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Why we wanted Amile Jefferson all along

No, it’s not because Anthony Bennett has spurned us. It’s not because those few idiotic fans on Twitter have decided he’s no good. And it’s not because he couldn’t have been an All-American under Calipari’s direction. Aside from the already-mentioned eligibility and character issues that surrounded Anthony Bennett, there are other, more Calipari-like options, shall we say, still available.

This by no means suggests Amile Jefferson will commit to Kentucky. As far as we know he’s still leaning towards Duke or NC State. But what we do know, or can at least assume, is that Jefferson offers a more dynamic game. Dynamic being a key word; often an adjective used to describe Calipari players.

Anthony Bennett is a big bruising body. He likely would have come in and been an immediate replacement for Terrence Jones, at least in terms of physical presence. At only 197 pounds, Amile Jefferson won’t be that guy right away. He is more of a polish player, and finesse guy around the rim. But Calipari has a way of changing players for the better.

Jefferson is a perfect wing player. When he bulks up — which he surely will — he’ll have the best of both worlds. In terms of Anthony Davis, he will have a mix of guard and big-man skills. His potential to be the ultimate combo guard/forward is out of this world. Watching his play and reading what he coaches have to say, it is clear that he can attack the rim, and has that natural-born “will to win.” It’s just a matter of putting on some muscle and taking that attack-mode to another level. If anyone can make it happen, Calipari can.

Need more reason to drool over this kid? Jefferson’s father said after their visit to Big Blue Madness last year, “He’s a mismatch nightmare.” And that is exactly right. With his size, ability to run the floor like a gazelle, and quick first step, there aren’t many players that can guard all of that. Stick a traditional forward on him and he’s too fast; stick a traditional guard on him and he can post up. Mismatch nightmare sounds pretty sweet to me.

Highlight videos will always be over dramatized, but take a look at the first step Jefferson has. Think about that. He’s 6-8 and can post up. And blow by defenders like they’re standing still.

Anthony Bennett could have come in and been a huge boost in inside muscle. But Calipari may find Amile Jefferson pays off more in the long run. The only thing to do now is go out and land him.

Article written by Stuart Hammer

B.S. Broadcast Journalism from the University of Kentucky. @StuartHammerKSR

32 Comments for Why we wanted Amile Jefferson all along

  1. bleedblue
    4:03 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    Anthony Bennett was pretty good too.

  2. Captain Obvious
    4:12 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    If we wanted him along, why wasn’t he our #1 priority?

  3. CatFanNLville
    4:15 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    All along I’ve wanted Jefferson. Not that I didnt want Bennett I just felt that Jefferson was a more prototypical Calipari player very versatile and athletic. He seems like a very intelligent young man as well which means he will make big strides listening and learning from Cal. I like, many others, would have bumped Bennett slightly above Jefferson on my “want” list for next year but I think things may be working out for the best for all parties the way its falling (that is if Jefferson becomes a Cat).

  4. JV
    4:15 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    Do you really not know Bennett did not spurn us?

  5. Old Henry Man
    4:15 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    Jefferson would be a big help at the 4 and 3 spot.
    Jefferson and Mays would give UK 7 very good players next year, which I believe will be needed.

  6. Marty
    4:17 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    I believe Amile would be a great fit for Kentucky. When is he going to make his choice? Bennett still would have been an awesome player for the Cats.

  7. Ready 5
    4:22 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    Jefferson is Polish? I guess I can see it.

  8. Ready 5
    4:24 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    No wonder why he is considering Duke.

  9. DoubleZeroMostel
    4:26 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    I agree with other posters that are claiming he will be a good fit for Kentucky, just not sure if he’s a good fit at POWER forward with 197 lbs on his frame. But, maybe we let Noel take the middle and put two SFs out there.

  10. Bean Poles
    4:27 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    Our team has no “big” man. We need weight! Bennett was a TJones size replacer.

  11. average fan
    4:32 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    Save the scholarship for next year. This guy is solid but the guys for next year will come in and start over him.

  12. UKfan
    4:40 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    Being more of a Polish player, does he knows Lukasz Orbzut?

