Potential No. 1 overall pick James Wiseman may have shifted his attention to the 2020 NBA Draft, but the 7-foot-1 center still vividly remembers the difficulties he had amid his saga with the NCAA.
"I was really in the middle of a hurricane," Wiseman told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. "That's like the worst place you could possibly be. Just having the mental agony and the suffering, crying every night because I just wanted to get on the court so much."
The NCAA suspended Wiseman for 12 games and fined him $11,500 after he received the same amount in moving expenses from now-Tigers head coach Penny Hardaway, who's deemed a booster by the organization as a result of his $1-million gift to the school in 2008.
Instead of sitting out his entire suspension, Wiseman withdrew from school and signed with an agent. But the top-ranked 2019 high-school recruit remains bothered by the way his brief tenure at Memphis played out.
"I wanted to have a great collegiate career," Wiseman said. "I wanted to win a national championship. But throughout the course of the first two games, everything started to go down in terms of my mental (well-being). I was getting depressed. It was dehumanizing for me.
"I felt it was unfair because they notified and alerted me at the last minute. Coach Penny (Hardaway) told me about it. I was really down and shocked. When I got suspended for 12 games and had to pay back the money, that was kind of surreal. I didn't really have any knowledge of (the violation) or all the ramifications behind it."
Wiseman suited up in just three contests for Memphis, averaging 19.7 points, 10.7 rebounds, and three blocks. The Tigers are 18-8 overall (7-6 in AAC play), but they're currently projected to miss the NCAA Tournament.