By all indications, the recruiting battle for James Wiseman comes down to two schools: Kentucky and Memphis.
And while Kentucky was long thought to be the leader by a large margin, Memphis hiring Penny Hardaway has made the recruitment a battle for the Wildcats.
Jerry Meyer, national recruiting analyst for 247 Sports, recently spoke to the Lexington Herald-Leader about his view of Wiseman’s recruitment. Meyer recently flipped his pick for Wiseman from Kentucky to Memphis.
“I just think the chances are better he goes to Memphis than Kentucky. It’s hard to quantify,” he said. “A lot of this, obviously, is connecting the dots. But it would be hard for me to see him not going to Memphis.”
Meyer said that Wiseman’s relationship with Hardaway is strong, as Wiseman played for Penny on the AAU circuit and left Ensworth to go play under Penny at Memphis East, a major switch.
Meyer also noted that Wiseman’s decision to play his senior year in Memphis as opposed to moving to a prep school could play a big factor in the #1 ranked big man’s decision.
“He’s a god in Memphis,” Meyer said of Hardaway. “Well, that’s where James Wiseman is living now. He’s going to Memphis East. He played for Penny. And if he already likes the guy so much and likes playing for him as a coach, it’s just hard to see him walking away from that.
Obviously Kentucky is still in good shape with Wiseman. His mother loves the Kentucky coaching staff, specifically assistant Joel Justus who has been the primary assistant recruiting Wiseman. Kentucky has been on Wiseman for a long time and has made him one of their top, if not the top, priority in the 2019 class.
But Memphis had to be thinking of Wiseman and other top talents in the Memphis area when they hired Hardaway to reinvigorate their basketball program. All that being said, it will be a battle between the two programs to land Wiseman for the 2019 class.