Before we get into it, read Evan Daniels’ article with Donzaleigh Artis, James Wiseman’s mother. Daniels is the best in the business and works too hard for folks to not read his work.
You can (and should) read his article HERE. When the article was posted Tyler Thompson wrote a quick recap and an updated list on visitors for UK in September. It’s going to be a wild month for Kentucky basketball recruiting and you can read that HERE.
Here are my thoughts on Artis’ interesting comments:
“We have our options wide open. Kansas keeps in touch all the time, Vanderbilt is always on him, Florida State is emailing and texting, they’re on him. It’s not just Kentucky and Memphis.”
Thoughts: Emailing, Florida State? What is this, 2001? No, in all seriousness the Wiseman camp has been saying this isn’t a two-horse race for months. Probably longer. And I believe in their minds they are truly open to Vandy, Kansas and Florida State. They will give all those schools a fair chance and stranger things have happened in recruiting, but it’s going to take something bizarre from one of those schools to jump UK or Memphis just from a relationship standpoint. I truly believe their options are wide open but UK and Memphis have put in the most work at this point.
“Right now, we’re just scheduling visits with different schools that we want to visit. Everybody is to the point now where they want to say that James is going to Memphis.”
Thoughts: Well. How about that. Artis addresses the elephant in the room and I’m not sure what to make of this comment. It seems pretty cut and dry. The family is going to take several visits. Earlier she said it’s not just UK and Memphis and now she mentions that everyone is saying Memphis leads. But, is she wrong? Most folks (Evan Daniels excluded) thinks Memphis leads for Wiseman. The family clearly wants the public to believe that every school has a chance.
“Then Florida State we will know by the end of the day because he just talked to us today to try and get us set up so we will know that by the end of the day.”
Thoughts: Basically Artis is waiting for Leonard Hamilton to fire up his AOL account, check his away messages and then return an email. Not much here, folks. It seems like Florida State will get a visit.
“He hasn’t said what his fifth one is,” Artis said when pressed about the visit. “He hasn’t said which one he wants or if he’ll take it.”
Thoughts: Wiseman will visit UK, Kansas, Vanderbilt and Florida State. Memphis may not get an official visit. On the one hand this is interesting because Memphis is perceived the leader. Even if it’s the hometown school, Penny and his staff would love to treat Wiseman and the family on the school’s dime.
But, why waste an official visit on the school that’s just down the street? In my opinion that seems to make the most. This doesn’t mean Memphis is behind. This doesn’t mean anything besides Wiseman wanting to capitalize on his visits. And hell, maybe Memphis will end up with the fifth visit. No need to overreact here.
Remember, he still has a list of eight schools. He’s also considering Arizona, North Carolina and Texas.
“I know right now it’s football time and we don’t want to look at just football. We want to come in and see how you all play and see how this system is ran, we want to get in there and get dirty with the players. I want him to talk to some of these people and get a feel of what’s going on at different schools and all of that.”
Thoughts: Artis seems like a smart woman and the Wiseman family is doing this the right way. Football games are neat, but that shouldn’t dictate an entire visit. Any recruit should want to talk with players, coaches and observe as much as they can. It appears that will be what Wiseman does on his official visits. The good news for UK is that there is already an amazing relationship between Wiseman’s family and the Kentucky staff. They will be able to continue to build on that relationship, focus on basketball and the academic sides of UK.
“We’re going to wait this out,. I want James to go through his entire 12th grade year of being a 12th grader. You don’t ever get that back, you never get back being a kid. I want him to evaluate each school with what’s happening. I want him to figure it out because you have transfer students when basketball starts, you got people going to enter the Draft, coaches going to change so we’re going to do this at a late period, the latest period you can so he can see both sides of it.”
Thoughts: Daniels has been saying for months that Wiseman would wait until the spring and here we have Wiseman’s mom confirm. So, don’t get too antsy because we are months away from a final decision.
You can look at this as a handful of ways, but I take it as good news for UK. If he knew he wanted to go to Memphis it would be in Penny’s best interest to get a commitment immediately. With Wiseman on board the Tigers would likely land other highly talented four or five-star players. Great players want to play with great players. Wiseman is great. It sounds like Wiseman will be waiting longer than most 2019 players, so Memphis’ class will likely be what it is before Wiseman’s decision.
Also, will Memphis have several bigs that are making NBA decisions after this season? I don’t think so. Heck, most schools on his list won’t.
One more point- the reaction in town probably wouldn’t be great if Wiseman committed to UK and then had an entire season to play. Memphis fans will continue to show him love for months, and that won’t hurt the Tigers’ chances, but if Wiseman picked UK or KU tomorrow, Wiseman’s last year in Memphis probably wouldn’t be overly pleasant. I take this quote as a positive for the Cats.
Again, make sure to read the entire article because Daniels has great insight in the story and more details about Wiseman’s recruitment. CLICK HERE.