Only eight schools remain in the mix with elite Memphis (Tenn.) East center James Wiseman.
On Saturday, the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect announced his final eight schools, and Shaka Smart’s Texas Longhorns are among the bunch, alongside Kentucky, Arizona, Kansas, Vanderbilt, Memphis, Florida State, and North Carolina.
Tennessee, Oklahoma State, Missouri, Indiana, and Florida were among those in pursuit of the 6’11 center, but are now on the outside of Wiseman’s recruitment looking in.
As far as Wiseman’s eight finalists are concerned, Memphis and Kentucky have separated themselves from the rest of the pack, even by Wiseman’s own admission just weeks ago. The allure of Kentucky speaks for itself, and aside from the hometown edge Memphis enjoys, the Tigers are now coached by former NBA great and Memphis alum, Penny Hardaway, who was Wiseman’s coach at Memphis East before taking his talents to the collegiate level.
With that in mind, it’s quite clear that Smart and the ‘Horns have their hands full in this recruitment, although Wiseman did praise how Texas utilized Mohamed Bamba, via Pat Lawless of PrepCircuit.com.
“Texas is a great school. You have Coach Shaka Smart, he’s a great coach and me and him talk a lot,” Wiseman said. “They had Mo Bamba come through there. He was a rim protector and they played a lot of pick and pop through him. I like blocking shots and being around the basket so I have a feeling if I were to go there I could do the same things he did.”
Wiseman said he’s not sure which programs will receive his five official visits.