By LARRY VAUGHT
Memphis power forward James Wiseman, a consensus top three player in the 2019 recruiting class, said at Peach Jam this week that he’ll cut his list of college choices to eight after this event ends.
He also said those who believe it is a two-school race between Kentucky and Memphis are wrong.
“During the fall I am going to take five official visits to schools I am interested in,” said Wiseman. “I’ll be looking at the relationship with the coach and teammates, the atmosphere, can I fit into the environment.”
He said his relationship with Memphis coach Penny Hardaway, his high school coach last year, has not changed since he got the head job at Memphis.
“Schools still have a chance to get me. It’s not just Kentucky and Memphis. Other schools still have a chance,” Wiseman said.
Rivals.com recruiting writer Krysten Peek is one of those who believes Wiseman will pick Memphis, not Kentucky.
“There have been some rumors that Wiseman could possibly still reclassify to the 2018 class by the end of the summer. If that’s the case, Penny Hardaway and Memphis have a real shot in landing one of the top forwards in the class. I know Hardaway is close with Wiseman and although Kentucky is still in the race, if the reclassification rumors are true, Memphis could come out on top,” Peek said.
Wiseman said nothing about reclassification and for months has denied he’ll do that. But Peek continues to hear the rumors.
“Wiseman has done a good job keeping his recruitment under wraps this spring. There will be a lot of attention on him at Peach Jam this weekend and I’m sure we’ll get a better idea of where he stands after this weekend. My guess is he’ll make his choice either by the end of the summer or the start of his senior year if he decides to stay in the 2019 class,” she said.
What kind of message would it send if Memphis did beat Kentucky for Wiseman either this year or next year?
“Since hiring Penny Hardaway, Memphis has already landed four-stars Alex Lomax, Antwann Jones and Tyler Harris. It’s no surprise that Hardaway is going after some of the bigger talent in the region but if Memphis lands Wiseman it will send a huge message to the rest of the country and start to bring back the basketball culture to the university,” Peek said.