_It is never too early to begin the recruiting process. This summer, while Penn basketball looks at possible recruits for the class of 2018, it is also keeping its eye on players who could make up the class of 2019. Most of the Ivy League has taken notice of St. Andrews (Del.) wing Myles Stephens, a 6-foot-4-inch guard who went to the Pennington School (N.J.) the past two years. Stephens had already received offers from Princeton, Columbia and Yale when the Quakers also offered last week.
Recently, The Daily Pennsylvanian spoke to Stephens about his visit on June 26 to Penn, his decision to change schools and the outpouring of interest from the Ivy League._
Daily Pennsylvanian: What exactly did you do during your visit and what impression did you walk away with?
Myles Stephens: Well, we didn’t go with Jerome Allen — he was with his wife at the hospital. We went with [coach Scott Pera] and he took us to the Palestra first and showed us the history of it. You walk around and it is almost like a museum and you can see the history of the building — the Big 5 and all the people who have played there in games. You get a feeling of how important the building is to the basketball program.
We then walked across the street to the campus and we began to look at all the buildings and coach Pera was telling us a lot of stuff about each of the buildings. I was looking at Wharton and we went inside. That really impressed me — the Wharton School of business — just because of how modern it is and everything you can come away with if you graduate from Wharton, all of these connections through internships and things like that, and it being a highly ranked business school — that really impressed me.
After the visit, my final impression of the school was that I really liked it. The balance of basketball and academics. And it is an Ivy, so it is second to none.
DP: What exactly is your relationship with the coaching staff? I know you didn’t get to meet with coach Allen during your visit but what has been your contact with him and the other coaches?
MS: I haven’t talked to many of the coaches this year. I’ve talked to Jerome Allen and I remembered him from last year from the Penn Elite camp. We talked after the camp last year and the coach I walked around with this time was really nice. It sounds like they really want to develop the players while they’re there — not only on the basketball court but as a person. They are looking out for the basketball players so I really like the coaching staff.
I haven’t talked to coach Allen as much but he seems like a good guy. He played in the NBA and he played overseas. He really knows what he is doing with his players.
DP: Have you had any contact with the players from the current Penn squad at all?
MS: Yeah, I talked to three freshmen that were there and a couple seniors and a junior. We asked them how they liked the school. Getting the students’ perspective is always the best thing for me. You can see what it is really like. They talked about how they liked the school because it is right in the city and they chose it for the same reasons I was saying before, because it is the best of both worlds. You can go to an Ivy League school, get an Ivy League education, while still being able to develop as a basketball player as well.
DP: How does Penn stand compared to the other Ivy League schools and which of the Ivy schools have left an impression on you?
MS: As of now, there is no straight forward front runner for the Ivy League. I like all of them — they are all great schools. I guess it will come down to — I am just entering my junior year now — in the end what I like more, city or suburban, which program I like the style of play, but right now I haven’t really come down to any Ivies at the moment.
DP: Heading into your junior year, you are changing high schools to St. Andrews. What exactly went into the decision to change schools?
MS: It was really a win-win situation because St. Andrews has a really great basketball program coached by Terrell Myers, who played overseas and went to St. Joe’s. They really develop players and it is a tough academic school.
DP: What would you say about your sophomore year at Pennington and how you progressed as a player?
MS: We began the year 3-0, but that was in a little tournament we had. And then we went through a struggle as a young team —we had no seniors. We struggled and lost five or six straight. We had to think about what we were doing as a team, how we were playing, and we came together. We played some of the teams that we lost to during that five-game stretch. We beat them and we learned how to play together.
We were not a big team. We were small. I’m 6-foot-4 and I was the second tallest player on the team so we just had to learn how to play together and play hard, and play big as well. At the end of the year, we ended up winning the Prep B State Championship.
DP: Heading into your junior year, what are you looking to improve upon in your game and where do you think you fit in at St. Andrews?
MS: With improving upon my game, right now, I am more of a slashing guard. But heading into St. Andrews, I will be looking to improve on my outside shot as well as my ball handling, meaning playing point guard sometimes as well. At the St. Joseph’s team camp, I played a lot of point guard and that is something I have to do at my size — transition into that role as a two guard that can bring the ball up the court as well.
And fitting into St. Andrews, they have Austin Tillman and Ben Bentil, their big men there, so I will be played the two or the three. And it will relieve some stress from my shoulders having those players there but we should be pretty good. We have a junior who is already there from Houston, Texas, who is a very good shooter and a very good player, so we should be decent this year. I’m looking forward to a good season.
DP: Do you have a current list of schools that have offered or shown interest?
MS: For schools that have offered, Holy Cross, Yale, Princeton, Columbia and Seton Hall. And interest from Penn, Harvard, Bucknell, Boston University, Marist and Brown. There are others I can’t think of — more Patriot and Ivy League schools — but that’s my list.Comments powered by Disqus
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