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D.J. Jeffries’ Father Describes UK as "Unprofessional" After Decommitment


Kelly Kline | Under Armour

For the first time since he became Kentucky’s head coach, yesterday John Calipari had a commitment renege on his pledge.  In a radio interview, D.J. Jeffries’ father says the Kentucky coaching staff didn’t handle the news well.

“We talked with Kentucky (about the decision to de-commit), and it kinda shocked me. They were kinda unprofessional. They didn’t handle the news the way I expected them to handle it, being professionals,” Corey Jeffries told Jason and John on ESPN Radio Memphis.

In March the Top 50 small forward from Olive Branch, Mississippi became Kentucky’s first commitment in the 2019 recruiting class.  A product of the Team Penny AAU program and teammates with James Wiseman, the elder Jeffries said things changed when Penny Hardaway became the head coach at Memphis.

“(Penny being at Memphis) was a factor. It was a big factor. We have a bond with Penny already. It’s not like we have to get re-acquainted with him.”

Listen to the entire interview below:


Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

86 responses to “D.J. Jeffries’ Father Describes UK as "Unprofessional" After Decommitment”

  1. katfan33

    I call BS!! I have a hard time believing UK didn’t handle this well. I think Cal dodged a bullet with this family. Just my opinion

  2. DelrayCat

    Hey Corey Jeffries….GOOD RIDDANCE!
    Enjoy the N.I.T.

  3. oruacat2

    Good luck in your future, kid, but honestly, I won’t lose a wink of sleep over this.

    Penny’s gonna have to win some games and prove he can coach before he’s an actual threat and not just a curiosity with a reputation.

  4. ukjaybrat

    “If I wasn’t committed, I probably would have considered it. But now that I’m committed, I just wish Penny and Memphis the best. Penny was a big help, because he taught me a lot during the summer. … But, now, I’m all about Kentucky.”
    ~ Jeffries (in March)

    unprofessional < unfaithful

    At least cal isn't out there lying to people.

    1. KYcats11

      ^^^

    2. Goose

      I just think Penny brought it to his and his Dads attention that he will be recruited over and will be riding the pine at UK. Hope he enjoys his 4 years at Memphis.

  5. Sentient Third Eye

    Did he actually explain what he meant by his comment? I have a feeling it was, “Decommitting? Okay, good luck!” when he expected, “No, please don’t go!”.

    1. ukcamel

      Also a real “professional” look to go whining to the media about your thoughts on UK’s private response, and to do so immediately, so as to look premeditated and suspicious. Sounds a lot like a pretense to not be held accountable for going back on your word. Father and son would do best to just move on, they aren’t going to look any better taking shots on the way out the door. This is especially the case given there’s no evidence of anything wrong being said by Cal or his staff, so right now their gripe is with a private conversation that may or may not have ever happened, and let’s be honest who has a great reputation and reaps no benefit from “unprofessionalism” and who just decommited and is providing vague, public criticism?

  6. KYcats11

    Lol, I don’t care how professional UK was. A commitment is a promise. It’s ok if Memphis is the best choice, good for him, but don’t commit to UK in the first place if u we’re going to consider Penny at all. Sounds like they were the unprofessional one’s.

    1. Gocats30

      Backing out of a commitment is pretty unprofessional

    2. KYcats11

      I guess I didn’t make myself clear, I was trying to say that Jeffries camp was being unprofessional not Cal.

    3. notFromhere

      You were crystal clear KYcats11

  7. meeksfor3

    blah blah blah is all I hear

  8. The Goose Is Loose

    I’d say decommitting from a school is unprofessional.

    1. Trevor

      This is what I am seeing. A father thst thinks very highly of his son. That became even stronger when he committed to UK. You commit to a Blue Blood and your stature rises. Jeffries was a means to an end! A way to get an “in” on Wiseman. Once it became apparent that Wiseman is a strong Memephis lean, your son became expendable, Mr. Jeffries. I think they are salty that the UK Staff didn’t beg him to reconsider AND kept recruiting his position. Good luck with your recruitment and good luck to Penny Hardaway. I like Penny but he has proved absolutley nothing at the NCAA level. Welcome to big boy basketball!

    2. Trevor

      Oops…that wasn’t meant as a reply to anyone in particular. I hate posting from the cell phone! LOL!

  9. nybrasky

    Who cares? No one outside of Memphis cares about Jeffries anymore unless he or his people are talking about UK. They’re already realizing that’s the only way they’ll get any attention. Ignore them and move on. In reality (i.e. not Jeffries’ narative) it seems UK already did even before his official “decommitment”.

