Wiseman plans to stay in 2019 recruiting class, has UK “up there” on his list

James Wiseman (USA Basketball Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

James Wiseman didn’t seem to leave any wiggle room Sunday about whether he might reclassify from the 2019 recruiting class to the 2018 class as many have been speculating.

The Memphis East standout played at Marshall County Hoopfest Sunday and had 21 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots in an 82-66 victory over Aspire Academy of Louisville.

The 6-11 Wiseman is ranked as the No. 1 player in the 2019 recruiting class and is considered a Kentucky lean. Even though his eligibility has been in doubt this season after his transfer to Memphis East, he emphasized starting a college a year sooner than anticipated is not in his plans.

“It’s not an option. I’m just going to stay in 2019,” Wiseman said after his team’s win.

He said it was not him that started the rumor about him graduating a year early.

“I have no clue. I just looked on Twitter and they were talking about that. It was crazy,” he said.

Wiseman and Memphis East will find out Dec. 13 if he will be allowed to play the remainder of the season for Memphis East and coach Penny Hardaway.

“If I was his age, I would be thinking, ‘Man, what’s going on? I just want to play. I didn’t do anything wrong.’ It’s been … like a roller-coaster,” Hardaway said Sunday. “It’s just tough watching kids go through that, and you just wish the best for them and hope the verdict comes out in their favor.”

Kentucky seems positioned well with Wiseman. Kansas had a coach at Sunday’s game to watch him play and he hears often from North Carolina. However, Kentucky coach John Calipari has made several trips to see him, including one last week.

“Coach Calipari has been talking to me, so it’s really just been Kentucky reaching out to me the most. It’s been good. He’s been texting me almost every day. Calling me, just checking on me to see how I am,” Wiseman, who attended UK’s Big Blue Madness in October, said.

Wiseman wasn’t quite ready to say UK was the leader in his recruitment, but he also did not deny it.

“I still have to weigh my options, but, yeah, they’re up there,” he said.

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