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Memphis’ James Wiseman is Finished Playing College Basketball

College basketball has seen the last of James Wiseman.

The top-ranked recruit in the 2019 class and potential No. 1 overall draft pick has left the University of Memphis. Shams Charania reports Wiseman will hire an agent and prepare for the NBA Draft. Shortly after he made the move official on Instagram.

Once upon a time Wiseman was destined to play at the University of Kentucky. When Memphis hired his former AAU head coach, Penny Hardaway, things changed. Wiseman landed at Memphis, then the NCAA did some digging and discover Penny covered his family’s moving expenses in high school. The Tigers fought the suspension tooth and nail before he was ultimately ruled out of 12 games.

Wiseman was set to return on Jan. 12 to play South Florida. Instead of riding out the storm a little longer, he’ll end his career with 59 points, 32 rebounds and nine blocked shots in three games.

College basketball will not be as entertaining without Wiseman. Even though most Kentucky fans love to see Penny’s program suffer, the sport will do just that without one of its brightest young stars.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

31 Comments for Memphis’ James Wiseman is Finished Playing College Basketball

  1. StuckinLville
    2:58 pm December 19, 2019 Permalink

    Bet he wishes he just came to UK.

    • makeitstop
      3:04 pm December 19, 2019 Permalink

      We ALL wish he had. We’d be 10-0

    • notFromhere
      3:27 pm December 19, 2019 Permalink

      He does.

    • J. Did
      4:50 pm December 19, 2019 Permalink

      I concur. Saw this earlier on Yahoo sports and thought similarly. My old coach always said, when he recognized a pensive player: “Penny for your thoughts?” Wow, how now appropo.

  2. Nugget01
    3:06 pm December 19, 2019 Permalink

    I understand. Finals week always made me want to withdrawal, too.

  3. Trinity45
    3:20 pm December 19, 2019 Permalink

    Guess Penny should have spent a little more money.

  4. notFromhere
    3:30 pm December 19, 2019 Permalink

    Memphis knew better. Penny knew better. I’m sure he held it over Wiseman’s head to get him to sign with Memphis, too.

    Penny is a dbag for doing this all the way around. Best wishes for Wiseman in the draft.

    4:03 pm December 19, 2019 Permalink


  6. CrystalBall
    4:16 pm December 19, 2019 Permalink

    i forgot. What, exactly, was Hardaway’s penalty?

    • J. Did
      5:05 pm December 19, 2019 Permalink

      Precisely. We know the who, what, where, and why. When’s the reprimand? And, the severity?

  7. Dustin Rumbaugh
    4:44 pm December 19, 2019 Permalink

    Penny did nothing wrong. He helped out a kid and his family, which turned into an advantage and he took it. James Wiseman did nothing wrong. He felt comfortable with a coach and thought he could make it work and it didn’t. This is again just a different version of the NCAA not caring about college basketball or the kids that write their paychecks and instead trying to make political moves to show their (quotation marks are meant to be there) “power.” Don’t let anyone spin you into thinking Penny or James are the problem….they’re just playing the cards they were dealt and the NCAA is the dealer. I for one am sad that we don’t get to see Wiseman as a college player or what he could have done in the tourney (ala Carmelo Anthony). He was a phenom!! Best of luck to him. Worst of luck to Penny just cuz he’s a rival now. The bestest of best of luck to whoever can bring down the NCAA because I’m tired of this SH**&T!!

    • CrystalBall
      5:06 pm December 19, 2019 Permalink

      Penny did nothing wrong? He gave the family $10,500 to make a $1500 move. He had to have know that was a violation. The rest of the world did.

    • Realme
      5:22 pm December 19, 2019 Permalink

      And then he let Wiseman commit knowing this could all come out and ruin his year in college! Come on, of course Penny did things wrong.

    • 4everUKBlue
      5:23 pm December 19, 2019 Permalink

      I don’t like the NCAA either but to say Penny did nothing wrong is just plain ignorant.

    • CrystalBall
      10:56 pm December 19, 2019 Permalink

      4everUKBlue. He (Penny) did just beat Ole Rocky Top.

    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      10:28 pm December 19, 2019 Permalink

      Dustin’s been smoking something with Bill Walton.

      Just kidding, but Penny did nothing wrong? Pah-LEEZE! I can possibly see Wiseman being naive about some of the rules, but Penny? Come on man!

      I feel bad for the kid and his teammates, but not Hardaway. Not at all.

