BENTON, Ky. — Speculation has swirled that top Kentucky 2019 target James Wiseman could potentially reclassify to join the 2018 class, but that won’t be the case.
Wiseman said Sunday at Marshall County Hoopfest that reclassifying is “not an option.” He didn’t know where or why those rumors started.
“I have no clue,” Wiseman said. “I just looked on Twitter and they was talking about that. It was crazy.”
Wiseman is the No. 2 player in the 2019 class, according to the 247Sports composite. The 6-foot-11 and 210-pound power forward was named player of the game in Memphis East’s win against Aspire Academy at the Marshall County Hoopfest on Sunday afternoon.
Kentucky is the perceived leader to land Wiseman. One hundred percent of the crystal ball picks on 247Sports have him headed to Lexington. Wiseman didn’t name the Wildcats as his leader, but he said no school has been in contact with him more.
“I got Kentucky visiting me a lot,” Wiseman said. “Coach Calipari’s been talking to me. Really just Kentucky’s been reaching out to me the most.”
North Carolina and Kansas are also in contact, Wiseman said. But he said Calipari is texting and calling him almost every day.
Wiseman was initially ruled ineligible to play high school basketball this season because of a relationship with Penny Hardaway, who coached Wiseman’s AAU team and Memphis East — the high school Wiseman transferred to for his junior season. However, a temporary restraining order was granted to allow Wiseman and another teammate to play at least until their Dec. 13 court hearing.
“It’s been up and down,” Hardaway said of the uncertain status. “At first he was ineligible, and then the judge ruled him eligible. Then we’ve gotta go back to court. So, if I was his age I’d be thinking, ‘Man, what’s going on? I just wanna play. I didn’t do anything wrong.'”
Fellow 2019 5-star prospect D.J. Jeffries, another Kentucky target who played at Marshall County Hoopfest this weekend, was an AAU teammate of Wiseman’s on the Nike circuit. Jeffries said he’d like to play with Wiseman at the next level.
“James, he’s a great player,” Jeffries said. “He got a nice little jump shot, great feel for the game. He a good all-around player.”
Hardaway, who played 16 seasons in the NBA, said he’s heard Wiseman compared to players like Chris Bosh and Sam Perkins.