Potential top pick Wiseman ineligible for Memphis

The NCAA has ruled Memphis center James Wiseman ineligible, his lawyers said Friday night.

Memphis coach Penny Hardaway assisted Wiseman and his family’s move to Memphis in 2018, attorney Leslie Ballin said in a news conference — and the NCAA has deemed Hardaway a booster.

Wiseman is the top recruit in ESPN’s 2019 rankings as well as the top player in ESPN’s rankings for the 2020 NBA Draft.

He had 28 points and 11 rebounds in Memphis’ season-opening win over South Carolina State on Tuesday night, dazzling with dunks, alley-oop finishes and offensive rebounds followed by putbacks.

Hardaway, who is in his second season as Memphis coach, had previously coached Wiseman, a 7-footer from East High School in Tennessee, on the grassroots circuit with the Team Penny/Bluff City Legends program. He also coached him in high school at East en route to a state championship.

Wiseman has been considered one of the elite prospects in the 2019 class for the past couple of years, and he maintained his No. 1 ranking after a strong summer on the Nike EYBL circuit with the Bluff City Legends. He averaged 15.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks, while shooting better than 50 percent from the field.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Jeff Borzello contributed to this report.

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