Memphis trounced Christian Brothers University, 86-53, in an exhibition game Thursday, but one of the Tigers' best players was noticeably absent.
James Wiseman, projected to be a top pick in the 2020 NBA Draft by multiple outlets, did not play for "precautionary reasons," according to the Daily Memphian.
Coach Penny Hardaway mentioned at AAC media day last week that Wiseman and one of the Tigers' other top recruits, Boogie Ellis, have been dealing with ankle injuries. The Daily Memphian report says Wiseman was seen getting his ankle taped on the trainers' table.
I’d be happy to be wrong about James Wiseman. But, like I said today on radio, sitting your best player during an entire preaseason trip AND your first exhibition when he’s “alright” — with the regular season just 12 days away — is not normal. It suggests something isn’t right. https://t.co/BRiQ5spkQ3
— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) October 24, 2019
Thursday wasn't the first case of Wiseman missing a game for the Tigers. In August, the 18-year-old missed all four of Memphis' exhibition games in the Bahamas while nursing a shoulder injury.
Entering the season, the Tigers boast the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation, according to 247Sports Composite Rankings, and are ranked 14th in the preseason AP Poll. While brimming with talent and a popular pick to be a Final Four contender come March, Memphis is an inexperienced team with seven true freshmen on its roster.
Along with LaMelo Ball, who's playing professionally in Australia, Georgia's Anthony Edwards and North Carolina's Cole Anthony, Wiseman is in the running to possibly be the top pick in next year's NBA Draft.
The Tigers have one more exhibition game against LeMoyne-Owen at 7 p.m. ET Monday before opening their season Nov. 8 against Illinois-Chicago.