By: Evan Devould Sr. and Justice Bolden
DJ Jeffries, a 6-foot-7 top 25 ranked small forward according to ESPN, has committed to Coach Penny Hardaway and the Memphis Tigers basketball program.
I couldn’t wait no longer to post happy to be a tiger I’m staying home 💯GTG❤️ pic.twitter.com/42O2L6Udet
— Djjeffries™ (@lildjj0) October 27, 2018
His pledge signals that Coach Hardaway defeated Coach John Calipari first of a two round heavyweight bout as Jeffries was formerly committed to the Kentucky Wildcats before reopening his recruitment in July.
Photo by: Artie Walker Jr.
Evan Devould Sr. on the Impact of DJ Jeffries
DJ Jeffries’ commitment to The University of Memphis is huge for Coach Penny Hardaway. The 6’7 prep standout is the first consensus top 50 player to commit to Memphis since Dedric Lawson, who was apart of the 2015 recruiting class under then head coach Josh Pastner. His pledge is a welcome sign of change for Tigers fans.
On the recruiting trail, the program has struggled over the last 3 recruiting cycles, two of which were under Coach Tubby Smith, who was fired following 2017-18 season. DJ is the second top 150 player to commit to the Tigers for this 2019 class. The first being 6-foot-8 East High school power forward Malcolm Dandridge.
So what are the Tigers getting in DJ Jefferies? They are getting a player whose game translates perfectly with how today’s game is evolving. He is what I call a “can do it all ball player”. At 6’7, he can handle the ball well for his size, and he doesn’t turn the ball over when called upon for ball handling duties. He can also score inside and out on the offensive end. DJ’s jump shot has consistently improved since his freshman year in high school.
The 6’7 playmaker is also really good at getting to the rim and finishing with contact against bigger defenders. The thing that I rarely hear about DJ that has come to my attention is his ability to rebound at a high level at his position. I fully expect this to translate to the collegiate level.
Over the last couple weeks, I’ve called around and gotten other coaches opinions on Jefferies. One answer I have gotten the most is “He has pro potential”. Secondly, I’ve heard, “If he can turn his motor up just one more notch on the college level he is a NBA guy because the skill set is there”. Jeffries, as mentioned previously, is a 5-star rated prospect by ESPN and rated the number 21 prospect overall.
During his senior season at Olive Branch High School, he averaged 20.8ppg. On the Nike EYBL circuit this summer over the course of 21 games, he averaged 15.3 ppg while averaging 7.0 rebounds.
Justice Bolden on what’s Next for the Tigers and the 2019 Recruiting Class
Coach Penny Hardaway and the Memphis Tigers staff which includes Coach Tony Madlock, former NBA Head Coach and now Assistant San Mitchell, and former NBA Champion and now Assistant Coach Mike Miller turn their attention to Memphis East High 7-foot center James Wiseman, the number one ranked player in the class of 2019, who is on his fifth and final visit at the University of Memphis.