Twenty of the top high school recruits participated in the SLAM Summer Classic in Dyckman Park (NYC) this weekend. In addition to showing out on the court on Saturday, top recruit James Wiseman spoke to Russ Steinberg about his recruitment.
Wiseman has narrowed his college recruiting list to Kentucky, Memphis, Kansas, Texas, Florida State, Vanderbilt, Arizona, and North Carolina. However, even Wiseman himself has admitted that Memphis and Kentucky are the heavy favorites.
Many believe that his relationship with his former AAU and high school coach, Penny Hardaway, will make a difference now that Penny coaches the Memphis Tigers. But what does Wiseman say about what he is looking for in a school?
“If I can fit well in the system, the atmosphere, and being able to create great relationships with my coaches and teammates,” he told Steinberg.
Focusing on relationships with his coaches could be a blow to Kentucky’s chances, as it is difficult to imagine getting as close to him as Penny is. Having relationships with teammates has also been a concern of Kentucky fans as of late, since his AAU teammate and friend DJ Jeffries decommitted from Kentucky earlier this summer.
When asked about how Jeffries’ decision may play into his own, Wiseman once again downplayed its impact.
“We talk to each other, but if you fit well at a different college, go there,” Wiseman said to Steinberg. “We’re not trying to push each other to go to the same college.”
Wiseman also revealed he has a visit to Kansas upcoming. There was a previous report Wiseman planned to visit Kentucky in August, but it’s looking more and more like that won’t happen. He’ll still almost certainly visit at some point in the fall.
While Big Blue Nation hopes that is the case, Wiseman’s description of the perfect college fit seems to benefit Memphis more than Kentucky, at least on the surface. Rupp Arena would definitely win the “atmosphere” battle, but the other factors may be pulling him to stay home in Memphis.
As with most recruits, it is difficult to decipher what Wiseman is thinking from any of his comments. At this point, his destination is anyone’s guess.
So what’s yours?