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DJ Jeffries says John Calipari’s success with one-and-done recruits led him to Kentucky

Photo: PrepCircuit’s Pat Lawless

Tonight, five-star forward DJ Jeffries became Kentucky’s first commitment for the class of 2019.

Shortly after his big announcement, Jeffries sat down with Prep Circuit’s Pat Lawless about his decision to become a Wildcat, where he said the Kentucky coaching staff made him “feel like a priority.”

“I chose Kentucky because throughout this process they have been the most active,” Jeffries told Prep Circuit. “They have come to visit me and have made me feel like a priority. That is what made my decision.”

John Calipari and his staff have visited Jeffries three times over the last three months, and remain in constant contact with him. He was the second recruit in the class of 2019 to receive a scholarship offer – the other being No. 1 prospect James Wiseman – and pushed for a commitment this past Tuesday when he visited during Olive Branch High School’s semifinal matchup in the state tournament.

So why was Calipari so enamored with the 6-foot-7 forward? Toughness and versatility, he told Lawless.

“Coach Calipari told me he likes my toughness and my will to win and ability to play multiple positions,” he said.

To no one’s surprise, Jeffries says he chose Kentucky because of the program’s ability to get players in the NBA early and often, and he plans on being a one-and-done.

“What separated them from the rest was the amount of people they have put in the NBA,” said Jeffries. “They are good at developing kids to be out in one year and that’s what I plan to do.”

Welcome aboard, DJ.

Now, time to start recruiting James Wiseman to the BBN.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

29 Comments for DJ Jeffries says John Calipari’s success with one-and-done recruits led him to Kentucky

  1. BigBlueNationDude
    9:12 pm March 12, 2018 Permalink

    This is our problem. Mediocre kids come to UK thinking they can be one and done not caring about the program. Its like if your a multi year player you are a failure in a way. Wrong mindset to have immediately.

    • Blublood41
      9:38 pm March 12, 2018 Permalink

      There’s been very few teams that I have loved drom the beginning. JWall team, AD/Gilchrist team, and of course the 38-1 team were the ones I loved from the outset. Other teams its taken me a while to really love, the 2010 great run, the awesome run by the twins/randle. It took a while to love those teams and before you know it their gone. It’s just maddening….

    • 4everUKblue
      10:02 pm March 12, 2018 Permalink

      Still a total absence of intelligence from Slater. Who do you think you are to call this kid mediocre? Maybe you can move up to mediocre when you become 17 or 18.

    • BigBlueNationDude
      11:11 pm March 12, 2018 Permalink

      No matter what i say 4 ever will bash me. He is mediocre by our standards. My point was simply these players shouldnt have the mindset as 1 year and done players. That was all.

    • 4everUKblue
      10:20 pm March 12, 2018 Permalink

      BBNDude/Slater you are incapable of posting ANYTHING positive, such a sad existence. A waste of human flesh.

    • BigBlueNationDude
      11:12 pm March 12, 2018 Permalink

      Waste of human flesh? Wow. Your a violent person.

    • FinnaGoHAM
      10:48 pm March 12, 2018 Permalink

      So you think a 5-star wingman that’s rated 17th in the class – and expected to rise even higher in his senior season – is MEDIOCRE? Explain your logic, please… if you can. If not, think before you start to type.

    • ClutchCargo
      12:38 am March 13, 2018 Permalink

      FinnaGoHAM, asking a moron to think is an exercise in futility. And really, do we want someone that stupid to try to think?

    • UK Big Board Update
      9:45 am March 13, 2018 Permalink

      I remember when UK got done destroying Morehouse in 2012 (125-40), their coach Grady Brewer, in the postgame said that all of his players thought they were gonna make it in the NBA. He said, “No. Those guys are.”

      All DIV. I players think they are better than they are – and thats not a bad thing. But you’d know that if you’d ever played sports, and not trolled a website like its your job.

  2. LouisaCatFan
    9:15 pm March 12, 2018 Permalink

    Great another one and done! I know that I may be the minority here can the Cats please get some players that will stick around for at least 2 years.

    • CatManDo
      9:25 pm March 12, 2018 Permalink

      So you would rather we sign the 87th ranked player in the class over the 17th ranked player?

    • KYcats11
      9:31 pm March 12, 2018 Permalink

      Oh quit complaining. Even if we get a lower ranked recruit that is a 4 star that is expected to hang around a few years (Shai), we turn them in to one and dones. No sense in holding a player back from their potential (coach K)

    • ClutchCargo
      10:13 pm March 12, 2018 Permalink

      Why 2 years? Why not 3? Or 4? And what gives any of the right to demand that a young man stay any length of time in college. I would bet my next paycheck that most of the “4 year player” didn’t even go to college.

    • 4everUKblue
      10:23 pm March 12, 2018 Permalink

      And I am so sure given the same opportunity you would rather stay 4 yrs and risk losing thousands instead of playing one year and leaving to fulfill you dream and possibly making millions. It makes so much sense.

  3. Jambluehue99
    9:24 pm March 12, 2018 Permalink

    We had the four year players under Tubby Smith. I’ll take one and dones all day every day. SGA was suppose to be at least a two year player and he is now a lottery pick. Not the worst problem in the world. Talent > Experience.

