That’s what the teammates of James Wiseman were saying after he won the most valuable player award in the 132-125 victory for his team in the Jordan Brand game that was played in Las Vegas, NV.
Wiseman had a team-high 21 points and six rebounds in the win. Wiseman only had two points in the first half, but exploded in the second half to hold off the charge from the visiting team. Both rosters featured players from all across the country all are rated among the top forty in the country for this year’s senior recruiting class.
Wiseman was not the only Memphis-area product to play in the game. DJ Jeffries of Olive Branch High was invited to the game. Jeffries played limited minutes in the game, but still made his presence known. Jeffries finished the game with seven points in only 12 minutes of action. Jeffries missed on an alley-oop dunk just as the first half was ending
Jeffries proved that he could compete with the elite talent during the game and was proud to have been selected to play in the game.
“I thought I came in shooting the ball well,” Jeffries said. “I came out to play with energy and to have some fun.”
Jeffries and Wiseman will both don the blue and gray of the Memphis Tigers next season under their former AAU coach team Penny Hardaway. The Tigers recruiting class is ranked sixth in the ESPN rankings for this season. Wiseman finished the year ranked number one in the nation. Jeffries finished the season ranked twenty-four in the ESPN top 100 recruits.
Wiseman is not only the star of this year’s recruiting class he is also on every NBA scout and general manager’s radar. In a loaded roster that features players that are committed to Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina and others, he stood head and shoulder above the others.
Wiseman was born in Nashville but has spent the last two years playing at East High in Memphis. This is the last game Wiseman will play as a high school player. Wiseman played in the McDonald’s All-American game and was named the Gatorade Player of the Year and other honors”.
“It was a great honor to play in the game. I had a great time here and I’m grateful to get the opportunity,” Wiseman said. “I did not have many touches in the first half. I got more touches in the second half and I took advantage of it. I really did not care about the stats I just wanted to win the game.”
Another Memphis target played in the game: Trendon Watford. Watford, Jefferies and Wiseman all played on the same team. Watford finished the game with 18 points and 7 rebounds in 20 minutes and made some great plays throughout the game. Watford and Jeffries played well together in the first half.
Watford was set to announce his college decision at the Jordan Game, but he delayed his decision and will make it at his high school Mountain Brook. No firm date has been set for when the announcement will come.
During the practice the day before the game, many scouts were getting their first in-person look at the seven-footer Wiseman and every one of them were impressed with his basketball skills. Wiseman was recently projected to be the number one player to be selected in the 2020 NBA draft.
The players in the game got a special gift. All of the players got the unreleased Travis Scott shoes by Nike. The shoes were signed by the recording artist and no one expected to receive those and they all said they most likely will never wear them, because of what they represent.
Wiseman, along with DJ Jeffries and the other incoming recruits the University of Memphis basketball team should return back to the glory days of Tigers Basketball. IN some way to early polls rankings for next season the Tigers have appeared as high as seventh, but most polls have placed the team in the lower twenties.