Lance Stephenson Gearing up for the 2017 – 2018 NBA Season

 

 

 

Lance Stephenson has been gearing up for the 2017-18 season ever since the Indiana Pacers got swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs. He has put in a lot of work in the weight room and on the basketball court for countless hours at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Stephenson had remained focused on shedding weight to be in much better shape than he was when he signed with the Indiana Pacers to finish out the season. Earlier in the off-season, he had already trimmed down to 215 pounds. He is looking like a more explosive athlete and being physically prepared should help with durability.

Without an established superstar on the roster, Stephenson has a firm grasp of the opportunity that he and his team is facing next season (via Pacers.com).

“I feel like this is the hardest I’ve been working since I’ve been in the league. I feel like this is a big opportunity for us as a team and we gotta take full advantage of it.”

“I feel like the opportunity that everyone has right now is big. But we’re going to have to work hard and find the go-to guy, and find the leader of the team and (we) just gotta win.”

By improving his conditioning, he will be able to display a great deal of positional versatility. An additional motivation behind his weight loss was to be able to spend more time at the point guard position.

The Indiana Pacers are going to need Lance Stephenson to play shooting guard minutes primarily. However, with Victor Oladipo being viewed as having All-Star potential, Stephenson will need to earn minutes at other positions to end up with a lot of playing time.

“Born Ready” won’t be handed a significant role with the Indiana Pacers next season. He is going to have to earn his time at other positions considering how Darren Collison and Cory Joseph are at point guard and Bojan Bogdanovic and Glenn Robinson III are at small forward.

Stephenson will look to get back to his near All-Star production that he had during the 2013-14 season. During that year, he produced averages of 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 4.6 assists. If he earns substantial minutes, then he will have a sufficient opportunity to get back to that level as a player again.

What made Lance Stephenson such a vital part of those Pacers teams that reached consecutive Eastern Conference Finals in 2012-14 was his willingness to do whatever it took to win, and that spirit hasn’t changed (via Pacers.com).

“I’m trying to do it all man. Whatever it takes to win, I’m going to do my best to do it.”

The versatile impact that Lance Stephenson brought to the Pacers during the 2013-14 season should not go unappreciated. Also, if he receives a sufficient role regarding minutes and production, there is no reason why he can’t build off of what he did that season.

The only players to average at least 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 4.6 rebounds this season were Giannis Antetokounmpo, DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, James Harden, LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, and Russell Westbrook. That is certainly an impressive group of players.

To put Lance Stephenson’s incredible rebounding impact into perspective, he led all guards with an average of 7.2 rebounds per game in 2013-14. For reference, Myles Turner led the Pacers in rebounding in 2016-17 with an average of 7.3 rebounds per game.

There is no denying Stephenson’s ability to put together a dynamic performance considering that he led the league with five total triple doubles in 2013-14. Not that personal accolades are all that matter, but he may need to put the team on his back in some games for the Pacers to come out with a win.

The intriguing part of this whole upcoming season for Stephenson is that he could end up earning the type of role that he’s never had in the NBA. He has never been a high usage player that has been looked to as a go-to guy. Without a superstar on the team, now is Lance Stephenson’s best chance of working up to that level.

Adrien Nunez Stock Rises in July

Adrien Nunez (above) picked up his first five offers, including two A-10 programs, in a three-day span. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

New York guard Nunez’s recruiting dam bursts

Coming into July, no college coaches were recruiting Adrien Nunez. Nobody was telling him they were going to come to his games, despite the fact that the Bishop Loughlin (N.Y.) grad had decided to do a post-grad year at St. Thomas More (Conn.).

Very quickly, he’s become one of the most popular names in the Northeast.

“It’s ridiculous,” he said. “It’s like a total change in my life. It’s crazy.”

Following a strong performance at the Hoop Group Elite Camp this week, Nunez picked up his first offer, from Bowling Green. Soon followed one from Wagner. Then Fordham, Robert Morris, and La Salle, all joining in the fray over a three-day span.

“Tt’s the best July I’ve ever had,” he said. “My phone’s blowing up.

“I wake up sometimes and I forget and it’s like oh (damn),” he added. “It’s a blessing.”

On Saturday afternoon in an opening-round win over Team Final Red, Nunez showed just why he’s caught the attention of coaches and media alike over the last 10 days. A 6-6 guard with range, Nunez has the requisite length and athleticism to be a non-doubt Division I athlete — and then he starts dropping 3-pointers like they’re nothing, hitting three while scoring 14 points in a 24-point win.

