James Wiseman Leaves Memphis

MEMPHIS, TN - NOVEMBER 16: James Wiseman #32 of the Memphis Tigers looks on from the bench against the Alcorn State Braves during a game on November 16, 2019 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis defeated Alcorn State 102-56. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

James Wiseman, the number one recruit in the nation, decided to leave the University of Memphis to begin preparing for the 2020 NBA Draft. Wiseman has been suspended for the last 12 games and was expected to return to the court next week.

James Wiseman Leaves Memphis to Prepare for 2020 NBA Draft 

Wiseman suited up for Memphis in just three games, leading his team to a 2-1 record before the NCAA ruled him ineligible. Penny Hardaway and the Memphis Tigers entered the season with the number one recruiting class and that was due, in large part, to Wiseman.

James Wiseman has been referred to as the next unicorn, compared to the likes of Kristaps Porzingis and others. He has the ability to score at all levels, good ballhandling as a forward, and an underrated passing ability, not to mention his great defensive capabilities.

In just three games, Wiseman averaged 19.7 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks. He was the go-to scorer for the Tigers and demanded the entire attention of opposing teams.

According to Shams Charania, Wiseman informed Hardaway and his staff that he would be signing with an agent and leaving the university to prepare for the draft. This is a massive loss for both Memphis and college basketball fans in general.

For those unaware, Wiseman was required to sit for 12 games and pay $11,500 (which Hardaway gave his family to cover moving costs) to a charity of his choosing. That is a tough ask, to say the least.

Memphis Tigers Outlook

This is a major blow for the Tigers. They were expected to compete for a national title and Wiseman was going to be the reason why. They still are loaded with talent and have gone 7-0 without Wiseman, including a big win at Tennessee.

Memphis will still be the favorites in the American Athletic Conference. College basketball is wide open this year, so Memphis will still be in the conversation. However, their net cutting chances have taken a significant hit.

What’s Next for James Wiseman

Wiseman will now train until the NBA Combine and Draft. He is a great talent and currently projected to be a top-three pick in the draft. There is no reason to think this move will hurt Wiseman’s chances of being drafted highly. As of now, no projected top pick in college has separated themselves.

There will, of course, be a cloud of mystery around Wiseman, so the NBA Combine and the interview process will become more important for him. Regardless, he is primed to have a great NBA career. Unfortunately, his NCAA career was cut short.

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