Lance Stephenson Cleared at UC. The big news of today was that Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin told the media that star recruit Lance Stephenson, a 6’5 guard who has been dubbed “Born Ready” (or “Almost There” in recent vintage), will in fact be ready to play for the Bearcats this season. Similar to the John Wall situation a week ago, there were lingering concerns over his eligibility with respect to who was paying for Stephenson’s unofficial campus visits. Apparently, he was, as the NCAA ruled just before UC’s exhibition game tonight that Stephenson is eligible to play immediately. This news of course boosts Cincinnati’s standing in the Big East, as the Bearcats not only return a solid core, but also add Ibrahima Thomas (transfer from Oklahoma State) and Cashmere Wright (injury) to the fold in addition to Stephenson. UC’s first regular season game is on Nov. 16 against Prairie View A&M.
Indiana Freshman Also Eligible. In much less impactful but still important news, Indiana freshman center Bawa Muniru was also cleared to play immediately. The 6’11, 260-lb player from Ghana who spent the last two years playing high school ball in the US is eligible immediately. He will provide much-needed depth to the Indiana frontcourt.