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McDonald's Nuggets: James Wiseman, Michigan, Gonzaga

James Wiseman
James Wiseman (AP Images)

This week’s edition of McDonald's Nuggets includes thoughts on James Wiseman’s decision to turn pro, Michigan’s momentum, the Team of the Week and the return of gambling picks.

MORE: Thoughts from the Tarkanian Classic | City of Palms Classic

2020 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Position

WHAT’S ON MY MIND: James Wiseman decides to turn pro


Am I surprised by James Wiseman’s decision to skip the rest of the season to train for the NBA Draft? Not really. Do I blame him for the decision? Definitely not. Am I disappointed we will never get to see him play in a big game (for example, against Tennessee this past Saturday) for the Tigers? Absolutely.

The truth is we should never have had prospects like Wiseman in college since the class of 2006. It’s silly that there is a rule preventing prospects like him from turning pro right out of high school. If there was no “one-and-done” rule, Wiseman would be a millionaire right now on an NBA roster spending all his time on his craft. Anthony Edwards, Cole Anthony and several others would be, too.

But given that the NCAA can do nothing about the NBA’s age limit, the NCAA does need to hurry up and get the NIL changes into the sport. Wiseman should be able to make money off his decision to stay home to play for Memphis and bring energy to the program as Penny Hardaway tries to build it back up.

It’s just ridiculous we’re in a situation where Wiseman will never play a minute in the NCAA Tournament on a team with a chance to make a real run to Atlanta. The NCAA needs to do more to keep athletes like Wiseman eligible rather than pushing them toward other avenues that lead them to the NBA.


RECRUITING NOTE: Momentum on Michigan’s side

Juwan Howard
Juwan Howard (AP Images)

Michigan generated some early momentum this season on the court with an impressive start under first-year coach and Fab Five member Juwan Howard. That early-season success, combined with an aggressive recruiting job, could help the Wolverines land the commitment of four-star center Hunter Dickinson very soon.

Florida State, Michigan and Notre Dame had been the major players for Dickinson when Duke came into the picture a couple months ago. With Duke’s lack of front-court depth beyond this season, many thought it could be tough to beat Coach K for his signature, but it appears Michigan is going to fend off the Blue Devils' late push.

If Dickinson does choose Michigan, he’ll become the third commitment in the class, joining five-star forward Isaiah Todd and four-star guard Zeb Jackson. Dickinson might not be the last DMV commitment of the 2020 class for the Wolverines, either. After a decommitment from Georgetown, keep an eye on Michigan for four-star small Terrance Williams as well. If all that transpires, it’d be a home run first class for the new staff in Ann Arbor.



Corey Kispert celebrates Gonzaga's win over North Carolina.
Corey Kispert celebrates Gonzaga's win over North Carolina. (AP Images)

This was such an easy call. No program in the country has had a better couple weeks than Gonzaga. With wins on the road at Washington and Arizona, followed by a home win over a walking wounded North Carolina team, Gonzaga is finishing up the non-conference portion of its schedule with a bang. Add in a win over Oregon last month as well and you have a team that has positioned itself nicely to score a No. 1 seed on Selection Sunday.

Perhaps more important for Gonzaga is what it means to have wins over Arizona, Oregon and Washington. Mark Few spends a ton of time recruiting overseas and his staff does a great job in the transfer portal, but those wins over top West Coast programs should give the Zags a boost when recruiting against those programs for the top prospects in the Western time zone.


Let’s get started by taking Tulane (+6.5) against Akron in a neutral-site matchup in our nation’s capital. The Green Wave are one of the most improved teams in the country under Ron Hunter and will keep this one really close, and maybe pull off an outright win.

Roll with Liberty (-7) against Towson. If you haven’t been paying attention, Ritchie McKay has Liberty at 12-0 coming off an appearance in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. This a veteran group that is playing really well right now.

Go with Georgia (-5) with SMU coming to town. Both teams are coming off double-digit losses, but the Bulldogs will have the best player on the court with Anthony Edwards and the homecourt advantage.

Lastly, I’m on Marquette (-15) against North Dakota State. Marquette has struggled with the best teams on its schedule but has handled its business against the lesser teams. That trend continues Friday evening.