Credit: Memphis Athletics

Memphis Declares James Wiseman Ineligible To Play

Memphis drops the appeal of the NCAA’s decision regarding the star center’s eligibility

Memphis star freshman James Wiseman has dropped his lawsuit against the NCAA and the school has officially deemed him to be ineligible. The decision is due to the fact that the program believes the best chance that Wiseman can return to the floor will be by declaring him ineligible and then applying for his reinstatement. At this point it is unclear whether or not that is a realistic possibility, after a deeper investigation found that he had accepted money from now Memphis coach Anfernee Hardaway when he was coaching Wiseman on the high school level. Hardaway financially helped the Wiseman family move from Chicago to Memphis before he started his last two years of high school. The argument from the Tigers is that there was no way Hardaway could have foreseen becoming the head coach at a school that he has donated a large amount of money to since retiring from the NBA. At the very least this is a situation that could set a precedent preventing potential donations from those with an interest in coaching at the high school and college level.

In his short run at Memphis the center has averaged 19.7 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 3 blocks in 3 games this season. Wiseman is no doubt one of the top prospects in the 2020 draft class, and regardless of whether or not he plays again this season he is virtual lock to go in the top five. There is some talk that the NBL has interest if he decides to leave school but at this point there is no sign he considering that option. If he does go the professional route he will have plenty of suitors to make good money and still enter the 2020 draft. His position in the draft will largely come based on the needs of whichever particular team comes into the first two or three picks, but he could go as high as first overall if a team views him as the best player on the board regardless of need.

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