcome from Nick and company, complete with a warm rendition of "Thank God I Found You." The past never forgets, Lachey.