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BREAKING: 2019 five-star forward DJ Jeffries commits to KENTUCKY


PHOTO: Chuck Lawson, 901PrepScoop.com

Kentucky just received their first commitment of the class of 2019 in five-star forward DJ Jeffries.

ESPN lists Jeffries as the No. 17 prospect in 2019 and 247 Sports considers him the 26th-best recruit in the class.

He chose the Wildcats over Alabama, Mississippi State, Florida, and Kansas, among others.

Here’s the announcement:

Jeffries, a Mississippi native, led his Olive Branch High School to the state championship just last week, where he scored 20 points and pulled down five rebounds in his MVP efforts.

The 6-foot-7, 200-pound junior averaged 21 points per contest this past season in 24 games, where his ability to switch between small forward and power forward positions frustrated opposing defenses from start to finish.

He has been seen as an incredibly raw prospect in his freshman and sophomore high school seasons, but took a major step up this past year on both ends of the floor. His athleticism has always been impressive, but it is now controlled and efficient. His jump shot is more refined and falling at a relatively consistent rate, he is able to defend three to four positions, and his motor is relentless.

The most impressive aspect of Jeffries’ game, however, is his raw strength and developing power. He’s only listed at 200 lbs. right now, but his frame to put on weight is very intriguing. Just looking at him, you think of a guy like Alex Poythress, who came to Kentucky at 215 lbs. with raw muscle and his body matured into a grown man as his college career progressed. Jeffries still has a year to develop his size and overall game, and he could easily enter his freshman year at UK as a 215-220 lbs. wing/forward combo freak of nature athlete.

ESPN currently has him listed as the No. 17 prospect in the class of 2019, but he will almost certainly shoot up the rankings if he continues to develop at the pace he is as a senior.

If he plays as a senior…

There are actually rumors, albeit quiet, Jeffries could eventually make a move to the 2018 recruiting class, depending on his academic status and if he can get a few things in order before the deadline this summer.

John Calipari has visited and watched his newest five-star commitment play three times in the last three months, including twice in the last month alone. He reportedly pushed for a commitment in his most recent visit last Tuesday. Jeffries, coached by Penny Hardaway on the AAU circuit, is extremely close with 2019 No. 1 prospect James Wiseman and loves the idea of playing with him in college. They already play together for Hardaway’s ‘Team Penny’ on the EYBL circuit.

The Kentucky coaching staff has obviously been pushing for a commitment from Wiseman, as well, but the talk of the hour has been surrounding a potential reclassification to the class of 2018. He has denied it on multiple occasions, but whispers are growing louder that we could see that potential jump this summer.

According to Memphis reporter Clayton Collier, Jeffries’ family also said he will not reclassify and remain in the class of 2019.

Like we’ve discussed on the site in the past, announcing a reclassification now would make a recruit ineligible from competing in the AAU championships this summer. Both Jeffries and Wiseman play for Team Penny, and they have a massive shot at winning the Peach Jam this summer. They would have nothing to gain by announcing a reclassification at this point. It’s entirely possible both players stay in 2019, but any denials made right now should be taken with a grain of salt.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, did John Calipari push for a commitment from Jeffries to secure a commitment from Wiseman? Or did it have to do with the rumors of Penny Hardaway replacing Tubby Smith as head coach at Memphis, and Coach Cal wants to secure his commitment before his AAU coach got a shot? Have Jeffries and Wiseman discussed playing together in college, and want to make it happen a year sooner?

At this point, who knows? What we do know, however, is that DJ Jeffries is a stud, and Kentucky fans are going to enjoy having him. (Whenever that may be.)

Earlier today, Jeffries’ father told Memphis-based radio show Jason & John that his son has “always been a fan of Calipari” and that Kentucky is a “pro factory.”

“It’s a pro factory, man. If you’re talking about going to the NBA, you got to take a strong look at Kentucky,” said Jeffries’ father, Corey.

You can read the rest of his father’s quotes here:

DJ Jeffries’ dad says his son has always been a fan of Calipari

Mrs. Tyler Thompson also wrote a piece on all the things you need to know about Jeffries, including his relationship with Wiseman/Penny below:

Need to Know: DJ Jeffries

Here is Jeffries’ most recent highlight tape:

Welcome home, DJ!

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

36 responses to “BREAKING: 2019 five-star forward DJ Jeffries commits to KENTUCKY”

  1. BBN_strive_4_9

    Great start to 2019!!d

  2. DelrayCat

    Welcome to the family DJ!!
    Can’t wait to see you in Blue!
    #BBN Go Cats!

  3. Smyrna_Cat

    I believe Mrs. T wrote that someone (his dad?) said he was ready to commit after his last game. Seems this is as good a time as any.

