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D.J. Jeffries decommits from Kentucky

Kelly Kline | Under Armour

Photo: Kelly Kline | Under Armour

Four-star power forward D.J. Jeffries has decommitted from Kentucky. The Olive Branch, Miss., committed to Kentucky on March 12th over offers from Memphis, Kansas, Florida and Alabama. Jeffries played on the AAU circuit for Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway before Penny took the Tigers’ job, and he committed to UK with Penny still coaching high school basketball.

Jeffries is good friends with James Wiseman and this obviously isn’t great news for UK’s chances with Wiseman.

The last I had spoken with someone close to UK about Jeffries was just weeks ago when the 6-foot-7, 200-pound forward had just finished playing at Peach Jam. At that time people close to UK were impressed with Jeffries’ skill and improvements over the summer and were excited about his potential as a college player. I can’t say for certain that UK’s staff is shocked by today’s news, but I know a few weeks ago they weren’t anticipating Jeffries backing off his pledge.

Also, it’s interesting that the Cats have locked in on a new wing, Kahlil Whitney since Peach Jam. Things have moved quickly in that recruitment and the Cats will likely offer Dontaie Allen this week. Both wings are more offensively gifted and that’s become a priority for Calipari.

Here’s what Jeffries told me in March:


T.J. Walker: “You have a great relationship with Penny Hardaway and he’s been rumored to be a candidate at Memphis. Did you consider waiting to see how that plays out in the coming weeks?”

D.J. Jeffries: “It didn’t cross my mind. You never know what Penny might do. Right now he’s in the middle of trying to win a state championship. I really didn’t want to try and bother what he’s trying to focus on right now. I wanted to do what was best for me and Kentucky is best for me.
Penny called my dad yesterday to congratulate me. He said he was proud of me. I don’t think he was too hurt about it.”


Remember, there were also reclassification rumors surrounding Jeffries before he committed to UK.

“It’s just a rumor. I’m gonna stay in 2019. I have an academic goal I’m trying to reach and until I reach that I won’t be reclassifying and for now I’m staying 2019.”

There’s no indication as of today that Jeffries is looking to play college basketball this year, but if it’s something he’s looking into it wouldn’t happen at Kentucky.

Maybe Jeffries knew UK wanted other wings and felt threatened or disrespected? Maybe over the last 14 days UK realized Jeffries may go elsewhere so they went after other targets. We’ll try to get to the bottom of this but at the surface this isn’t great news for UK’s chances with Wiseman. The Cats can easily replace Jeffries, although he did play well this summer, but Jeffries and Wiseman are boys. Pesky Memphis.

This is Calipari’s first decommitment at Kentucky.


Article written by TJ Walker

38 Comments for D.J. Jeffries decommits from Kentucky

  1. ukbradstith
    4:32 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

    Penny will crush it at Memphis. He’ll get all the talent from that area, he’s been a successful coach up to this point, and he’s young enough to still have NBA cred. He won’t get them to where Cal had them, but they’ll be top 20 consistently.

    • DelrayCat
      4:51 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

      Guaranteed Penny will be under NCAA investigation within 2 years. Mark. It. Down.

    • Cincy Cayt
      7:47 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

      Be real guys

      It could be 3 years

    • ukisgr8
      5:23 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

      I agree with delraycat. Hes headed for trouble no doubt. Penny is dying to coach in the NBA. Cheating in college won’t bother him

    • TBW3011
      10:50 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

      Pastner was a great recruiter. Penny isn’t even a good high school coach. Talent isn’t enough. He’ll fail in a major way.

  2. herm89
    4:34 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

    Would rather have Whitney and Allen at that position anyway, but I definitely don’t like what this does to our chances with Wiseman.

    • Wade
      4:46 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

      There’s others players I like better than wiseman like isiah Stewart and we will get the other 2 at jefferies position. I don’t Mind them 2 not coming here. And menhirs will be good for a few years but that’s it. I also think this has been planned bc that whole group penny has a seed sowed with those guys and was planned for sur. What good buzz for Memphis but you still have to put up!

  3. NickPapagiorgio
    4:35 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

    Really liked his skillset and the improvements were obviously there. Not surprised though given the recent interest in Whitney and Allen. Seems like Cal wants a bunch of wings on the team due to the versatility and Jeffries wasn’t okay with that. Will be interesting to see if he commits to Memphis.

