By LARRY VAUGHT
Competition was going to be stiff to make the USA under 17 team that will play in the FIBA Championship.
However, there was one huge surprise when the initial tryout list was trimmed to 18 on Monday.
James Wiseman, the No. 1 player in the 2019 recruiting class, was not among the 18 players to advance.
The versatile 7-foot Wiseman helped the USA under 16 team win a gold medal last year. He has scholarship offers from Kentucky, Kansas, Memphis, Florida, Arizona, Alabama, North Carolina and many, many more.
Some had thought he might even reclassify to the 2018 recruiting class, but he did not.
Kentucky and Memphis — Wiseman plays for Memphis East High School where new Memphis coach Penny Hardaway coached last year — are seen as the frontrunners for Wiseman.
So how did he not make the first cut for the under 17 team?
“He was in attendance (at the tryout) but never was able to participate in anything,” one Team USA official said.
Wiseman has a groin injury that kept him sidelined and eliminated him from the team. However, he did have a 7-6 wingspan and a 9-3 standing reach to only add to his lofty ranking even though he could not participate in drills.