    From the highlights I have seen, I am impressed. Looks like a very strong, powerful player. Woo-hoo!!

  4. 4everUKblue

    #GoCats Welcome to the BBN.

    1. BigBlueNationDude

      #Nerd4life

    2. KYcats11

      #Troll4life

    3. BigBlueNationDude

      Atleast I have some self awareness and admit it

    4. UK Big Board Update

      How mad was BBND this weekend? LOL

      Duke gets beat, and UK wins the SEC tournament.

  5. RajonTheDon9

    Not good. Kid is a project. Makes Sheray Thomas look like Anthony David.

    1. Smyrna_Cat

      Clueless. Haters gonna hate.

    2. BigBlueMeade

      Yes oh wise one. Tell us how you can evaluate talent better than KP, Joel Justus, AND Cal.

    3. Booby Petrino

      Anthony David… That’s what you get.

    4. Kevin C

      “Makes Sheray Thomas look like Anthony David”

      I have no idea who “Anthony David” is, so it’s hard to know if this is a good or bad thing. >_<

    5. ClutchCargo

      Well, Sheray Thomas is undoubtedly better than some dude none of us has ever heard of. So, pretty spot on analysis.

    6. RajonTheDon9

      Davis * … wait and see. Kid won’t see the court.

    7. FinnaGoHAM

      Rajon, I guess you don’t realize that coming on here and making ridiculous claims gives you no credibility. And just because we respond to you doesn’t make you credible either. So, if you have something to say – something that you can back up with actual evidence – then say it. Otherwise just know that no one on here takes you seriously and we only think of you as a buffoon who made us feel sorry for you for a moment. Then we’ll forget you and move on with our lives.

    8. Cryingtheblues

      Have fun in the NIT this year!

    9. Rembrandt

      Five star player’s college career is not determined by what some troll with too much time on his hands posts on a website to get negative attention. I like this commitment. Jeffries reminds me physically of MKG.

    10. ClutchCargo

      Rembrandt, I will take a MKG-like player each and every time!

    11. UK Big Board Update

      The trolls from other teams want Cal gone from UK so bad. LOL

  6. mikeintn

    Welcome to BBN DJ, glad to have you!

  7. 1473

    6’7″ ?…..Looking at that picture he isn’t.

    1. plumloopy

      Tony Barbee is listed as 6’6″, so maybe.

    2. ClutchCargo

      It’s the camera angle. Here’s a different look: http://kentuckysportsradio.com/main/need-to-know-dj-jeffries/

  8. Irish son

    Cal must have grown to 6’3 in the last couple weeks. Or this kid is about 3 inches shorter than advertised

    1. TonyMontana

      Cal usually stands on his tippy toes when taking pics with those that are alot taller than him.

  9. bigclubswinger

    I’m calling Penny to be Cal’s new assistant to get some college coaching experience. Wow!

  10. Rabbi Li

    Looks like he’s hanging with the top player of class at each cut.

    Plus has a better jumpshot.

    Welcome to the NBA DJ!

  11. Rabbi Li

    #1 Ranked RJ Barrett vs #6 Ranked DJ Jeffries – May 18, 2017
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGtXbkmhyrQ

  12. Cryingtheblues

    Have a feeling this is gonna be a helluva class.. Go Cats!

  13. DG

    Another 6’7″ guy who can’t shoot. Look at his highlights. Also, another guy who made it clear he wants to be one and done regardless of development.

    New saying – Players first and Players only.

    We are Memphis now the years before and after Derrick Rose left. On paper talent and that is it. Once people accept that it will make this year’s, last year’s, so on and so forth’s disappointment easier to swallow. I am cal’d out. FIRE CAL, CALL BILLY D!

    1. henderblue

      DG you’re an idiot. Or a troll

    2. ClutchCargo

      Or an idiotic troll. Or maybe even a trolling idiot.

    3. UK Big Board Update

      Another rival troll that wants Cal gone. THEY MAD.

  14. WaterVerve14

    Starting to notice a transition in Cals recruiting. Although he may be missing out on some big time recruits, he seems to be changing his tune to get more borderline 4 star / 5 stars as opposed to top 10 guys. Idk if this is intention of not, but I think he realizes he needs a couple guys to stay every year now to be successful. He would never come out and say that but we would be much more consistent on a year to year basis if he recruits that way. Need upperclassman nowadays and one and done is dying

  15. Jiminy Crickets

    There won’t be a OAD rule in 2019, and he’s not good enough to go straight to NBA. If he can shoot I’ll be excited , cal loves athletic wings that can’t shoot. Seems like good kid, but not sure what to think of him AND his dad talking OAD when he’s a junior in HS and ranked as #24 HS player