UK Recruiting

Top UK basketball target James Wiseman takes next step in recruitment

James Wiseman is arguably the best overall prospect in the class of 2019.
James Wiseman is arguably the best overall prospect in the class of 2019. tglantz@thestate.com

Five-star basketball recruit James Wiseman has made another cut to his college list.

There were no surprises.

Wiseman — a 7-footer from Nashville — narrowed his list Wednesday to Kentucky, Memphis, Florida State, Kansas and Vanderbilt. Those were the five schools he had previously scheduled official visits to, so their inclusion in his latest group of finalists was expected.

Arizona, North Carolina and Texas were the three schools left out of the latest cut.

247Sports and ESPN both rank Wiseman as the No. 1 overall prospect in the class of 2019, and he was the first player from that group to earn a scholarship offer from Kentucky. He’s remained the Cats’ top 2019 recruiting target throughout the cycle.

UK’s top competition in Wiseman’s recruitment is still expected to be Memphis, where his former high school and Nike league coach, Penny Hardaway, is now the head coach. Wiseman is entering his senior season at Memphis East High School, where he transferred last season so he could play for Hardaway, the former Memphis and NBA star.

Kentucky and Kansas have already hosted Wiseman for official visits, and he’s expected to take such trips to Vanderbilt, Memphis and Florida State later this month.

That schedule would mean that Wiseman will have taken all five of his official visits prior to the early signing period in mid-November, though he and his family have made clear they don’t expect the top prospect to sign with a school — or even make a college decision — until the spring signing period in April.

Memphis has been receiving the most predictions in Wiseman’s recruitment over the past few months, including the last 14 picks on his 247Sports Crystal Ball page and a clean sweep of expert predictions on Rivals.com a few weeks ago.

Still, two of those Rivals.com analysts — Eric Bossi and Corey Evans — told the Herald-Leader they could easily see Wiseman end up at Kentucky.

And 247Sports national analyst Evan Daniels is sticking by his UK prediction, made nearly a year ago and before Hardaway became the Memphis head coach.

“I think Kentucky is leading,” Daniels said on his podcast last week. “That doesn’t mean I think they’re going to get him but that’s the school I think is out in front.”

No. 1-ranked basketball recruit James Wiseman discusses the Memphis vs. Kentucky battle that is brewing in his recruitment.

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