Ben Howland raves over the addition of former Tiger D.J. Jeffries

Sports

STARKVILLE, Miss. — D.J. Jeffries has officially signed his Athletic Scholarship Agreement (ASA) with the Mississippi State men’s basketball program announced Thursday by head coach Ben Howland during the spring signing period.

We recruited D.J. incredibly hard coming out of high school,” said Howland. “He is one of the most talented players that we’ve recruited for sure since I’ve been the coach at Mississippi State. I think that he’s an incredible talent. I love how hard he plays, I love his unselfishness, and I love his skill level. He can shoot three’s, he can handle the ball and he’s an excellent passer. He gets more joy out of making plays for others than probably any other aspect of his game. I think he’s a very good defender, and he’s long. He’s an incredibly talented kid, and I think he is going to be a huge addition to our program. He loves the game. He’s a workaholic. He is one of the best players out there that was available for sure in the transfer portal anywhere in the country. He could play anywhere. He’s really special.

Jeffries, a 6-7 forward from Olive Branch, Mississippi, secured 10.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game in 47 appearances over his two seasons at Memphis. He turned in 26 games of 10-plus points, fueled by a 23-point performance against Ole Miss on 11/23/2019 as a freshman.

Jeffries has knocked down 47.1 percent of his field goal attempts, 36.6 percent from three-point territory and 62.0 percent at the free throw line. He was a key piece during Memphis’ 2021 NIT Championship run where he provided 11.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.0 blocks per game.

Jeffries was one of 20 players nationally to be named to the 2020-21 Julius Erving Award Watch List and was a preseason All-AAC Second-Team pick. He picked up his first career double-double with 18 points and a career-best 11 rebounds at Tulane on 12/16/2020.  

Jeffries was rated the nation’s No. 25 prospect by ESPN.com and named the state of Mississippi’s top prospect for the Class of 2019. He captured the 2018-19 Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year award after he posted 23.3 points, 12.8 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 2.6 blocks per game during his senior season and a Class 5A runner-up finish at Olive Branch High School.

Jeffries and teammate Cameron Matthews secured a 25-4 record and won the 2018 Class 5A state title for Olive Branch. Jeffries finished with 20.8 points per game and claimed the Jackson Clarion-Ledger’s Player of the Year as a junior. He notched 20 points, five rebounds and five blocks in the state semifinals and tallied 20 points during the championship game.

Mississippi State has landed a pair of impact transfers in Garrison Brooks and Jeffries, coupled with a solid freshmen class which features ESPN top 100 recruit KeShawn Murphy, Alden Applewhite and Cam Carter.

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