Five-star forward James Wiseman quickly adjusting to EYBL

  • 05/01/2017 12:40 pm in

WESTFIELD, Ind. — The top-ranked power forward in the class of 2019, 6-foot-10 James Wiseman of Bradley Beal Elite, has quickly garnered interest from some of the top schools in the country.

“I’ve got offers from Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Alabama, Washington, SMU, Florida, Florida State and maybe more schools,” said Wiseman, a sophomore who attends high school at Ensworth in Nashville, Tennessee.

Add Indiana to the list, as Archie Miller and company offered him a scholarship on April 27. Wiseman said he’s been invited by the new staff to take a visit to campus in the near future.

Wiseman’s per game numbers through the first eight games of the Nike EYBL Circuit are very good for his first stint on the 17-and-under EYBL circuit: 11.6 points on 63 percent shooting, 8.0 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 19.7 minutes per game.

Going up against players that are almost all a year older than him, Wiseman consistently has held his own.

“It’s been good. I’m getting used to it every game,” Wiseman said. “The game speed is really fast and we’re playing with a shot clock.”

It doesn’t hurt that Wiseman has been playing alongside Darius Garland, the top point guard in the 2018 class. Competitors in high school competition in Tennessee, the two have grown a bond on and off the court.

“He’s a great player,” Wiseman said. “We talk about our weaknesses and strengths and what we can and can’t do. We’ve been talking about that in hotel rooms and we’ve started to connect on the court.”

One play in particular, from late in the second half against Nike Team Florida, showed what the duo is capable of on the court.

Just before crossing half-court, Darius Garland threw an arcing outlet pass into Wiseman, who was positioned a few feet outside the paint. With Wiseman’s defender between him and the basket, the power forward, in one motion, caught the pass, dribbled behind the back, and jammed it home with two hands.

“I’m very fluid for my size,” Wiseman said. “I can run the floor really well. I can rebound, block shots, dribble the ball, shoot 10-15 feet out. I’m still working on my jump shot.”

Wiseman takes pride on the defensive end, where he currently ranks in the top 15 in the EYBL in blocks per game.

“I want to guard all five positions so I can make my team win,” Wiseman told DraftExpress at USA Junior National Team Camp in Oct. 2016. “I just like playing defense, because defense wins games.”

With plenty of time for his game to evolve before reaching the collegiate ranks, Wiseman has the potential to finish his prep career as one of the nation’s best prospects in the 2019 class.

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  • I know that it’s way early and time will tell and all that, but is anyone else getting a little overwhelmed with all this recruiting activity? Maybe I’m just paying more attention, but it seems like there’s more to follow with Archie and his staff because suddenly there seems to be more realistic opportunity to get a bunch of these players.

  • dssnyder

    I’ve always wondered has all this flurry of activity been going on for years and now it’s just that we are on social media and are aware of it.

  • VOXAC30

    I remember every year around this Alex and team provide extensive list of prospects. As the year progressed you would see the prospects dwindle and some unknown names show up

    So it’s not really that new

  • TomJameson

    That’s an interesting question, and part of a larger conversation about how local kids aren’t as “loyal” to their in-state schools and the reasons why. Social media, AAU, greater access for schools to players, and players to schools, etc ….

    Personally, I think all the above play a role in the increased range of most school’s recruiting area. It would be interesting to see a spreadsheet of the number of offers, and their geographical areas, for a few schools for the last 20 years or so.

    **edit … oleman, this is an opinion only. 🙂

  • Like I said, I might just be paying more attention this time around. I think part of that, though, is my own new-found confidence that we’ll be in the running for some of these players. I haven’t felt that way for a few years now, and it’s a good feeling.

  • SCHoosier

    Given the number of roster spots IU has the opportunity to fill in could help coach Miller and staff achieve their three/five/seven year plan..assuming they have one. The 2018 group has the potential to be a blockbuster.

  • Archie’s mentioned his plan on a few occasions, basically patterned on how his brother got things started at Arizona. So whatever the timing may be, he has a plan and I’m sure this is all part of executing it. I agree about the 2018 — lots of great players and lots of open spots. Can’t wait to see the class he and his staff put together.

  • Ultimately, as I think more about it, I think I’m just more excited. Things are going about as well as they could right now, which makes me incredibly confident in Archie and his staff. The proof of the pudding remains in the eating, of course, and so we’ll see — but I’m just more excited at this point than I expected to be, right around the end of the Georgia Tech game.

  • iugradmark

    I am not bashing or blaming but for whatever reason, we just didn’t seem to be that connected with the top events these past few recruiting seasons. I think Crean knew that and began to expand his travels looking for kids outside the bubble.

    I am curious to know what other coaches are saying about our staff now. I suspect it is aimed at us being new, rebuilding, Archie not having a track record of turning kids pro kind of stuff but just wondering.

    I suspect the coaching staff has a plan B in the event they miss out on these top kids. We are starting late with most of them and we will have a lot of empty candy stripe bottoms at the end of this next year so we need to get to yes with these kids or have a second tier of kids lined up.

  • mharv2631

    I like that at least we are offering the top ranked players at their position instead of 3 star players. I would love to start stealing players away from UK, KU, and Dukies. I’m excited for when that first one signs on.

  • John D Murphy

    I think we are right on time for the 2019 kids but late on the 2018 kids. As we have seen, some of the top kids wait until late to make their choice. I don’t think we’ll be at 13 spots while the top kids that have IU on their list are still undecided.

  • John D Murphy

    Maybe I missed it but I haven’t seen any offers or articles about 3-stars prospects. These guys are all on the “great to have” list.

  • I think with Schilling on board, it’ll be hard to say that the staff has no experience with getting kids to the pros. Maybe they can say that about Archie, but these kids have their own sources and I’m sure they’re hearing good things about his coaching abilities at this point. And new can be exciting — like one of the kids, who called out Archie saying he wants him to be “part of a new thing at Indiana.” For some kinds, particularly the kids we really want, that could be exciting.

    Seeing how Archie is handling things, I think we’re in good shape. It’s nerve-racking for sure, but less than it might have been. Or maybe the might-have-been would have just been more apathetic, and this is so much better.

  • Yeah, pretty sure all the offers are 4-stars or better. It’s weird – right now, the 4-stars seem like the second tier and we seem to be more excited than ever about a passel of 5-stars. Archie’s and his staff still need to get signatures, but their approach is a cut above.

  • You’re not excited generally, not even a little?

  • I suppose there is a bit of watching how the sausage is made involved in the whole thing.

  • Oh, man, you gotta go and mention shawarma. Reminds me that there’s a new place in the Valley we’ve been meaning to try out. Hmmm…

  • AndyCapp

    I couldn’t agree with your last sentence more!

  • Outoftheloop

    Can you say Clifford Moore? I love Wiseman’s game!

  • Outoftheloop

    The forward who was going to Dayton before Archie left for IU and is now headed to prep school and will recruit for 2018 is a 3 star.

  • Outoftheloop

    Amen Brother!

  • John D Murphy