  10. Mathlete

    UK will contend for the Final Four, Memphis will contend for the AAC title. We’ll be fine, let’s move on.

  11. Ben27

    Very unprofessional to make a comment like that and not back it up with facts. Just because you did not like the response, does not make it unprofessional! I am sure he wanted Cal to say it was fine and if he changes his mind, he will be welcomed back with open arms. The fact of the matter is that windows open and close at KY and you take your opportunity or it is gone. That is not unprofessional, it is just the way it is among top programs. Memphis is not a top program! Middle to bottom at best. I am sure Cal and KY have moved on to other options. Mr. Jeffries, your son is not the only concern in the universe. There are more mature athletes waiting their turn. Cal really missed on his evaluation of this kid.

  12. bosch8184

    100% they expected Cal to grovel and kiss their A**.

  13. SHCooper

    Is it just me or does this smell super fishy? I mean he acts like they shouldn’t be upset but it’s not like we won’t get a wing or two. I feel though someone is trying to sabotage us with players. They say UK’s unprofessional okay to think but they say it a day after his kid decommits sounds like someone is kinda helping guide this kid somewhere and try and hurt us in the process.

  14. BigBlue4EverUK

    Coaching staff didn’t know how to respond, we never had someone decommit, lol

  15. Duff86

    It’s pretty unprofessional to make a comment like that. It’s also a comment that sheds light on what his expectations are and could end up hurting his son when it comes NBA draft time. UK must have not been able to meet his demands, whether it be playing time or what have you. That’s a disgruntled comment for sure.

    1. Luether

      And what else would you expect from a Democ Rat…

    2. bigbluebanana

      Wow! That’s so clever, edgy, and original. Left or right, black or white, leave that crap elsewhere. Nowhere did anyone mention politics, yet here you are, again, opening your stupid mouth and confirming to the rest of us what a pathetic, lonely, loser troll virgin you are. Get a life you enormous turd.

  16. Wilfred Smith

    It’s almost like he’s trying to hurt us with Wiseman.

    Being familiar with Anfernee is dandy, but Cal has 3 #1s at UK. Wiseman needs to remember that above all else.

  17. apollocreed

    Curious if everyone has the same feelings about decomitting and Trey Lyles? Obviously reversed- but doesnt seem to be much difference.

    1. JoeMoney333

      I can only speak for myself but I have no problem with kids decommitting. Situations change and they have the right to change their minds.
      However, there is a level of maturity you’d like to see out of a kid and family post-decommitting. I think he dad acted immature when discussing it here.

    2. Trevor

      But Trey Lyles’ family didnt whine afterwards. They just moved on…

    3. Cattington

      Or when Terence Jones decommitted from Washington, SGA from Florida, Herro from Wisconsin.

    4. apollocreed

      Wasn’t really referencing the comments on the radio show. Some posted above called decommitting “unprofessional” and a “promise.” I doubt many on here had same feelings when Lyles decommited from Indiana.

    5. ukcamel

      The issue is decommitting and then taking shots at the team you left. Also the way this went down and the speed in which they started talking about this “unprofessional” response and the from UK,
      along with the vagueness, is suspicious.

      I’m regards to decommitting, everyone has their own thoughts. Also not every decommitment is the same. I don’t even mind Jeffries choosing not to come to UK, just him and his dad being b-words about it.

    6. StuckinLville

      Cal also wasn’t talking to these kids before they de-commited. Shai and Tyler both realized they’re stock had improved and was looking for a better opportunity. And as far as Jones goes, that’s a complete different story because he never wanted to go to UW, he was caught up in the hype and his family was congregating before he ever left the gym.

    7. 4everUKblue

      Creed, that sounded like a UofLittleBro fan post. Who cares if he decommited, I was surprised the got an offer in the first place.

  18. Rod Crandler

    Unlike football, Penny going hard after Jeffries after his verbal to UK is not cool but whatever. Not like it’s going to matter much to UK. Next recruit up… (don’t let Penny play you with Wiseman either Cal)

  19. Han

    Rumors were hot and heavy about Penny when DJ committed to us. Changing his mind later because Penny’s been wooing him isn’t exactly professional either, Papa Jeffries.

