St. Charles East sophomore Kendall Stephens is one of the fastest-rising prospects in Illinois right now. On Wednesday you could see his face splashed front and center on Scout.com's basketball recruiting page, just one day after picking up a scholarship offer from Wisconsin.
The 6'4", 160-lb. shooting guard received the invitation Tuesday after shaking off a mid-game injury to score 28 points in front of numerous assistant coaches at a holiday tournament. Northwestern was the first to offer Stephens around Thanksgiving, and many other Big Ten programs are sure to follow these first two.
It's easy to see why Wisconsin likes Stephens -- dude can shoot. The bloodlines don't hurt either. His father, former Purdue standout Everette Stephens, had a brief stint with the Milwaukee Bucks. Stephens started for East as a freshman, putting up modest (6.3 ppg) numbers, but has blossomed this season. Note the silky smooth release in the video clip after the jump.
See Stephens' prospect profile page for more info.
Here's what the guys at Illinois Prep Bullseye had to say after Stephens lit up Maine South for 22 points and five first-half 3-pointers the night before:
He shot over the Maine South 2-3 zone all game long and showed us a tremendous shot with good form, a quick release and mechanically flawless follow through, lift and elevation. St. Charles East uses Stephens mostly as a shooter, but trust us when we say that we saw glimpses of his immense potential with other skills. He has great length and disrupts the passing lanes defensively, and he has outstanding athleticism. We are still not sure about his point guard skills, but he can get to the basket and drill fading mid-range shots.
This is also Wisconsin's second offer to a player in the Class of 2013. If the Badgers get their way, Stephens would be the shooter next to point guard Bronson Koenig. That's a dangerous future backcourt potentially. Of course, it's all speculation ... they're only sophomores. But it's good to see UW pounce early again to avoid getting in late on an Illinois kid like they did with Georgia Tech's Iman Shumpert.
Luckily, the UW coaching staff has a good rapport with Mike Mullins and the Illinois Wolves AAU program that Stephens travels with. There's no doubt that this relationship is a big factor when Bo Ryan decides to offer a kid this early.