    • gasman01
      5:04 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

      Will be interesting to see what Penny accomplished down the road. He won’t get this type of local talent every year.

  4. bigbluebanana
    4:36 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

    Whatever will we do? Looks like NIT at best…I applaud the kid. He seems to be doing what he thinks is best, and that’s all that matters. Maybe he comes back, maybe not. Either way, we will be just fine.

  5. katfan33
    4:39 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

    Oh well… next!

  6. Realme
    4:39 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

    Can’t be mad, we’ve taken commits from other teams, but I hope basketball isn’t starting to become like football in that commitments don’t mean much.

    • King_tucky
      4:44 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

      N should never ever pose in the team’s uni’ s till it is final n signed letter of intent. I hate that.

    • KYcats11
      4:45 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink


  7. krautdog
    4:42 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

    Uh, Oh! Bye-Bye Wiseman!

  8. King_tucky
    4:42 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

    The 1st Cal decommit. N I been saying I was suspicious ever since penny took Memphis job. Makes me think him n Wiseman both reclassify n play this yr.

  9. Cousins Fake Tooth
    4:43 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

    If you don’t want to be here, good riddance.

    • Luether
      8:47 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

      And don’t let the door hit you in the a$$ on the way out…

  10. Memphis UK Cat
    4:52 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

    I am afraid Penny will crush it here but we have a lot of time to get other recruits.

  11. jos_ros_
    4:55 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

    would like to wish penny, wiseman, and jeffries the best on the way to their sweet 16 !

  12. drew_123
    5:16 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

    Get hurt and Carey and all is well

  13. runningunnin.454
    5:22 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

    This is absolutely against the laws of nature; like, an Ice Age or a bad moon rising…does lunacy come from the Latin word for moon?

  14. StuckinLville
    5:32 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

    Ever since he committed I have been following him and while they always talk about how he has improved, he still isn’t a five star. Now I know Shai proved last year it wasn’t all about the stars, but he just hasn’t jumped the rankings like Whitney and Allen have. I think these two are capable of playing 1-4 and he just isn’t as versatile. I dont think Cal ran him off, but he simply found other players he wanted and left it up to Jeffries to decide to stick around or go. I believe these two commit and if we can get a combination of Hurt, Wiseman, Carey to go along with another guard or two, we will be set. There will most likely be returning starters and if everything goes as we hope, we could be looking at two seasons in a row being special.

    • StuckinLville
      5:33 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

      Players, not starters

    • mashburnfan1
      8:58 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

      These rankings mean little. Richards was a 5 star considered best center in the class and he was terrible. All the so called 5 stars we got the last couple years were way overrated.Get kids that can shoot, dribble, pass, know the game and will get after it every play.

  15. Catsfan1715
    6:29 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

    I think he’s a really good player but if you’ve watched tape on him and Whitney, you take Whitney all day. I was just wondering last night why Whitney would commit with DJ already coming here … I think I have my answer. Expect a Whitney to commit soon. I think wiseman is the best player in the class and I want to see him in a UK Jersey but I think we are behind at the moment

  16. JTHinton
    6:32 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

    If Memphis wants to play with the big boys, let’s schedule a home and home…oh wait, their fans might kill Cal…

  17. Headhurts
    6:33 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

    Ky’s not for everybody, good luck kid c u in the tournament.

  18. robin barry
    7:21 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

    I’m drunk

  19. Kat4Life
    7:46 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

    In the grand scheme of things Cal can overcome the loss of a 4 star, pre-mature commitment…..but in my humble opinion, you can write off Wiseman effective today. Look to see both in Memphis.

  20. Rabbi Li
    8:08 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

    Can you imagine? Seriously… how much weed do you have to smoke to think this is intelligent for his future?

    Clearly someone in his life is thinking short term rewards here.

    Good luck!

  21. Matty Arbuckle
    8:12 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

    Best of luck to the young man.

  22. krautdog
    8:16 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

    I’m too excited about this year to be concerned about 2020!

  23. Jeffiers302
    8:46 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

    I hope his academic goals include learning how to avoid posting run-on sentences on Twitter.

  24. TBW3011
    10:49 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

    It’s Memphis. Maybe Memphis happened. Everyone knows what’s going on. Same thing that always goes on in Memphis. And yes, I know Cal was there.

  25. TBW3011
    10:52 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

    Kid will be tough for UNC Charlotte to match up with.

  26. michaelb
    11:48 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

    When was the last time a player decomitted from uk?