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Bass Pro Tournament of Champions: James Wiseman Q&A

RANKINGS: 2019 Rivals150 | 2020 Rivals150 | 2019 Team Rankings

James Wiseman
James Wiseman (

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Five-star big man James Wiseman is one of the class of 2019's truly elite prospects. After moving from Nashville to play his final two years of high school ball at Memphis (Tenn.) East, he'll stay in Memphis to play his college ball for his former high school and summer coach, Penny Hardaway.

After an impressive 21-point, 19-rebound effort during the opening round of the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions he discussed several topics and showed that he can't be distracted from winning and getting better.

MORE BASS PRO: Bossi's Thursday takeaways Bossi (EB): It's your senior year; how do you feel things are going for you?

James Wiseman (JW): It's been a great year and I'm having a lot of fun. My team is doing well and we are just trying to go out there and work hard. Especially in practice. I feel like we are getting in there and working very hard trying to push each other so I'm having a great time so far.

EB: Do you feel like getting your college decision out of the way has taken a lot of pressure off of you and let you go out and enjoy your senior year?

JW: Yeah. It just allows me to focus on my game more and I'm really able to concentrate on my weaknesses out there on the floor and just go out there and play hard.

EB: While it takes the pressure off in terms of talking to coaches and having to make a decision, it's a whole new pressure now because you've been in Memphis for a few years and you can't go anywhere in the city without people talking to you about the program or Penny Hardaway. Do you feel that pressure?

JW: No I don't feel any pressure at all. I'm just trying to remain focused through it all and work hard on my craft and try to be the best player that I can be. I don't feel like I have any distractions right now.

EB: You are a teenager with a lot of attention, what enables you to keep that focus?

JW: I've just been taught over the years to remain humble and focus on my game and trying to learn as much possible. Really if I just go out there and keep my focus on that and trying to play hard, it's easy.

EB: Last week you had a matchup with five-stars Isaiah Mobley and Evan Mobley. What did you take away from that game and what did you think about them?

JW: They are a really talented tandem and they can play with each other and against anybody. I learned a lot from that game about how to be stronger and use my counter moves more, like remember I'm a 7-footer. I really learned a lot from that game.

EB: There's a lot of excitement around Memphis basketball, how excited are you to be that guy that the fans are looking to when it comes to helping turn that program around?

JW: I'm very excited but we have a lot of other great players coming in too. Right now I'm just trying to recruit guys like Trendon Watford and hopefully Anthony Edwards as guys that can come in. I just want to help make Memphis great again.

EB: You obviously have a great relationship with Penny Hardaway. He coached you in high school and he coached you in the summer. How does that relationship change now that he will be coaching you in college?

JW: It's going to be great. The last couple of years we had a strong connection and this year coming up we are still going to have that connection like we always have. It's going to be even better chemistry next year since it's going to be better players. It's going to be a fun year next year.

EB: Ok, one last thing. How important is being considered the best player in the country to you and how would you state your case for being the best player?

JW: Really I think I am the best player but I'm just going out and play hard and try to help my team win. I'm all about winning. It doesn't matter to me about the stats I just want my team to win. I'm just obsessed with winning. I don't worry about that stuff or any pressure, I'm just trying to win.