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Poll: Stephenson or Malone?

Hello, everyone. A former Maryland player told me that a variety of AAU folks are interested in getting in touch with Steve Yanda and me. Steve and I have received a few hundred e-mails and messages over the past week (we do our best to respond to all) and we encourage any and all questions, comments and story suggestions. Please contact me at and Steve at Thank you.

Now here is a question I'm curious about. If you had a choice, would you want Gary to get Lance Stephenson for just one year or for Gary to establish a longterm relationship with D.C. Assault co-founder Curtis Malone, which, in theory, may lead to several commitments by area players.

By Eric Prisbell  |  February 20, 2009; 11:34 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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I hoonestly don't want Gary to ever have a relationship with any AAU coach in which he in some way feels obligated to do anything for them. Whether it is camps, money, maybe offering a scholarship to a kid he isn't sold on, etc. I think keeping an arm's length from ALL AAU coaches is a good idea. As for Stephenson he would help the team next year and really revitalize the energy in the program much the way Steve Francis did. In some ways it's almost more of a sure thing... Is Brooklyn in the house?!?!?!

Posted by: Lee26 | February 20, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

if by long term relationship you mean that Williams would get the talent coming from the PG/DC Assault Pipeline than heck yes.

If by establish a relationship you mean be buddy buddy with a guy who is somewhat shady (at best) and take part in the AAU life, then no.

Posted by: mbhowa | February 20, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I guess the skeptic in me thinks you can't have one without the other...

Posted by: Lee26 | February 20, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

It is interesting-Terrell Vinson-has Maryland listed in his top 4 now and his AAU team is DC Assualt! Also, he has South Florida-where Gilchrist and his mentor is now at I wonder if Curtis Malone has a connection with South Florida?????

Posted by: Terptime | February 20, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

You get 3 years max from Gary anyway. The next coach will have a relationship with Malone, I'm sure.

You MIGHT only get 1 more year from Gary, and you're getting 1 year from Lance, so obviously Lance is the right answer.

Posted by: terpsfan08 | February 20, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

And Terptime, Vinson was not a part of DC Assault, at least not since he was 15 or so. He was on Baltimore Stars.

Posted by: terpsfan08 | February 20, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Well, let's stop and think about this. Is there ever such a thing as a business relationship that doesn't include some obligation (even implied) to do something for one another? Malone isn't a suitor for the hand of Gary's daughter. He's a guy with something to bring to the table. And for that matter, so is Gary.

Even without a contract, there are rules to govern this sort of relationship. Those include prohibition of pay-for-play situations.

If Maryland is interested, then what does Gary have to offer Malone? He's got that nice almost-new arena. The ACC. A chance to play at home in front of the proverbial friends and family. The loving attention of the local media. And last but not least, those lovable idiots, the Fanz.

Us, I mean. Good lord, the U can't even field a decent squad and we're still obsessing over them.

Malone's 'proteges' would probably find that an attractive package, all things being equal. Maybe not the equal of UNC or UCLA, but definitely competitive with anybody else. Like Kansas or Syracuse or Memphis, or Louisville, or Wake Forest...

Posted by: Samson151 | February 20, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

This is somewhat random, and slightly against my feelings towards the NCAA over-reaching a lot, but I'd like them to establish a rule where a school cannot hire someone directly related (as a coach, relative, etc) to a player being recruited within +/- 2 years of that player being a student at the school.

Posted by: segastyle | February 20, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Terp Ticket Holder PSA!

Jordan "That's a Terp" Williams will be in the house tomorrow so let's welcome him by being loud and supporting the team regardless of the score.

Posted by: Lee26 | February 20, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

How about both?! No reason it can't happen. I take comfort in Gary's long standing reputation as doing his recruiting the right way. Which means, if a long term relationship is able to be fostered, it will be done within the appropriate guidelines.

Maybe I am naive. Maybe though, with all of this press and attention being brought to the underminings of AAU teams as they relate to recruiting, the NCAA will effectively nip it in the bud. Just imagine if that were the case... MD would almost certainly surge back into national prominence.

Posted by: DBriles10 | February 20, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I get the feeling that having a relationship with malone is like shaking hands with the devil. Gary will not compromise on ethical boundaries (to his credit), which will lead some of DC Assault's players to look elsewhere, not matter how good a relationship he has with Malone. Having a relationship will not guarantee that Assault will be an automatic pipeline to Maryland. That said, a more "thawed" relationship, one based on mutual admiration and support, could prove beneficial in the long run. As long as no boundaries are crossed, it could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

As for Stephenson, even if we have him for just a year, we could be an Elite 8 team, which is better than NIT any year. It could also revitalize the program, like Steve Francis and Joe Smith did.

Posted by: ecglotfelty | February 20, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

The premise of that question is just *STUPID*. Why are the two mutually exclusive? Why can Gary NOT have a relationship with an AAU coach AND get Lance Stephenson? You Post guys keep stirring the pot and its making me sick.

Posted by: Diamondback1 | February 20, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

well obviously you want both and can have both...

but even more obvious is that GW needs to cultivate relationships with AAU coaches regardless of their backgrounds or whether they want money or favors...

there is nothing wrong with having an arms length relationsip with these sketchy people...its wether you cross the line...

GW should never cross the line...but he needs relationships with these guys so that at the very least when recruits ask them about GW they actually have something to say about gary...and especially something good to say...

fostering these relationships should allow GW and UMd to get more of these more highly coveted AAU guys...

and thats the whole more doors to the AAU opportunities...

that is far more important than any 1 year recruit...

Posted by: deadskin | February 20, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

False choices, IMO. I would have liked to see 'neither' as a third choice. Integrity first and always. It's a university, sports fans. I'd not want to have Malone in my class if he's there only for the required academic year before jumping to the NBA. Maryland does well enough, thank you, without cheating.

Posted by: AncientTerp | February 20, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Why are you hyping this Curtis Malone guy? Have you looked at his criminal record? Is this the type of mentor you want to hype? Is this a mentor you want the young men of the DC surrounds, to imitate? C'mon, Eric, do some real investigative journalism. I like a lot of your stuff so I know you have it in you.

Posted by: kirkster | February 20, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Kirkster, I appreciate your comment. But I must say, we did in fact write that he had a criminal record, which is more than I can find on Malone in any other media outlet the past few years. I try to be fair to everyone I interview and include in a story. But please don't take me out of context based on the TV show. I never used the word "tremendous" to describe the series.

Posted by: Eric Prisbell | February 20, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

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