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James Wiseman update after his Memphis visit

Well, some not-so-great news. In yesterday’s Monday Insider Notes I said I was unable to talk with any AAU sources about Wiseman’s visit to Memphis over the weekend but one did get back with me this afternoon.

This is someone I’ve been able to chat with about Wiseman’s recruitment for a long time and nearly two months ago he told me he thought Wiseman would end up at Kentucky.

His reasons were reasons we’ve heard (and I’ve repeated) throughout Wiseman’s recruitment:

  • He wants to win a championship
  • UK has done an incredible job building a relationship with the family
  • He will be the guy on the frontcourt
  • John Calipari’s track record with bigs and getting them selected at/near the top of the NBA Draft.

This fella told me today that he now thinks Memphis is the leader and he would be “pretty shocked” if he ended up going anywhere else. He did mention if not Memphis it would be UK, but he thinks Penny has done enough to earn a commitment.

I did ask if his information came from someone on Memphis’ staff and it did not, so that’s good news. But here are the reasons he provided for why this Nike EYBL source believes Memphis will land Wiseman:

  • Penny hasn’t missed with his former AAU/HS players that he’s wanted to coach at Memphis.
  • The family is convinced he can be a No. 1 pick at Memphis (I found this interesting. Did they initially not think he could be drafted as the No. 1 player at Memphis? That would be surprising).

Then he listed off some hints he thinks people have been missing in this recruitment to “validate” his prediction:

  • Wiseman stayed in Memphis instead of going to prep-school.
  • Wiseman’s mom was set on an April or May decision, but now he’s wanting to announce in November or December. My guy said there’s still time for Wiseman to get other players to join him in Memphis.
  • Wiseman initially wasn’t going to officially visit Memphis, but gave the Tigers the last official visit. (I don’t know it’s true he was deadset on not officially visiting Memphis, but instead had planned other visits first).
  • The entire town is trying to get him to stay in Memphis and it would be a “bad business” move to commit while still living in the city. (I also slightly disagree with this, but no doubt he’d get boo’d during his home games)

I passed along this information with folks close to Kentucky and they weren’t phased. They still think they’re in a great spot to land Wiseman and while I don’t feel overly confident about it one way or the other, I’m still leaning UK as of today. That may change in the next few weeks or months, but the Cats have still put in a lot of work in this recruitment and they’re not panicking just yet in Lexington.

Also, 247’s Evan Daniels is still picking UK. So even though the tide may be turning in the AAU ranks there’s still reasons to believe the Cats will be the choice.

I hope my guy is wrong but it’s clear that Memphis has the momentum (again) after the official visit. Gotta love the rollercoaster ride that is recruiting.



Article written by TJ Walker

13 Comments for James Wiseman update after his Memphis visit

  1. Shidler8684
    7:07 pm October 30, 2018 Permalink

    Now we will see if Penny can coach.

    • Memphis UK Cat
      10:43 pm October 30, 2018 Permalink

      Don’t doubt him what he is building. This place is nuts right now. I think Cal loses him to Memphis. It’s sucks!

  2. UKantstopus
    7:10 pm October 30, 2018 Permalink

    #9 in the CFP….

    • KYcats11
      7:53 pm October 30, 2018 Permalink

      Heard an interesting scenario the other day. While I doubt this is the case, it’s worth mentioning… “Ever since Memphis got Penny, Wiseman has been set on attending Memphis. Penny convinced him to act like he’s considering UK and play it off so it looks like Penny beat Calipari in a recruiting battle.” Like I said, I’m 99.9% sure this isn’t the case, but still interesting.

  3. cking
    7:38 pm October 30, 2018 Permalink

    We are not getting this kid…
    He’s going to Memphis.

    All hope is with Carey..and that isn’t good

    We need 2 centers and 2 power forwards…

  4. davis2319
    8:05 pm October 30, 2018 Permalink

    In more important news we are #9 in the college football ranking and our highest ranking period since 2007!!!! I don’t want to read about a kid in 2019 who is going to go to Memphis. I hate to break it to everyone, but we aren’t getting Wiseman. 2 huge reasons. 1) Penny Hardaway is at Memphis, simple as that. 2) He decided to go to high school in Memphis and not go to a prep school elsewhere. That was the writing on the wall right there. You never know in recruiting, and I’m no expert, but Wiseman going to UK is not happening.

    • Booby Petrino
      8:55 pm October 30, 2018 Permalink

      You sure had a lot to say about some you didn’t even want to read lol

  5. davis2319
    8:07 pm October 30, 2018 Permalink

    But it would help UK’s chances if he holds off on his commitment and waits until April or May to decide like originally planned. That would give him time to watch Memphis hopefully have a bad season which would make him realize he can’t reach his goals as easily there.

  6. N-UR-i
    10:32 pm October 30, 2018 Permalink

    I am gonna predict we get…….a great game from Benny Saturday. ?

  7. notFromhere
    11:35 pm October 30, 2018 Permalink

    Coaches all try to promise what Cal helps deliver. Penny has parlayed the game pretty well and hedged his bets thru AAU. Will be interesting to see if he has kept it clean leading up to 2019-2020. The real investigation of his involvement in and with recruits in AAU has likely only just started.

    Who knows which kids will get caught up in it.

    It’s like buying a car after a major model change. No one wants to own that first year after the changes because they haven’t worked the bugs out. It’s a recall waiting to happen. Maybe it’ll be fine.

    Can he coach? Can he keep a clean sheet? Can he get the players to work together? I don’t really care what he does, nor do I care with whom. The players that don’t want to play at UK don’t interest me. If Wiseman is playing UK, and has no real interest, I have no respect nor concern for him on the court. We’ll find out soon enough, but I hadn’t thought he’d be here anyway.

  8. World Wide Wes
    11:35 am October 31, 2018 Permalink

    I’m gonna keep believing Cal gets 3 of Stewart, Hurt, McDaniels, Wiseman and Carey. Don’t ever count our Cal. For all we know he already has commitments from guys and just waiting to announce. It’s Cal and Cal will be fine.

  9. Shively1978
    7:46 pm October 31, 2018 Permalink

    1. If your picking Memphis over UK that just shows the corruption continues. 2. Its happening in Football to The New England Crimson Tide or Alabama for sure. You don’t have 5 star guys that don’t play a snap for two to three years and not get something out of it.

  10. Shively1978
    7:47 pm October 31, 2018 Permalink

    Guess I’m just venting but Memphis is not and never will be Kentucky basketball caliber to Mr it’s a no brainer I don’t care who there coach is.