Status: UK commitment
Small forward | 6-7 | 185
School: Olive Branch
Hometown: Olive Branch, Miss.
DJ Jeffries grew up in the Memphis area rooting for John Calipari’s Memphis Tigers, and — when Calipari moved to Kentucky — the young basketball player shifted his allegiance to the Wildcats.
Jeffries committed to Calipari and the Cats a few days after wrapping up his junior season of high school, and he’ll play for Kentucky starting in the 2019-20 season. He was UK’s first commitment for the class of 2019.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling to have someone like Coach Cal be interested in a kid like me,” Jeffries said. “You know, he can go after any kid in the nation. But he just chose to stick by me and recruit me the hardest and believe in me. It’s a good feeling that somebody like that believes in me and wants me to come to their program.”
Jeffries isn’t a top-10 recruit, but he was one of the first players that Calipari seriously targeted in the 2019 class. He and Nike league teammate James Wiseman were the first two 2019 recruits to land scholarship offers from UK, and Calipari visited Jeffries several times throughout his junior season, a rare show of interest for a player that young.
He’ll be eligible to officially sign with the Cats in November.
Jeffries led Olive Branch High School to a Mississippi state championship, averaging 20.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.6 blocked shots per game during the team’s tournament run.
“He’s a combo forward that can impact the game with his energy and his rebounding. He scores it well around the basket, and there’s some versatility there, too. I think he’s a really intriguing prospect. He has some ability to step out on the floor and handle the basketball. He’s a good passer, too. But I think it’s his energy that he really hangs his hat on.”
-Recruiting analyst Evan Daniels