Potential No. 1 pick James Wiseman ruled ineligible by NCAA

Tanya Simon
November 9, 2019

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.

The No. 1 recruit in the 2019 class, Wiseman was the first player from that group to land a scholarship offer from Kentucky, which appeared to be the clear leader in his recruitment until Memphis hired Penny Hardaway - Wiseman's mentor and coach - to be their head coach before last season.

He's expected to be a top-five pick, with a ceiling as high as No. 1 overall. "We support James' right to challenge the NCAA ruling on this matter".

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski initially reported that the NCAA had ruled Wiseman ineligible to play.

"Particularly given the unique circumstances in this case, we are hopeful for a fair and equitable resolution on James' eligibility", stated University of Memphis President M. David Rudd.

Wiseman will be eligible to play Friday night against UIC. "This matter is extremely unfortunate and frustrating at this special time in our history".

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Memphis freshman big man James Wiseman will be available to play in the Tigers' game vs. Illinois-Chicago on Friday despite being ruled ineligible by the NCAA.

The university said Wiseman didn't know about the money given to his family.

Though the two have a long-standing kinship, Ballin says the NCAA deemed Hardaway a booster, leading to the ruling of Wiseman's ineligibility.

The No. 14 Tigers opened up the 2019-20 season on Tuesday with a 97-64 win over South Carolina State as Wiseman scored 28 points and 11 rebounds in his debut.

Wiseman committed to Memphis in November 2018 as a five-star recruit out of high school.

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