Possible No. 1 Overall Pick, Memphis Center James Wiseman Ruled Ineligible By NCAA

The college basketball landscape has drastically changed.
Memphis forward James Wiseman, the No. 1 recruit in the 2019 class and the possible top selection in the 2020 NBA Draft, was ruled ineligible by the NCAA on Friday, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The NCAA has ruled Memphis F/C James Wiseman — the possible No. 1 overall pick in 2020 NBA Draft — ineligible, his lawyers said in Memphis.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 8, 2019

The NCAA ruled that Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway assisted in paying for Wiseman and his family to move to Memphis in 2018, while he was in high school, per Wojnarowski. That qualifies Hardaway as a booster, in the NCAA’s terms.
Wiseman’s lawyer says the NCAA claims Hardaway paid “thousands” of dollars to move the forward from Nashville to Memphis, per Stadium’s Jeff Goodman.

Wiseman’s lawyer told reporters that NCAA alleges Hardaway paid “thousands” of dollars in moving expenses when Wiseman moved from Nashville to Memphis in high school. Lawyer also said that Wiseman is now suing the NCAA.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) November 8, 2019


This decision will have a major impact on the NBA’s 2020 draft class. If Wiseman cannot regain his eligibility, he’ll likely look for overseas options, which would allow him to keep his draft stock high.
Wiseman will be allowed to play in Memphis’ game Friday night after a court-issued “emergency temporary restraining order” was put into effect less than one hour before tip-off, according to a statement released by Memphis. They are working with the NCAA to “restore his playing status,” per the release.
Read the full statement here:

James Wiseman playing tonight. Statement from @Memphis_MBB: pic.twitter.com/fLNc5oO4Ss
— Andy Katz (@TheAndyKatz) November 8, 2019