James Wiseman is the top recruit in the 2019 recruiting class. The 6-foot-11 big man from East High School in Memphis, Tennessee has generated offers from all of the top programs in the country. But while he has his pick of what school he would like to attend, it appears the five-star recruit has narrowed down his choice to two prominent schools.
With many universities around the nation eyeing Wiseman to join their college program — like Arizona, Florida State, Alabama, Clemson, and more — there is a bevy of evidence and widespread speculation that he will be headed to the University of Kentucky or the University of Memphis.
How did Wiseman blossom into one of the top recruits in the country? Let’s take a look.
Full Name: James Wiseman
Birthdate: March 31, 2001
Birth Place: Nashville, Tennessee
School: Memphis East High School
Wiseman began developing into a top prospect thanks to the tutelage of his high-profile coach, Penny Hardway, who coached Wiseman at both the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) travel and high school levels.
While he was playing center for The Ensworth School in Nashville, Tennessee, Wiseman took his team to the Tennessee Class AAA state championship and played 55 varsity games over his two-year prep career. On top of that, he compiled 744 points, 348 rebounds and 116 blocked shots with the team. When it came to his sophomore year in 2016-17, he played in all 28 games and averaged 20.1 points per game, 8.0 rebounds per game, and 3.0 blocks per game. They finished their season at 18-10. But things were about to change for Wiseman.
Despite his success at The Ensworth School and his outstanding accomplishments, he decided to transfer to Memphis East High School. According to Wiseman, his decision revolved around the opportunity to develop further under the guidance of Hardway. It’s worth noting, it was probably one of the toughest decisions he ever had to make in his life.
“It was a hard decision because I wanted to stay at Ensworth because of academics,”Wiseman said, via Commercial Appeal. He added, “It’s way better than East. But the basketball part of it, it was better competition so I just came here. The environment is different. At a private school, it’s like way more constructive and disciplined compared to East.”
So what exactly has he shown for himself on Memphis East High School?
A state title in March, for starters. It was Wiseman’s skill over a brute force that guided his team to its third straight state title 72-50 over Whitehaven High School, putting up 19 points, six rebounds, and three blocks. But now the only thing on many people’s mind is, ‘What college is James Wiseman going to select?’
Battle of the Schools
With so many options on the table, Wiseman has a great opportunity to set himself up for success at the college level. His final 8 schools are — Arizona, Florida State, Kansas, Kentucky, Memphis, Texas, Vanderbilt, and North Carolina.
To make things less complicated, the two top schools on his list are the University of Kentucky and the University of Memphis.
247 Sports gives Memphis a 67 percent chance to land the top recruit, while Kentucky sits at 33 percent.