  8. Dustin Rumbaugh
    4:49 pm December 19, 2019 Permalink

    Probably should’ve clarified the other part that I know is going on but goes on behind closed doors. Wiseman’s mom, brother, sister, uncle, anybody that gave him a ride somewhere, Penny, Penny’s wife, Penny’s entire AAU staff, they’re all being questioned and having to come up with receipts. I see the comment above that “I didn’t like finals either.” Take your finals and times them by 1,000,000. His entire family and friends have to go through a final just to get approved. Its only sane and rational to make the decision to say F….U…NCAA…I’ll just go pro.

    • rockatao
      9:15 pm December 19, 2019 Permalink

      Having to pay back the $11,500 before reinstatement may be an issue also.

  9. CrystalBall
    5:03 pm December 19, 2019 Permalink

    Pen y

    • CrystalBall
      5:08 pm December 19, 2019 Permalink

      Disreggard please. Error.

  10. runningunnin.454
    6:13 pm December 19, 2019 Permalink

    Wow, didn’t see that coming. I would think he would be better prepared for the NBA finishing the year in college; but, he will probably be No.1 pick anyway.
    So, the No.1 recruiting class goes down in flames; I guess that makes our class No.1. Certainly makes me feel better about our problems right now; that is a devastating loss for Memphis

  11. BobbyBlue
    6:15 pm December 19, 2019 Permalink

    Penny knew exactly what his well calculated loan was going to do.
    He would help force Tubby out, and with the guarantee that he could deliver Wiseman, the job was his !

  12. UKfanman01
    6:32 pm December 19, 2019 Permalink


  13. SanDiegoDave
    7:31 pm December 19, 2019 Permalink

    Do you remember Chris Washburn from NC State? I hope Wiseman doesn’t wind up like him. As for Penny Hardaway, UM might want to kick him to the curb sooner than later. Even if he didn’t donate a million dollars to get his name on a building, he knew better. Unfortunately, hubris got in the way of good decision making and Memphis is going to suffer a long time if they don’t get rid of him now.

  14. Corder
    9:21 pm December 19, 2019 Permalink

    You forget they don’t care about any of this as long as he is winning they will keep him. In the grand scheme of things that’s all any of these company’s care about. Winning means more money and more money is good for business.

  15. binarysolo
    10:49 pm December 19, 2019 Permalink

    We get bummed when we miss out on recruits, but we’ve also dodged some major bullets: Wiseman, N’Faly Dante was ineligible for a semester at Oregon, Emmanuel Mudiay never played at SMU, etc. Can you imagine the Pat Fordes of the world having a field day raining hate on Calipari if a UK player became ineligible like this?

    • Lip Man 1
      2:52 am December 20, 2019 Permalink

      Dante by the way had 12 points and 10 rebounds, something like that a few days ago in his first game with Oregon.

  16. W.C.
    1:20 am December 20, 2019 Permalink

    Who gets the money raised on the “Go Fund Me” account Jay Williams started ?

  17. dan1965
    1:37 am December 20, 2019 Permalink

    I’m broke,being the kind hearted fellow I am just telling Jay to send it to me…or we can send it to Walton if he’d just agree to STHU during games,ALL GAMES !

  18. Lip Man 1
    2:50 am December 20, 2019 Permalink

    I wonder if academic eligibility had anything to do with his decision since Memphis’ fall semester I assume just ended.

  19. Dustin Rumbaugh
    9:50 am December 20, 2019 Permalink

    I’m still not sure I see what Penny did wrong. He was an AAU coach. I’m 100% positive he wasn’t the only kid on those teams that received some kind of benefit from Penny’s money (shoes, travel, everyday expenses, helping a single parent with rent). The only difference is that Penny became head coach at memphis and so it became a violation that a kid that trusted him chose to follow him there. Now that kid is under legal scrutiny like most people rarely feel. The only argument I can see is if you say that Penny knew at the time that he was using that money solely to leverage himself for the job at Memphis. I get that argument. But we’re talking about a school that went from Josh Pastner (nobody but a good recruiter at the time) to Tubby Smith. I’m not sure Penny needed the leverage. My point is that I’m tired of the NCAA sticking their fingers in everything, especially when it can make a big political splash (lets get Penny and the #1 player in the nation), without any regard for how it affects the game (we lost arguably the best player in the nation), how it might affects a kids ability to make his own choice (sorry father-figure coach…can’t go play with you because the NCAA says yes..then no…then yes), nor any consistency (see the yes..then no…then yes comment). I think if it were happening here we would sing a different tune.