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DJ Jeffries says there is “no bad blood” with Kentucky after flip to Memphis

Jordan Brand Classic

At one point, Kentucky’s 2019 recruiting class was shaping up to look completely different than what eventually became reality. John Calipari and the UK coaching staff had landed a commitment from four-star small forward DJ Jeffries and were the runaway favorite for the No. 1 prospect in the class, James Wiseman.

They landed five-star guard Tyrese Maxey, and beyond that, Wiseman was talking about teaming up with fellow elite big man Vernon Carey Jr. and becoming the next Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins at whichever school they decided to attend.

When Penny Hardaway became the head coach at Memphis that spring, he immediately began recruiting Wiseman, his star center with his former AAU squad, the Bluff City Legends. And there were rumors Jeffries was interested in teaming up with each of them in Memphis.

Just a few months later, Jeffries became the first player under John Calipari to decommit from Kentucky and eventually pledged his commitment in October to Hardaway’s Tigers. Wiseman soon followed in November.

For Jeffries, he says it wasn’t an easy process and that he realized the magnitude of his decision, he just felt it was the best decision for him.

“Making the adjustment from Kentucky was kind of hard, you know?” he said. “I mean, it’s Kentucky, right? Not too many kids leave Kentucky. When I did that, it just felt like it was right for me, felt like it was the best thing.”

So why was it the best thing for Jeffries and his future? Hardaway helped him realize that he wanted to represent the city of Memphis at the next level.

“Penny (Hardaway), of course, and my teammates,” he said. “I played AAU ball with most of the guys already there, and James (Wiseman) is a big part of it. I just wanted to do something for the city (of Memphis), you know?”

Though he did become the first player to decommit under Calipari at Kentucky, he said that he has nothing but love for the UK coaching staff and the time and effort they put into recruiting him.

“But Coach Cal, he’s still a really great guy,” Jeffries said. “I don’t have anything (against) him, Tony Barbee, none of them. They have a great coaching staff.”

After Jeffries decommitted, Kentucky was able to put the full-court press on five-star small forward Kahlil Whitney, who ended up committing to the school just a week later. Fast forward to March of this year, and five-star forward Keion Brooks Jr. also decided to make Lexington his new basketball home.

In Jeffries’ eyes, both Memphis and Kentucky ended up better off in the long run with how things played out.

“(Kentucky has) two great players in Keion Brooks and Kahlil Whitney (at the wing) now, so there’s no bad blood,” he said. “I really just had to do what was best for me.”

On Thursday, the SEC announced that they had formed a scheduling alliance in basketball with the American Athletic conference going forward.

As of now, the idea is that the top four AAC schools would face off against the four SEC schools who do not currently participate in the SEC/Big 12 challenge, meaning that does not include Kentucky for now. That being said, the partnership could lead to increased dialogue between both parties and a potential matchup between UK and Memphis could come about that way.

With the dust settled a bit, Jeffries said he would be all for a friendly rivalry with head-to-head matchups while he is at Memphis.

“I hope for it,” he said. “That’d be really fun. It’d be fun, because, you know, the fans gave me so much backlash. But I still love them, I ain’t got no problem with them. I’d just love to have a game against Kentucky.”


Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

41 Comments for DJ Jeffries says there is “no bad blood” with Kentucky after flip to Memphis

  1. CatfaninCinci
    4:04 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

    He looks like a fat Keldon Johnson in that photo… Should he be referred to as Fat Keldon?

    • Brutal Hustler
      4:13 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

      KelTon Johnson

    • BBNmemberinoh
      4:28 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

      You sure seem like a 1st class person cinci. Come on a website and make fun of a teenager. So he did not want to come here, made a choice to play for someone he knew really well and where several of his friends were going. The real shame is that you claim to be a part of BBN.

