James Wiseman, The Nation’s Top Recruit, Absolutely Dominates In Memphis Season Opener

james wiseman memphis

Getty Image / Patrick Smith

College basketball’s opening night on Tuesday delivered some big-time games. In the State Farm Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden we had No. 4 Duke knocking off No. 3 Kansas 68-66 which was then followed by No. 2 Kentucky beating No. 1 Michigan State 69-62.

Those two contests rightly so dominated the night, but there were plenty of other storylines around the country including the nation’s top recruit James Wiseman making his debut for Memphis.

There has been a lot of hype around this No. 14 Memphis team with head coach Penny Hardaway bringing in the No. 1 recruiting class this past summer which was headlined by the 7-foot-1, beyond freakishly athletic, Wiseman.

Wiseman is originally from Nashville but played his high school hoops in Memphis at East, so the Memphis eyes have been on him for quite some time. He missed the team’s exhibition games with an apparent ankle injury, but the big man delivered in the season opener against South Carolina State.

Related: Penny Hardaway, Maybe The Cockiest Person In College Hoops, Says He And Memphis Want ‘All The Smoke’

He managed to score 20 points, snag eight rebounds and block two shots all in just 15 minutes of the opening half. Wiseman finished the night going 11-for-14 from the field scoring 28 points, grabbing 11 boards and three blocks 22 total minutes to help Memphis grab a 97-64 win.

Hardaway compared Wiseman’s ability to run the floor to Shaquille Oneal’s ability to get up and down the court, which the two played together in the NBA. That seems like pretty decent praise for a guy that’s played exactly 22 minutes of college basketball, even if it was against South Carolina State.

Wiseman is at the top of plenty of 2020 Mock NBA Draft boards and he showed why on Tuesday night. He and his young Memphis team will likely go through some growing pains before hitting conference play after the new year, but things are looking really exciting in Memphis this season.