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Five-Star Prospect, No. 1 2019 Recruit James Wiseman Commits to Memphis Over Kentucky

Wiseman, No. 1 prospect in the class of 2019, picked his hometown team Memphis over John Calipari's Kentucky Wildcats. 

Five-star center James Wiseman, the nation’s consensus No. 1 Class of 2019 recruit, has committed Penny Hardaway's program at Memphis, Wiseman announced on Tuesday on ESPN's SportsCenter.

The seven-foot center is a Memphis native who played for Hardaway in high school before the Memphis legend and former NBA All-Star took over the Tigers program in March.

Wiseman wields a 7'6" wingspan and a standing reach of over nine feet. He's a talented rim runner on both sides of the ball and shows promising athleticism for someone of his size. He has room for improvement as a shot blocker and rebounder, but is still projected to be a one and done prospect and will be in contention to be the top pick in the 2020 NBA draft.

Wiseman, nicknamed 'Big Ticket,' picked Memphis over Florida State, Kansas, Kentucky and Vanderbilt, who rounded out the top-ranked prospect's final five schools. The race, however, was largely considered a two-school contest between Memphis and Kentucky.

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Wiseman may ultimately be bumped from the No. 1 spot in the 2019 class after five-star guard Anthony Edwards reclassified from 2020 on Tuesday, but he's an elite prospect who instantly boosts Memphis's profile under Hardaway.

Four-star power forward and fellow top-50 prospect DJ Jeffries will also be playing for Memphis, after decommitting from Kentucky to join Hardaway's up-and-coming program. The Olive Branch, Miss. native lives just 30-minutes south of Memphis and also played for Hardaway on the EYBL circuit in 2017.

Wiseman joins Jeffries as just the second consensus top-50 prospect to commit to the Tigers since Dedric Lawson, now a Kansas Jayhawk, in July 2014.