    • babbus
      5:13 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

      Hmm, pretty low key teasing for you to call him a shame. The kid did not just choose another school, he made a promise and backed out. Not that he shouldn’t be allowed or shamed for it, but I’d say some tiny criticism on a website built for the fans of the school he turned his back on is to be expected. You seem like a first class person raising the criticism stakes

    • Ez21
      5:14 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

      Stfu dude u can’t take a joke.

    • CatfaninCinci
      5:59 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

      I’ll tell you what… If Fat Keldon gets on here and asks for an apology because he’s offended, 1) I’ll apologize and 2) he is going to get his poor feelings shredded by opposing fans once they learn how soft he is.

      But until then, Snowflake, don’t cry too many tears for him on your ultra soft pillow in your safe space. Toughen up buttercup, words only hurt if you let them. Have a seat!

    • ukkatzfan
      7:01 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

      Caftan ? Bearcatfan? Sound like just a hater that got his feelings hurt. lol

    • CatfaninCinci
      7:10 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

      What does that even mean? Did UC even recruit Fat Keldon? Why would I… Nevermind. That’s might be the dumbest thing I’ve read on the internet today.

    • Rixter
      9:47 am April 21, 2019 Permalink

      Who cares if he’s fat? He’s an outstanding character kid. I mean, with absolutely no consideration for his own welfare, he flipped from Kentucky to Memphis solely to help the city of Memphis. Brings a tear to my eye.

  2. Goose
    4:10 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

    Quote from Corey Jeffries, his Dad….

    “They didn’t handle it the way I expected them to handle it, being professionals. I thought it would be handled better, but we’re not going to get into a mud-slinging contest with them. We’ll take the high road. That’s the way we were raised.”

    • BBNmemberinoh
      4:31 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

      ok, so what in this kids statement is not taking the high road. You show a quote from his dad and still see nothing there as I have no idea what someone on the staff may have said. But this article and statement really shows nothing but praise to UK, Cal and the staff. Also describes his reason for changing his mind.

    • ukcamel
      5:23 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

      Nothing the kid said was wrong, what his dad said was BS.

      But honestly, I don’t care and most Kentucky fans have already forgotten who this kid is.

  3. UKFootballYall
    4:12 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

    Blah, blah. No one cares kid. You chose to be irrelevant by going to Memphis. Have fun with that and good luck trying to make it to the NIT.

    • BBNmemberinoh
      4:34 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

      He will be very relevant to an area where he grew up. Remember our Ky boys like Pel, Rex etc. They were probably irrelevant to most of the world but not to BBNas they represented us. Wow there are some real tough guys on here that like to make fun of teens while hiding behind a screen name. This world, and this site, has some real winners in it.

    • syrin23
      9:04 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

      This. Coach K couldn’t get to the FF with the most talent on a team we’ve seen since the AD UK team. This team will struggle to make the tourney and won’t get to the second weekend. Guess these kids really only care about getting drafted. Winning a title is secondary.

    • vandzandz
      12:03 am April 21, 2019 Permalink

      NIT? Stick to football b/c next year, Memphis will be a tournament team.

  4. Headhurts
    4:19 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

    He’ll be singing the blues in Memphis.

  5. wildcat wayne
    4:19 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

    Only chance he has of playing with the big boys now. Go to a weak conference to try and look better!

  6. catsarerunnin
    4:23 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

    Never heard of him.

  7. Smyrna_Cat
    4:24 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

    Move on. I doubt if anyone in the BBN really gave this a second thought.

  8. Swizzle
    4:36 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink


  9. Bruce Dickinson
    4:41 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

    We are definitely better off getting Whitney. Still, would have been nice to get Wiseman.

  10. BBNmemberinoh
    4:41 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

    OK, so honest question. Why do, I will call them people, come on here and bash a teen for not coming here. Yesterday the Hurt kid and today this kid who changed a while back. Lots of stupid stuff said about both including how terrible they actually are. Do you understand they must have talent as Cal wanted them, no matter their decision he wanted them. He seldom recruits bad players so they can play, naturally some will be better than others. So many people hiding on here behind a fake name and a keyboard saying stuff they would never come close to saying to the kid or his family face to face. SAD.