He also created off the bounce, finding his teammates while driving the lane and finishing a few flushes. Big guards who can dribble, pass and shoot with consistency are a popular commodity, indeed.

“At Loughlin I was always shooting, I wasn’t getting the ball much but i was always a shooter,” he said. “Now I’m showing my ball-handling, my ability to bring the ball up the court and dunk a little bit, so yeah. That’s pretty much what (changed).”

It’s a quick switch in mentality indeed for Nunez: from wondering if he was good enough to wondering just how good he could be.

He said he plans on visiting all the schools he’s offered him so far in the fall. But with how things have changed from last week to this one, it’s possible that by the end of July his list will include quite a few more options.

“The fact that I’ve grown so much in such a short period of time, who knows how big I could go,” he said, “so I’m just going to keep working as hard as I can and see what I get.”

Adrien Nunez recieving Offers

As a 6’5″ spot shooting guard, Adrien Nunez (St. Thomas More, CT ’18) never really had a chance to show off his entire skill set when playing during his high school career at Bishop Loughlin, but playing on the AAU circuit with Born Ready Elite the real Nunez is shining through, and the offers are finally starting to pile in.

Admitting frustration, Nunez said he wasn’t satisfied with how his senior year at Bishop Loughlin went. He knew what he was capable of but felt he never got the chance to show that off which is why he believed a postgrad year was so instrumental to his future.

He looked around for a little bit but knew right when he saw the campus in April that St. Thomas More was the place for him so he decided to commit to the prestigious Connecticut power, a place he knows he can focus on the important things to him.

“It’s an isolated place where the only thing you can really do is work out,” Nunez admitted. “There really isn’t cell phone service so all you can do is eat, sleep, and drink basketball and classes and that’s what I was looking for.”

Before he gets to St. Thomas More in September though, Nunez knew his opportunity was there to showcase all he could do with Born Ready Elite. They made their way into July set to play a grueling schedule against some top-flight teams from the East Coast, and Nunez was ready to make an impact.

Proving himself to be more than just the outside shooter that he was at Bishop Loughlin, Nunez demonstrated the ability to show off his athleticism to finish above the rim, while also showing that he is able to handle the ball and make plays in the halfcourt off the dribble.

Through the first half of the July Live Period, Nunez has shown to be worthy of the Division 1 looks that he is finally getting as Fordham,LaSalle, Bowling Green, Robert Morris, Wagner, andLafayette have all offered him in just the past week as those six are his first offers, but they surely won’t be his last.

With one more week ahead of July Live Period games, Nunez has more time ahead to reel in more Division 1 offers as he shows that he can play with anyone put in front of him, which is truly all he has ever wanted.

“This is all very motivating. I am starting now to see the fruits of my labor and yeah I am really, really happy.”

Vzrs3nc6ymka5ghxnyjb

Click above banner and Follow us on Twitter @NYCHoops

Born Ready Elite and Raising Elite Champions Players Represent at Big Apple Showcase

Big Apple Showcase Top Performers

Lbv86otnfl5ogy29ectp

M. Libert

ARDSLEY, NY- The second week of the July Live Period got back underway with a marquee event taking place at House of Sports as Zero Gravity held their Big Apple Showcase.

Dozens of Division 1 head coaches came to Westchester County to scout the talent on hand, and with a good amount of quality from New York City, Long Island, and Westchester in the building, it provided us at NYCHoops.net a great chance to see who is beginning to stand out from the pack.

In attendance all day on Thursday, we were able to closely watch some of New York’s best as we now bring you the top New York performers from the day in Ardsley.

Rxgwebkxznc7mksf3pz5

M. Libert

Joe Toussaint, 5’11” PG, PSA Cardinals (Cardinal Hayes ’19)- With Cole Anthony not at House of Sports with his PSA Cardinals EYBL team it provided Toussaint the opportunity to run the offense on his own. He showed lightning quick burst against a strong NJ Roadrunners team as he consistently was able to beat defenders and get himself to the basket. It wasn’t just offensively where Toussaint was making his name, he was a tough on ball harassing defender as he is racking up offers and showing why he is among NYC’s best.

Jordan Thomas, 6’6″ SF/SG, NY Rens (Bishop Loughlin ’17)- It’s still up in the air as to where Thomas will be next season as the recent Bishop Loughlin graduate is mulling over a few prep school options, but in the meantime, he was showing off his athleticism with the Rens on Thursday. He handled the ball well on the perimeter and was able to score off the dribble, but Thomas was just as adept at being strong on the offensive glass using his length and finishing inside. Never really given the chance to shine on the high school level, Thomas looks motivated to prove himself going forward.

