The Memphis Tigers entered the 2019-20 season with high expectations in larger part because of five-star freshman James Wiseman. Well, it turns out that he’s actually ineligible to play this year.
During the season opener for the Tigers, Wiseman had 28 points and 11 rebounds. He’s widely considered the top prospect in all of college basketball.
However, we may not see him play college basketball again this season.
According to ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowksi, the NCAA has ruled Wiseman as ineligible to play.
It’s not just a shocking development for Memphis, but for every basketball fan in the country.
The NCAA has ruled Memphis F/C James Wiseman — the possible No. 1 overall pick in 2020 NBA Draft — ineligible, his lawyers said in Memphis.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 8, 2019
Per Sudu Upadhyay of WMC Action News 5, the five-star center is ineligible because Hardaway allegedly helped finance his family’s move to Memphis.
Wojnarowski originally tweeted that the arrangement took place back in 2008, but has since corrected himself to report that it took place in 2018, when Weisman had emerged as a top recruit.
The NCAA is basically labeling Hardaway as a booster for the Memphis program when he aided Wiseman’s family, before becoming the head coach at his alma mater.
Breaking news: High profile Memphis attorney Leslie Ballin says the NCAA has ruled James Wiseman ineligible to play. He says Penny Hardaway helped finance Wiseman and his family’s move to Memphis back in high school. The NCAA has deemed Penny a booster.
— Sudu Upadhyay (@SuduUpadhyay) November 8, 2019
The timing of this news is brutal for the Tigers as they’re about to take the court tonight against the UIC Flames.
Expect more details to come out about this situation in the near future.
For now though, it doesn’t sound like we’ll see James Wiseman on the court at Memphis anytime soon.