D.J. Jeffries became the first member of Kentucky basketball’s 2019 class on Monday night. The 4-star small forward committed to the Wildcats over finalists Mississippi State and Alabama.
Jeffries, 6-foot-7 and 185 pounds, is the No. 26 prospect in the 2019 class, according to the 247Sports composite. He’s the eighth-ranked small forward. Jeffries is the highest-ranked 4-star prospect in the class.
— Djjeffries™ (@lildjj0) March 13, 2018
“I like his energy and how hard he plays,” 247Sports recruiting analyst Evan Daniels told SEC Country. “I think he’s a really good rebounder. I also like his versatility in terms of being able to play as a face-up four, but also out on the perimeter as a three man.
“It’ll be a great start to Kentucky’s class.”
The Olive Branch, Miss., native just led his high school to a 5A state title win in Mississippi. Jeffries had 20 points and 5 rebounds and was named championship game MVP.
His commitment to Kentucky came as no surprise. Each of the 15 Crystal Ball predictions had Jeffries choosing the Cats. When SEC Country met with Jeffries at the Marshall County Hoopfest in December, it was clear where he was leaning.
“People in Kentucky, they love their basketball team,” Jeffries said at the time. “I feel like that’s something I probably want to be a part of.”
Jeffries had 35 points that night, and he had to be pulled away from a long line of people in search of autographs and photos.
“I tried to put on a good show for the fans ’cause they might see me in a couple years,” said Jeffries, leading to the assumption that turned into reality Monday night.
Jeffries is AAU teammates with top 2019 prospect James Wiseman on Team Penny. Wiseman, a 6-11 center, is heavily favored to land at Kentucky.
“I don’t know how close they are,” Daniels said. “I think James Wiseman’s probably making his own decision, but anytime you’re able to add familiarity, I think it helps.”
Jeffries is just the second top 30 2019 prospect to commit, giving Kentucky a head start on the class. Small forward Joey Baker, who’s committed to Duke, is the other.