Autscgr78dqx98wovfz8

M. Libert

Adrien Nunez, 6’5″ SG/SF, Born Ready Elite (St. Thomas More, CT ’18)- Much like Thomas, Nunez didn’t have the opportunities he would’ve liked with the Lions this past season as he was consistently just known as the shooter who was put in spot up situations on a team that was controlling by their attacking guards. On Thursday though playing with Born Ready Elite, Nunez showed that while he has that ability to still hurt defenses who leave him open, he can also put the ball on the floor and be dangerous in the open court in transition as well.

Thornton Scott, 6’5″ SG, Crown Basketball (Holy Trinity ’17)- It was a great start to the day for Scott who was able to show off his range in Crown’s upset win over an Under Armour affiliated CBC team. He was put on the ball a good amount and was able to score using screens showing off deep range, but his vision to slide passes into cutting teammates going to the basket was equally as impressive. Scott was nearly as consistent in a loss to the DC Blue Devils, but couldn’t push his team over the top. Still undecided about his upcoming postgrad year, it does look as if it will be Gould Academy in Maine as his ultimate destination

Ixg3qjq5opho6bn8iixs

M. Libert

Ali Sumareh, 6’3″ SG, Raising Champions (South Bronx Prep ’18)- As a potent scorer on the PSAL B Division last year, the question once we saw Sumareh hit the floor was could his ability to slice defenses translate to a higher level of competition. The answer would prove to be a resounding yes as not only is Sumareh strong enough to attack and finish against bigger defenders down low, but he is solid enough on the ball to where he can play the 1 if need be and be effective from the midrange as well as he shows to be certainly be someone to keep an eye on.

Chris Wright, 6’0″ PG, Early Risers (Kingston ’18)- Having seen a good amount of Wright so far this spring and summer it didn’t come as any surprise that Wright was able to control the offense for the Early Risers, being the calming leader for the team in their consolation bracket victory. So good off his initial first step, Wright was able to get into driving lanes and finish, while also being able to dish out to open teammates once the double team came over his way. An underrated lead guard up in Section 9, all Wright does is lead his team to wins as he gets more acclimated at the point guard spot.

Isaiah Mucius, 6’8″ SF, PSA Cardinals (Brewster Academy, NH ’18)- A Top 100 recruit in the 2018 class, Mucius was able to show off his athleticism in a major way as he was able to finish with authority pushing the ball up the court in transition, showing off an impressive handle for someone his size. Maybe the biggest part of Mucius’ game that stood out though was the continuing expansion of his range as he has become a consistent perimeter shooter who really was able to burn the defenses from behind the arc on Thursday as his stock continues to soar.

Dxehw5ulh77f97njafw2

M. Libert

Camren Wynter, 6’3″ PG, Crown Basketball (Holy Trinity ’17)- One of the bigger and more complete floor general’s that we saw on Thursday, Wynter is stuck in no man’s land right now because he is without a prep school, and doesn’t have any offers as a 2017 graduate either. It’s looking likely that Wynter may end up in Florida for his postgrad year and if he does some Sunshine State school should be looking closely because his ability to be a strong perimeter defender, along with his solid offensive showing in pulling up and hitting floaters in the lane, as well as a consistent release on his jumper means that Wynter could become a true sleeper to focus on.

Fousseyni Drame, 6’5″ SF, Born Ready Elite (Our Savior New American ’19)- Most of the talk as of late has been about Drame’s twin brother Hassan, and while he was strong as well for Born Ready Elite, it was hard to take your eyes off the play from Fousseyni on Thursday as there was near no one who could stop him from finishing above the rim when he got his hands on the ball with a head of steam. His handle was solid on the perimeter when he got touches outside, and when he made his move to the rim it was just about over. Solid on the offensive glass as well, it was a strong outing on Thursday from the OSNA wing.

Ryan Conroy, 6’2″ SG/PG, East Coast Cyclones (St. Peter’s ’18)- Finally is Conroy who was a role player off the bench last year for the top team on Staten Island. His role should grow this year because of backcourt graduations and based off what he showed on Thursday it looks as if Conroy is ready for the greater responsibility. He was solid on the ball as someone who made smart passes, and while he didn’t show elusive quickness, he was able to handle pressure and make good decisions. Great in the halfcourt feeding the post, Conroy was able to connect from long range when given space and looks to have improved his scoring touch which should allow his overall game to grow.