  20. Shagaris Sock Puppet

    Who cares. Its one guy and to be honest, if he didn’t want to be at UK, let em walk. Whats unprofessional is you know the Penny to Memphis deal was in the works for quite some time and they probably knew that Jeffries was interested to play there, all this was hush talk until it became official. So why not wait and commit when the picture got more clear?

  21. Headhurts

    Dads ghetto, Cal get out Memphis and recruit elsewhere.

    1. Luether

      Dads ghetto like many Democ Rats…

  22. Bullitt County UK fan

    I thought something was up about this guy when he said when he committed that he was going to be a one and done, despite only being a 4 star.

  23. jos_ros_

    i mean did he really think the coaches would be happy about it ? what’s unprofessional is committing to a school which changes who the coaches then go after only for you to change your mind.

  24. Brutal Hustler

    I bet they wanted the staff to beg and plead him to stay, and that’s why the Jeffries are miffed. But in my mind what actually happened was young Joel Justus immediately bawling his eyes out, a slobbering weeping mess on the phone. And the veterans Cal and Kenny Payne just looking at him in disgust

    1. FlatTopsAndBlockedShots

      Funny narrative but it was Tony Barbee that was his lead recruiter so the call would have either gone to Tony or Cal. Joel has a lot of experience dealing with children thinking they are adults when he worked at the high school level.

    2. Brutal Hustler

      Barbee was the lead recruiter! FIRE BARBEE! HIRE BACK SLICE OR COACH O!!!!!

  25. Kelkat

    I don’t know what was said to Jeffries and his family after the decommitment. But it’s wrong for the family to come out and attack the coaching staff…I would not regard that as a professional way to conduct your business.

  26. JTA

    Aww, boohoo!

  27. ClutchCargo

    It’s pretty clear he and his dad aren’t cut out to be part of the UK program, so I’m glad this happened now instead of after he got here.

  28. CoachCat

    Have fun with a mediocre season DJ. Next

  29. ukwildcat1991

    People complain about the most ridiculous stuff these days just because they are butthurt about something. What happen to the days before the 2000’s? People sucked it up and moved on with their lives, if it was in sports, politics, life, etc. ok the coaching staff reacted differently than what u thought. Is that something to be butthurt about? If I was him I would t care cause my son won’t be part of the program so why does it matter? People these days man…

  30. Blue Bill

    If you listen to these goobers, man, they think Memphis is a “national” program again. Hilarious.

    1. JTHinton

      It’s worse than WKU fans!

  31. UKantstopus

    Maybe I’m wrong but could this have been a plan with Penny from the beginning to have him commit then to de-commit from us and eventually commit to Memphis… This makes Penny look great and like he took a kid from UK…

    1. Leroys Bird

      Plus all of Memphis is still salty Cal left them for us. Dirty recruiting tactics to make us look bad and get more people talking about Penny.

  32. Alex90

    So why was he the one talking to UK and why is he doing interviews less than 24 hours afterwards? Seems like he has an agenda here, wonder who gave it to him?

  33. Blue Bill

    Man I hope we do play them!! Sign us up.

  34. maximumscott

    Seriously? Unprofessional? Cal prides himself on getting kids to the PROFESSIONAL Basketball League. I can hear the coaching staff already… “oh you wanna decommit? Let me check my… wait we just filled your spot with a better talent and a 5 Star. Good luck!”

  35. FlatTopsAndBlockedShots

    Totally fine with a kid anywhere decommitting, things change especially in family matters. A college coach yapping in a committed player ear, while staying at the same hotel, that is unprofessional. Revealing the conversation you had with the school you were committed to about your decision to decommit, you simply don’t need to make that conversation so public that you go on the radio the next day.

  36. UKFootballYall

    “Unprofessional” is an interesting way of him phrasing the supposed reaction to the news of his son reneging on his commitment, proving he is not a trustworthy individual and a man of his word. Wow, funny how perspective gets twisted sometimes.

  37. CoachCat

    After listening to this interview it seems like DJ has every intention of going to Memphis but he’s going to waste the time of other schools before he commits.

  38. UKWillGetNine

    First this I thought after seeing this is how much money D.J. Jeffries father received from Memphis to throw shade at UK’s recruiting? Penny and Memphis know’s who there competition is for top prospects. So by throwing negative press with payoffs set’s the stage for later recruiting.

  39. UKfansNKY

    “Unprofessional” Really Daddy? Why? Because KY didn’t beg you to stay? Give me a break, good luck Kid, now move on!

  40. BrusselSprouts

    Very unprofessional to break a verbal commitment and change schools like that! Just ask Cal and Terrance Jones.

