John Calipari has had his eyes set on elite 2019 big man James Wiseman for quite some time. He was one of the first in the class to receive an offer from the Cats, and the Kentucky coaching staff has been relentless in their pursuit ever since.
Once Penny Hardaway became the head coach at Memphis, however, things have gotten a little shaky. In fact, most recruiting analysts would say the Tigers have taken the lead in the 7-foot center’s recruitment.
And now, John Calipari’s first-ever decommitment at Kentucky is working against him.
In a recent interview with Russ Steinberg of Zagsblog.com, Wiseman said DJ Jeffries has been talking to him about the possibility of teaming up in college, though he’s not getting too pushy about it.
“We talk to each other, but if you fit well at a different college, go there,” Wiseman said. “We’re not trying to push each other to go to the same college.”
In the same conversation, Wiseman mentioned Memphis and Hardaway first as one of the schools he liked, followed quickly by Kentucky. Though he officially cut his list to eight, no one expects the final choice to be anything other than Memphis or Kentucky.
When asked about what he’s looking for in his final choice, Wiseman said he’s looking for solid relationships with those within the program.
“If I can fit well in the system, the atmosphere, and being able to create great relationships with my coaches and teammates,” he said.
KSR’s TJ Walker said Wiseman will likely wait until the spring to make a decision, meaning a disaster first season for Hardaway at Memphis could potentially sway the elite big man Kentucky’s way.
As of today, though, the momentum is certainly with the Tigers.