Today at 2:30pm Memphis Coach Josh Pastner called to confirm his offer of a scholarship to D.J. Stephens. The lanky 6'41/2" W with the 6'9" reach and the UNBELIEVABLE standing vertical of 43" will be expected to contribute immediately. There will be no redshirt year.
Although still raw, Stephens can knock down enough face up shots to be considered a threat, but it's his amazing athleticism which sets him apart. His length will make him a factor at the front of the press and his explosiveness will allow him to compete for rebounds at either end of the floor. Expect Memphis to utilize him as an undersized 4 man who can cause a mismatch when he goes to the wing offensively and especially in transition.
Stephens also fielded offers from San Francisco, Lamar, Central Arkansas, Oral Roberts, New orleans, Tulane, Cal State Northridge, Cal-Riverside, Northern Iowa. Southern Mississippi, Tulsa UT-Pan American, and North Texas. Once the Tigers came calling, it was all over.
Dell Demps, Director of Player Personnel, San Antonio Spurs told me, "Max, there are only a handful of guys at ANY LEVEL who can explode like D.J. does." That's a pretty good endorsement, folks!
When Coach Celnique Bobbit of Harker Heights HS asked me to take D.J. with the Texas D-1 Ambassadors a couple of years ago he stressed to me what a high character kid he was. It was this attribute in addition to the obvious athleticism which caused Coach Pastner and Assistant Willis Wilson (an old friend of mine when he was at Rice University) to pull the trigger on Stephens. I've also known Coach Pastner for 10 years and he puts a premium on character.
D.J. is the son of Will Stephens & Dorothea Love, both of Killeen, TX. I have no doubt that D.J. will do his family, community, Coach Bobbitt of Harker Heights and the Texas D-1 Ambassadors proud over the next years.
Coach Max Ivany
Texas D-1 Ambassadors