What looked like an easy race to the finish line for UK has turned into a much more fierce battle now that Memphis has Penny Hardaway.
Will John Calipari be able to keep UK on top, or will the allure of Hardaway and staying close to home at Memphis prove to be the difference?
Who knows, but one thing is for becoming clear: Don’t expect Wisman to reclassify.
That’s been bantered about for almost a year now, but Wiseman and his family have continued to shoot it down.
Now, recruiting guru Evan Daniels is giving his take on the matter, and it’s a pretty compelling case that Wiseman is sticking to 2019.
In an interview with KSR’s Aaron Torres, Daniels gave an update on Wiseman, who is looking more and more unlikely to reclassify.
“Until James Wiseman says something differently, you have to just take him at his word,” said Daniels. “Sometimes, you hear things in the background. Sources and people recruiting a kid that he’s gonna do something, whether it’s commit or reclassify. I haven’t heard any of that with him. There’s just been speculation among fans.”
In a separate interview, Daniels told Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader that the battle for Wiseman has become a true 50-50 battle between the Tigers and Wildcats.
“I’m not going to change until I have a reason to change,” said Daniels. “I think it’s 50/50 between Kentucky and Memphis. I Crystal Ball’d Kentucky because I think they’ve been the favorite for a long time. I think most people assume — because Penny Hardaway is now the coach at Memphis — that’s where he ends up.
“But I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion that he ends up at Memphis.”
While all of this would seemingly be bad news for UK, not all of the buzz is for Memphis. ESPN recruiting experts Paul Biancardi and Adam Finkelstein are both leaning toward UK for Wiseman.
If I had a crystal ball, I would say Kentucky. Coach Calipari and coach Kenny Payne were in his home on Monday night! https://t.co/1dyKOwLTV5— Paul Biancardi (@PaulBiancardi) April 17, 2018
Two horse race. 60 Kentucky 40 Memphis is my best guest. https://t.co/hV6Irp5PYA— Adam Finkelstein (@AdamFinkelstein) April 17, 2018
Now, again, we should expect Wiseman to remain a 2019 recruit and pick a school sometime in the fall or next spring. However, CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish made a pretty compelling case for why Wiseman should reclassify.
Parrish also wrote how this has turned into one of the most intriguing recruiting battles ever, as the best coach in Memphis history (Calipari) clashes with its best player (Penny).
Still, I don’t expect to see Wiseman on a college campus next season, but Calipari is working hard to make sure he’s on UK’s campus in 2019.