James
Wiseman
Position: C
Height/Weight: 7-1 / 247 lbs
School/Club: Memphis
Status: Freshman
Birthday: 03/31/2001

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About James Wiseman

James Wiseman is one of the most physically gifted center prospects in recent history but only appeared in three games for the Memphis Tigers as he was embattled with eligibility issues in his brief stint at the college level.  Emerging as one the top prospects in the high school class of 2019 early in his prep career, the Tennessee native averaged 11.4 point and 5.0 rebounds per game at the 2017 FIBA U16 Americas Championship alongside the likes of RJ Hampton and Vernon Carey.  He finished his senior year at East High School (TN) as one of the most decorated recruits this decade having earned a spot in the McDonald’s All-American, Jordan Brand Classic, and Nike Hoop Summit while capturing both Gatorade National Player of the Year and Morgan Wooten National Player of the Year honors. 

The centerpiece of the top-ranked 7-player recruiting class signed by Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway, Wiseman was named an AP preseason All-American team and averaged 19.7 points and 10.7 rebounds before his season came to a premature end.

  • Possessing an impressive combination of size and mobility, Wiseman runs the floor exceptionally well for a player listed at 7-foot-1 and 247-pounds.  With a 9-foot-6 standing reach, his dimensions are a factor around the rim on both end of the floor.
     
  • Seeing only 69.5 minutes of action for the Tigers last season, Wiseman did the majority of his scoring inside providing a big target off the ball, creating some touches for himself crashing the glass, and drawing free throws at a remarkable rate.  Tossing in several shots away from the rim and making teams pay for sending him to the line while posting massive per-minute scoring and rebounding numbers, the 19-year old big man provided a small glimpse of his tantalizing offensive potential in limited action. 
     
  • Missing out on the opportunity to anchor a Memphis defense that was arguably the best in the country, Wiseman nonetheless showed some encouraging signs on the defensive end in his brief stint at the college level.  His length gives him intriguing potential a rim protector, but like most young big men, he is still learning how to maximize his tools -- particularly away from the rim. 


Defensive Analysis

  • Providing some rim protection from the center spot for one of the quickest teams top-to-bottom in the country, Wiseman had some positive moments using his length around the rim.  He elevates well for blocks with room to gather and his sheer reach is frequently a factor on the defensive glass.
     
  • Stronger than he is especially quick, he is still learning how to give himself a cushion and get to spots early when sliding out to guard on the perimeter but showed some growth and intensity in that regard in limited action.


Career Highlights 

  • On 2019-20 preseason watch lists for the Wooden Award, Naismith Trophy, Lute Olson Award, NABC Player of the Year and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award.
  • One of five players named to the 2019-20 Associated Press Preseason All-America Team.
  • 2018-19 Gatorade National Player of the Year and Morgan Wooten Player of the Year as a senior at Memphis East High School.
  • Won gold with USA Basketball at the 2017 FIBA U16 Americas Championship.


Freshman (2019-20)

  • Played in the first three games of the season before receiving a 12-game suspension from the NCAA.
  • After sitting out seven games, announced on Dec. 19 he was leaving Memphis to prepare full time for the 2020 NBA Draft.
  • Averaged 19.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks in 23.0 minutes. Shot 76.9 percent from the field.
  • Finished with 28 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks in his collegiate debut against South Carolina State (Nov. 5).
  • Posted 14 points and 12 rebounds in 22 minutes vs. No. 14 Oregon (Nov. 12).


High School

  • Ranked the nation’s No. 1 recruit in 2019 by ESPN and 247Sports.
  • Scored 13 points in the 2019 McDonald’s All-American Game.


Strengths

  • Elite physical profile for a modern big man.
  • Long, agile, powerful and explosive off the floor.
  • Solid skill base with a soft touch and good feet.
  • Can protect the rim and switch on the perimeter.


Personal

  • Speaks Mandarin after studying it in high school.
  • Would like to own fast-food restaurants.


Quotable

“Some people say Chris Bosh, Kevin Garnett and even David Robinson. But really, I’m my own person. I want to create my own path. I want to be the next James Wiseman so people look up to me one day. But I’ve patterned my game compared to those three players, so I just say it.”

-Wiseman, to The Undefeated, on whom he plays like