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Stephenson has made a decision, but he isn’t sharing

After plenty of anticipation, rumors and hyperbole, Lance Stephenson has made his college choice.

He just isn’t telling anybody.

The Lincoln star swingman, who became the New York State all-time leading scorer in February, won’t announce his choice until the McDonald’s All-American Game in Miami, Fla., on Apr. 1. He initially said he would reveal his decision after the PSAL Class AA city championship, to be held Saturday afternoon at Madison Square Garden, but decided to wait.

“The McDonald’s game will be the best time to do it,” he said, later adding: “If I do it at the Garden, and we win, I’m gonna be too excited to be talking about that. If we lose, I’m not gonna want to talk.”

The 6-foot-5 Stephenson, ranked first in the nation for the Class of 2009 by the Hoop Scoop, said he has whittled his list down to three: Kansas, St. John’s and Maryland.

Jayhawks assistant coach Danny Manning has been in New York City recently to watch Stephenson. He was there on Sunday as the Railsplitters, led by Stephenson’s 33 points and 13 rebounds, thwarted Boys & Girls, 76-64, in the PSAL Class AA semifinals at Carnesecca Arena.

“He made me play better,” Stephenson said. “I want to impress him.”

Stephenson, who, along with teammate Darwin (Buddha) Ellis, would become the first player to win four PSAL city titles, said he has based his pick on the caliber of coach, the kind of players he will be surrounded by and what program gives him the best chance to win an NCAA championship. Kansas is the defending national champions while Maryland is a perennial contender.

When asked what that statement means for the Red Storm, who didn’t only miss the NCAA Tournament, but were eliminated by Richmond in the opening round of the College Basketball Invitational Wednesday night, he said: “I don’t really want to talk about college no more.”

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