Hardaway says much more to come from ‘Big Ticket’

Hardaway says much more to come from ‘Big Ticket’
Tigers’ James Wiseman (Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The big ticket in town Friday is to get into FedExForum to watch the 14th-ranked Memphis Tigers basketball team.

Mainly because of a player known as “Big Ticket" also known as James Wiseman.

Wiseman and Memphis host the University of Illinois-Chicago Friday.

Fans were captivated just a couple of days ago when the No. 1 freshman in the nation put up 28 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked three shots in the Tigers’ season opening win against South Carolina state.

Wiseman was an automatic bucket inside of the paint, and he also owned the boards.

Head coach Penny Hardaway says James’ energy and talent was the most prominent part of his game in the opener, but believe it or not Penny says the young giant’s game can still grow.

“We only ran one play for him the entire night and he still ended up with 28 points,” said Hardaway. “That’s how special he is. Could’ve been a 40-point game if we left him out there the entire game, but we played other guys. There’s still so much for him to understand about pick-and-roll defense and pick-and-roll offense, recognizing the situation before it happens, the play before it happens, and offensively scoring in the post. We haven’t thrown him the ball in the post yet to score in the post.”

Adds Wiseman, “Be more tough mentally, but to also be more of a defensive presence. Blocking shots more, and just making sure I’m more of a playmaker.”

Tip-off for Memphis-UIC is at 6 p.m. Friday at FedExForum.

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