    • babbus
      5:15 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

      Geez Louise. Why you let this bother you? When you coming back to see the responses to your comments?


    • TPACAT
      5:15 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

      Ooh. Look out. Morality Police…

    • Bobbum Man
      5:45 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

      You must not come here often… I don’t really see much bashing other than the fat Keldon thing but that’s obviously a joke and he kinda does look like that

    • CatfaninCinci
      6:05 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

      Snowflake Alert… Everyone run for your safe spaces. Words hurt!

    • ukkatzfan
      7:03 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

      Oh BearcatfaninCinci, why don’t you stay north of the border with your comments too ?

    • CatfaninCinci
      7:09 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

      Ohhhh… I guess you showed me huh? Yeah, I live north of the river but BBN is EVERYWHERE… I thought most everyone knew that?

    • BBNmemberinoh
      8:58 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

      I am in Ohio as well, yes BBN is world wide. Still makes no sense to bask a kid, Jeffries and the Hurt kid yesterday, for making a decision they think is best for them. Did you see the stuff said about Hurt and again I say it is kids Cal wanted so they obviously can play. Oh well cinci seems like a real tough guy calling everyone that disagrees with him some type of name. The keyboard and fake names to hide behind has made everyone tough guys. Funny they try to defend the fact they make fun of someone else, especially a teen. Just imagine if it was your son, grandson etc people were making fun of and how you would feel. I am no Morality police etc, it’s just called being a good person. Not saying we have to cheer for him to become #1 pick but to make fun of them speaks more of you than it does them.

  11. Han
    5:02 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

    Freaking Wiseman still hurts. I remember when people at KSR were trying to calm everyone down about us losing out on the likes of Zion and his fellow Duke signees by telling us that we were big leaders for Wiseman. Then before you know it, Penny’s at Memphis and we lose both Wiseman and Jeffries.

    Cal spoiled us for several years getting so many tip-top recruits and now they all are going elsewhere. Need to get another transcendent guy.

    • Bobbum Man
      5:46 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

      He’s not gonna be that good I feel like…. even when I thought we were getting him I never understood the #1 overall ranking, don’t get me wrong he’s a solid player and all, just thought he was rated a little high

  12. Glock
    5:11 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

    Its his life, he should do whatever he chooses with it

  13. StuckinLville
    5:21 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

    Sounds like his decision only benefited us.

  14. nocode96
    5:24 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

    Isn’t it about time we all got over some kid that decided not to come here? I mean, it was fun to poke at him when this first happened, but it’s been months and the team has moved on to other players.

  15. VirginiaCat
    5:52 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

    I move to end this thread and not speak of Mr. Jeffries again. Seconds?

  16. UK_fac_boi
    8:08 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

    He seems like a nice kid. Good luck dude!

  17. ClutchCargo
    8:53 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

    mashburnfan1 is all over this comment section with his new-ish burner account.

  18. Wade
    9:48 pm April 20, 2019 Permalink

    We all thought he looked like a larger version of keldon. No big deal! whether you call him bigger fatter pork chop huskier whatever ,Don’t even matter . We all thought it.

  19. chrislarkey
    2:00 am April 21, 2019 Permalink

    Glad you switched schools since you like Memphis better

    I like UK better and hope you and your team fail and don’t even make the NIT

  20. makeitstop
    7:45 am April 21, 2019 Permalink

    Just seeing this thread but why in the world would we EVER want to schedule Memphis? Does zero for us and helps them. Schedule the obscure teams coached by UK grads to help them out, not some short term AAU jerk like Hardaway who’s never going to make it in college but will recruit his backyard til he goes. It’s in our interest he goes sooner rather than later. AAC teams we do not need.