Mw5v9db7nvly1h0wtlux

Click above banner and Follow us on Twitter @NYCHoops

Marquise Moore eyeing NBA Summer League Team

FAIRFAX, Va. – 2017 Atlantic 10 Most Improved Player Marquise Moore has worked out for a pair of NBA teams leading up to Thursday’s 2017 NBA Draft.

The Queens, N.Y., product has spent the better part of the past couple weeks meeting with teams, working out with fellow prospects, conducting interviews and strategizing a potential landing spot for his professional basketball career.

Moore began his workouts with the Houston Rockets on June 15 before heading to Philadelphia for a session with the 76ers on June 19.

The 2017 NBA Draft is scheduled for Thursday, June 22 at 7 p.m. on ESPN. The annual event will be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

If he is not drafted Thursday, Moore still has an excellent chance to compete on an NBA Summer League team and have the chance to work his way onto a league roster or further supplement his resume for a career overseas. The trio of NBA summer leagues are scheduled for July 1-6 in Orlando, July 3-6 in Utah and July 7-17 in Las Vegas.

Moore recently put the finishing touches on one of the best all-around seasons by a guard in NCAA history. The NABC District 4 First Team pick led the Patriots in scoring (16.9 ppg), rebounding (10.9 rpg) and assists (3.5 apg) while shooting 48.3 percent from the floor.

His 20 double-doubles were tied for the most by a guard since the stat has been kept (2009-10), while his 10.9 rebounds/game and 9.1 defensive rebounds/contest were tops by all Div. I guards since the 1993-94 campaign. The 6-foot-2-inch guard ranked third in the nation in 2016-17 in defensive rebounding and was eighth in the nation in overall rebounding.

In addition to leading the conference in rebounding, Moore ranked ninth in the A-10 in scoring, eighth in minutes played, 11th in assists and 12th in field goal percentage. He posted 10+ points in 28 of 34 contests and 20+ points in 11 games. Moore also registered the first triple-double in George Mason history after a 17-point, 16-rebound, 10-assist performance at Penn on Dec. 10.

Moore led the Green & Gold to the first Atlantic 10 Tournament win in program history on March 9 vs. Fordham, tallying 25 points, a career-high 19 rebounds and five assists in the game. His 18.0 rebounds/game over the course of the tournament set an Atlantic 10 record and helped the senior garner A-10 All-Tournament accolades for the first time in his career.

Moore set a new Mason single-season rebounding record with 367 boards on the year. He ends his career seventh all-time at Mason in assists (363), seventh in free throws made (373), 12th in rebounding (694) and 21st in scoring (1270 points). He is the only player in Patriot history to post 1200+ points, 600+ rebounds and 300+ assists in a career.

Behind Moore’s efforts, the Patriots put together a turnaround season in 2016-17. Mason set a new program record for Atlantic 10 victories (9) and its 20 overall wins were the most by the program since 2012-13. After winning 11 games total and five A-10 contests in 2015-16, Mason ranked as of the nation’s 20 most improved teams this season.

#GetPatriotic

Latest News on Lance “Born Ready” Stephenson

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – APRIL 04: Lance Stephenson #6 of the Indiana Pacers dribbles the ball during the 108-90 win over the Toronto Raptors at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on April 4, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The Indiana Pacers will have to try some outside-the-box thinking to survive if Paul George does leave this summer, and that could include putting Lance Stephenson in a bigger role.

According to Gregg Doyel of the Indy Star, general manager Kevin Pritchard is considering putting Stephenson at point guard to lead the rebuilding process. The 26-year-old apparently “looks great” after losing 10 pounds.

Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported George’s plans to leave Indiana when he becomes a free agent in 2018. The team has since discussed potential trades with several teams to move him before the start of next season in an effort to kickstart the rebuilding process.

With point guard Jeff Teague also a free agent this summer, the Pacers have a lot of question marks going forward.

One of the solutions could be seeing what the team has in Stephenson. The shooting guard was a key part of the Pacers’ success from 2010-14, but he struggled mightily over the past few years, playing for five different organizations over the past three seasons.

He returned to Indiana at the end of last year, averaging 7.2 points and 4.2 assists in six games. He then looked as good as ever in the postseason, averaging 16 points and 5.3 rebounds per game during the first-round sweep at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers.