Memphis center James Wiseman lost several games of his college career because of the aggressive stance that he and the university took with the NCAA, writes Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News. The potential top pick in next year’s draft has been suspended for an additional 11 games and won’t take the court until mid-January, although the university plans to file an appeal.
DeCourcy states that Wiseman likely could have been playing before Christmas if he hadn’t elected to challenge the NCAA’s authority in the case. When the original penalty was announced, Wiseman filed a lawsuit against the organization and obtained a restraining order that enabled him to play against UIC and Oregon. Memphis president David Rudd and athletic director Laird Veatch were both vocal in their support of Wiseman’s suit, with Veatch saying, “It is clear to me in my short time here that Memphians will stand up and fight, both for each other and for what is right, and I am proud to stand with them.”
Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:
- Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated identifies five freshmen who have put themselves into consideration for one-and-done status with their early-season play. The players are Isaac Okoro of Auburn, Samuell Williamson of Louisville, Onyeka Okongwu of USC, Jahmi’us Ramsey of Texas Tech and Zeke Nnaji of Arizona. Woo adds that NBA executives still see the 2020 draft class as underwhelming.
- The presence of potential lottery picks LaMelo Ball and R.J. Hampton has lifted Australia’s National Basketball League to a new level of popularity, relays Bill Shea of The Athletic. With its Next Stars program, the NBL is offering an alternative to the NCAA for young players.
- In an entertaining story, Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN examines how former Kings chief revenue officer Jeff David was able to embezzle $13MM before being caught.