  13. Brent
    4:40 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    Corey Brewer, anyone?

  14. CadizCat
    4:43 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    Reminds me of Roscoe Smith.

  15. Yesterdays
    4:44 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    Bennett was not a “banger.” Im not saying Cal wouldnt have stuck him on some power forwards and he would have played the 4 for us. But, Bennett was more of a 3 man. I am fine with Jefferson. I’ve stopped getting excited or pissed when watching highlight tape. Those AAU games are so fast that anyone of the floor looks like they have good handles becaue noone plays d.

  16. Dude
    4:55 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    Darius Miller replacement?

  17. Mudcreekmark
    5:03 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    Don’t act like we didn’t want Bennett. Everyone on here was wanting him. I love it when we miss on someone then we all start disrespecting the kid.

  18. James K
    5:12 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    I’m not going to act like I didn’t want Bennett more. I’ve watched Jefferson play full games on multiple occasions now, and I am not falling head over heels for his game. That said, I think he has the potential to be pretty damn good, and I will gladly take him at UK.

  19. CatFanNLville
    5:22 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    #17 if I’m not mistaken I haven’t seen anyone “disrespect” Bennett ( other than the goons on twitter) In fact most start there comments as “Im not going to act like I didn’t want Bennett but….”

  20. Joe
    5:40 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    I hope Jefferson comes to UK. I have always felt he wanted to, so I hope it is good match for player and program.

  21. struggler
    5:40 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    Physical presence is great – but I have liked Amile all along because he has intelligence. One can gain some physical size, even overcome it with technique, instinct, talent and good decisions (Anthony Davis?!?). One cannot as easily gain intelligence and the intangibles that come with it. I have wanted Amile all along and hope he uses that intelligence to make the best basketball decision for his overall future – that being a Cat. There are easier paths for him – but not better ones.

  22. UKMike
    6:03 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    awesome. more eye candy that we probably won’t get.

    However, if Amile is looking at his options, he knows NC State & Dook are covered at the PF spot. UK would be the best opportunity to come in and grab that starting PF position with his athleticism.

  23. UK
    6:05 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    Jefferson played in the Derby Festival Classic. Is that somewhat of a sign that he wants people in Kentucky to know who he is?

  24. bluefan
    6:34 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    Sure I admit I wanted Bennett for sheer size and power. But I have ALWAYS wanted Jefferson and was often asked why when I posted that I’d like to see him wearing the blue and white. I like his quickness and think he would fit into Cal’s system well. Really hope he signs soon but I refuse to get my hopes up too much again.

  25. Lextown Vet
    6:49 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    D Miller 8 Ring Party at Forte dis Friday!

  26. TruBLU
    7:59 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    Ive wanted him to play here for awhile. Like someone else said above, he’s perfect for cals system in that he can guard AND play multiple positions. He would add much needed versatility along with the depth.

  27. BrowDown
    9:19 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    How are you going to say we didn’t want Anthony Bennett and Amile Jefferson was who we were going after all along? Do you even follow UK recruiting?

  28. BTI
    9:50 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    We need to get Hunter McClintock to transfer. Kid reminds me of a white Allen Iverson who tries in practice.

  29. Srwhit4
    10:17 pm May 8, 2012 Permalink

    Chris Douglas Roberts clone

  30. Ted Moseby
    12:16 pm May 9, 2012 Permalink

    Come on now. Five days ago Bennett was the last piece of the puzzle for next year and Amille was the also mentioned. Now it’s the other way around? Let’s all be realistic and state the facts as they were just a short time ago. Missed opportunity.

  31. Cats4life
    1:05 pm May 9, 2012 Permalink

    Just my opinion… But if we don’t get a big body down low I think we will struggle rebounding the ball…. This year we had three guys that could rip down 10 boards a game if needed… Currently… Noel is the only guy we have… I’d like to see cal make a big push for that kid montrezl who is considering a decommit to v-tech… He aggressiveness on the boards is like mkg

  32. Clint Jackson
    5:43 pm May 9, 2012 Permalink

    Is this serious? Is this guy really trying to make us believe that BBN wants Amile Jefferson more than Anthony Bennett? Don’t get me wrong Amile is a good enough consolation prize, but he’s at least two years from being a starter at Kentucky. C’mon now we all know we wanted Bennett and you’re just lying if you say you didn’t