Potential No. 1 overall pick James Wiseman ruled ineligible at Memphis

Ross Houston
November 9, 2019

The NCAA has ruled Memphis Tigers freshman center James Wiseman, the potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, ineligible to play.

Notable college basketball insider Jeff Goodman then added more specifics when he tweeted "James Wiseman moved from Nashville to Memphis and played for Penny Hardaway at Memphis East his junior and senior years in high school".

Wiseman will be allowed to play in Memphis' game Friday night after a court-issued "emergency temporary restraining order" was put into effect less than one hour before tip-off, according to a statement released by Memphis.


In his lone game at the school, Wiseman posted 28 points and 11 rebounds over 22 minutes in a 97-64 win over South Carolina State.

Wiseman was the centerpiece of Memphis' star-studded No. 1 recruiting class Hardaway signed this past offseason. Wiseman ultimately committed to the Tigers. Many analysts said he chose Memphis over powerhouse programs because of his relationship with head coach Penny Hardaway.

ESPN ranks Wiseman as the No. 1 player for next year's NBA Draft. Hardaway is considered to be a booster for the program after donating money to the school in 2008.


New athletic director Laird Veatch says Memphis will cooperate and be respectful and professional dealing with the NCAA while "availing ourselves of every resource" in the best interests of their student-athletes, coach and university.

Before landing Wiseman as a recruit at Memphis last fall, Hardaway, Ballin told reporters, financed the move in 2017. "It is clear to me in my short time here that Memphians will stand up and fight, both for each other and for what is right, and I am proud to stand with them".


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