    • callitlikeiseeit
      10:03 pm March 12, 2018 Permalink

      Yea great, we won’t see a title with freshman and no experience. This team won’t get one. And where is all the talent, Shai has had a good 2nd half of year but outside of that this group is not even close to ready for the NBA and neither is Shai as he will struggle big time early and not sure he will ever be very good{too early to tell}. And stop with people saying we put kids in the NBA, NO, we recruited NBA kids. Those kids were lottery picks from High School, UK and Cal did not have anything to do with it. In fact more dropped under Cal than went up. Most of the lottery picks from here would have been the same or higher pick from High School. If it was all Cal why is this group dropping in draft status except for Shai. SKJ and Gabriel will be at least 3 year guys and still won’t make the lottery.

    • FinnaGoHAM
      11:12 pm March 12, 2018 Permalink

      callit… You’ve seen what most of these kids look like when they get to UK. Are they top recruits? Yes. Do they know how to play basketball? Many of them don’t. They know how to score and they are athletic, but they don’t understand how to set picks, how to work to get open, how to play a team game, how to think as part of unit. And don’t even get me started on their defensive skills. Without Cal most of them would still go to the league, but they wouldn’t make it to a second contract, or they’d be UFA and spend their entire career in the G-League. People see five stars beside a kids name and expect them to show up on campus and be superstars. How many of this year’s freshman nationally fit that description? Ayton, Young, Bagley, maybe Jackson from Michigan State. And while SKJ and Gabriel might be three- or four-year guys do you honestly think there’s any coach in America that would’ve gotten them to the league any faster?
      You led off your comment with a complaint about all these freshman and no experience = no title, but you’re also complaining that SKJ and Gabriel might be around four years. Isn’t that some of that experience you’re wanting? So do you want Cal to develop every player into first-year lottery picks or do you want experience? Or would you rather he only recruit kids who’ll be around four years, three stars and low-end four stars?

    • UK Big Board Update
      9:53 am March 13, 2018 Permalink

      callit – spoken like a true Louisville message board delusional asshat poster.

      Enjoy the NIT for the next 5-10 years.

  4. nicky
    9:43 pm March 12, 2018 Permalink

    Hope the kid doesn’t get frustrated if he has to stick around more than a year…not so sure he’s OAD material…could be wrong

    • FinnaGoHAM
      11:15 pm March 12, 2018 Permalink

      He’s a rising five-star, but you never know. SGA was a four-star and now projected lottery. Richards was a five-star…

  5. philbo
    10:07 pm March 12, 2018 Permalink

    Critics with no credentials.

  6. FlatTopsAndBlockedShots
    10:15 pm March 12, 2018 Permalink

    Very uncharacteristic of one of Cal’s recruits to come out and say it in that fashion. Usually see that type of comment from guys like Trevon Duval and anyone who goes to Kansas. I’m not upset that being a one and done is his goal but players that come to UK have usually noted how they want to “win number 9/10” when they get here, usually something more team oriented.

  7. plumloopy
    11:00 pm March 12, 2018 Permalink

    Whatever side you’re on, don’t lie and say you’re okay with this kind of statement. They can think this but saying it out loud ain’t cool. It doesn’t help UK.

  8. bigbluehank
    11:44 pm March 12, 2018 Permalink

    Hats off to Cal! Has turned the most prestigious college basketball program into his personal NBA farm system.

    • UK Big Board Update
      9:46 am March 13, 2018 Permalink

      And U MAD.

  9. njcat54
    11:35 am March 13, 2018 Permalink

    Kansas, Xavier, Villanova, Virginia, Purdue, UNC, Cincinnati, Tenn, Michigan, Texas Tech, MSU, Auburn, Arizona, Gonzaga, Wichita St. – 15 of the 16 one thru four seeds in the tournament. What do they have in common? Zero or one OAD players. Duke is the only exception and they have a very good senior and 3 of the top 10 freshmen. Cal won’t sniff another championship unless he gets multiple top 10 recruits and has a few veterans mixed in. Any fan who wants to see more championships cannot have much hope if things continue as they are going.

    This kid is probably a fine player but he is not top three at his position. Unless Cal can start getting the top 1 or 2 players at their position again, we will not see another final four run. Especially when the lower rated players he is now getting have zero interest in staying beyond one year.

  10. TreyTingle
    12:37 pm March 13, 2018 Permalink

    All of these people complaining about one and dones. Get outta here. Stop acting so damn spoiled. You want 3 or 4 year players go watch the last couple of years of Tubby or Billy G’s time. UK is the Gold Standard of College Basketball again. Who cares if these kids stay for a year or 4. Ride the wave. Root for the Cats or go away. These kids can do whatever they want. Don’t try to act like if your kid was projected in the first round you would tell them to come back to school.

  11. CATilactica
    1:45 pm March 13, 2018 Permalink

    He’s a good player but He’s an undersized pf. And is a streaky shooter. It’s ok to think this way. But he ends up being unhappy about playing time and draft stock, it’s a bad look saying it publically.