NCAA rules potential No. 1 pick James Wiseman ineligible for Memphis

Nov. 8 (UPI) — Memphis star freshman James Wiseman was ruled ineligible by the NCAA, his lawyer said Friday night.

Wiseman’s attorney, Leslie Ballin, told reporters the NCAA determined Tigers head basketball coach Penny Hardaway helped finance Wiseman and his family’s move to Memphis in 2018. The NCAA considered Hardaway to be a booster.

Ballin said a Shelby County court judge ruled to put a hold on the NCAA’s ruling, pending further litigation. The ruling means Wiseman will be eligible to play Friday night against Illinois-Chicago.

Wiseman played for Hardaway at East High School in Memphis from 2017-18. Hardaway, who became Memphis’ head coach before the start of last season, signed Wiseman in November 2018. The NCAA cleared Wiseman in May.

Wiseman notched 28 points and 11 rebounds in the Tigers’ season-opening victory over South Carolina State on Tuesday night.

The 7-footer has been considered one of the top prospects in the 2019 recruiting class and will likely be selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.