    1. StuckinLville

      Do you not remember the situation? Jones said himself he only committed to UW because his best friend just did. Even his family was shocked and that’s why they were huddled in the gym together. When he called Cal, Cal didn’t even want to talk to him, just said to tell him good luck. So get your facts straight.

  41. Realme

    Let them yap. I’ll take our team over theirs.

  42. Realme

    Y’all keep using old examples of us taking players that decommitted from other schools. We have 2 on the team right now.

  43. nschulte13

    To be fair, it’s not like our staff had any prior experience with any kid, let alone a kid destined to transfer, decommitting. It’s was new territory. So they must excuse the staff laughing and quoting Tombstone, “well, bye”

  44. Leroys Bird

    Daddy just realized his son is the fat girl with a smokin’ hot friend 🙂 He’s mad now trying to run Cal and staff through the mud for multiple reasons

    1. Trevor

      Leroys hit nail on the head.

  45. Swizzle

    See ya 4 star soon to be lost in the shuffle scrub.

  46. bwise

    Who cares? Lol there will be more to come.

  47. BK

    Penny Hardaway has not even coached one game of college basketball and he is, IMO, already flirting with making some very powerful enemies-not a good move.

  48. kyle heavy

    It was probably because no one begged him to stay. I would say the response to his decommitment was like, “Okay, good luck.”

  49. UKInsider

    Cal didn’t want Jeffries, but he wanted Wiseman. Jeffries’ father is the type of parent Cal chooses to avoid. Memphis will secure Jeffries and Wiseman and Cal will get Carey and better wing options. The family knew Cal was over-recruiting him and the ego was hurt.

  50. kjd

    So many opinions about a conversation that not a single person heard. SMH

  51. mapcatfan

    Wonder if he considers Penny continuing to recruit his son after he commited to Cal and Kentucky “unprofessional”?

    This isn’t football. Different protocol. It’s viewed and generally practiced differently.

  52. Greatcatfan

    It didn’t help his daddy’s narcissism any when he knew he was getting recruited over and suddenly realized the Kentucky kid who can actually shoot will get all the playing time.

  53. bpisforuk

    Maybe it was “So your son is decommitting? You know I think we’re good at his position for next year. Good luck to you”

    Seeing how we had two kids at his position and we were maybe going to take one, now we can take both of them.

  54. StuckinLville

    I guarantee Cal said told him UK wasn’t for everyone and if he didn’t think it was what he wanted, then it was ok. That’s not being unprofessional at all, just the truth. Unprofessional is committing, standing firm to that commitment and then listening to another coach and then de-committing. Penny better watch out. In football, yes this kind of stuff happens but not in basketball. Penny will find himself as the outsider that Cal has all these years if it appears he is talking to committed kids.

  55. friendsofcoal

    Who cares…he’s a 4* who will be at Memphis for 3-4 years playing in the NIT. Best of luck to him. Now we can get serious with a replacement who will be much better.

  56. friendsofcoal

    Listening to the interview with his dad they keep referring to him as a 5*??? I’m confused.

  57. AllBall

    The whole situation seems like it was a plan to try an diminish Cal/UK while putting Memphis in the news cycle. Don’t tug on Superman’s cape.

  58. Bluebloodtoo

    Wow. Half the posts on here are unprofessional. We are good enough at making ourselves look bad, we don’t need Penny’s help with that.

    1. Bluebloodtoo

      Oh yeah, there is also no evidence whatsoever that penny was involved in any of this. If he didn’t have a grudge against UK fans before, he certainly has reason now.

  59. Bluebloodtoo

    I’m having trouble believing that UK was desperate enough for a 4 star recruit to be unprofessional. We have one 4 star and one 5 star in his same class and position coming for official visits in the next week. Already scheduled. Locked in. What would the motivation be for that reaction?

  60. 4everUKblue

    Good luck kid but as I said, don’t let the door hit you on your way out. No disrespect but we’ll be ok.

  61. notFromhere

    I’m guessing the call went something like this…

    MrJeffries “I’d like to talk Coach Cal. My son is decommitting from UK.”

    UK staff “What more is there to talk about?”

    Jeffries “Well, we’re not eliminating UK, but he is opening his recruitment back up…. Hello? Hello?…”

    That dropped call and lack of sound is the UK staff already having moved on, because “all about UK” means what it means

    Excited that we got Allen. Hope we get to see him play for UK.