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D.J. Jeffries recruiting roundtable, impact on Kentucky Basketball and predictions

D.J. Jeffries picking Kentucky would be huge for the program in multiple ways.

Kelly Kline/Under Armour & USA Basketball

We have an early commitment coming from class of 2019 star D.J. Jeffries at 8 p.m. ET tonight. The 6-7, 185 lb small forward will make his college decision this evening between the Kentucky Wildcats, Alabama Crimson Tide and Mississippi State Bulldogs.

Kentucky is currently the overwhelming favorite, receiving 100 percent of Jeffries’ 247 Crystal Ball predictions. The four-star wing from Olive Branch, Mississippi put out this tweet last night.

This is a very early commitment, but given the position Kentucky is in with Jeffries, it bodes well for the Wildcats.

With John Calipari’s notable class of 2018 struggles, it would be big for him to get started this early on the class of 2019 with a four-star recruit. Calipari has worked hard on this one. He’s visited Jeffries four times since September, and offered a scholarship on Sept. 14. Jeffries made an unofficial visit to Kentucky on Oct. 13.

Jeffries is currently the No. 26 player in the class of 2019, the No. 8 small forward and the No. 1 player in the state of Mississippi.

Take a look at A Sea of Blue’s staff predictions below.

Jason Marcum

This is really big for Kentucky for a variety of reasons. The most obvious is just Kentucky getting back in a recruiting groove by landing a high 4-star player that could easily finish as a 5-star recruit. Jeffries is a prototypical forward for John Calipari, as the talented forward can play the 3 or the 4, and he can probably sneak some minutes in as a stretch 5.

But this is also big in the recruitment of the prize of 2019: James Wiseman. The top—ranked recruit has spent time with Jeffries on the AAU circuit, so landing Jeffries would undoubtedly help with Wiseman.

This is also a preemptive move against Memphis, who could fire Tubby Smith and hire Penny Hardaway, Hardaway coached both Wiseman and Jeffires on the AAU circuit, and he’s also Wiseman’s head coach at Memphis East.

It’s going to be a battle to get Jeffries and Wiseman away from Hardaway, so getting Jeffries now is a big move for John Calipari to make.

If, however, Jeffries were to delay his commitment or even decommit later on in favor of wherever Hardaway lands, it could pave the way for another tough recruiting season for Calipari. This year has been bad enough losing seemingly every elite recruit to Duke or others, so Calipari is doing his best to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

Prediction: Kentucky

Adam Haste

D.J Jeffries is a very talented 6-7 forward in the class of 2019 that could make an immediate impact in Lexington. Jeffries has a good jump shot, able to knock down the outside shots, but he also has the athletic ability to get to and finish at the rim or throw it down for a big play.

With this being a class that is limited in small forwards to go around, it would be huge if Kentucky is able to land him. To me, he is an under ranked talent and should have us excited even though he is ranked a high 4-star. Just look at what 4-star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is doing for us this season. I believe Cal wants this kid and fully expect him to get him.

Prediction: Kentucky

TJ Barnett

D.J. Jeffries would be a great first pickup for Cal in the 2019 class. D.J. is an extremely talented small forward that can play nearly every position on the court. He’s fast, strong, and plays physical down low.

Kentucky needs some positive news on the recruiting front and getting Jeffries would give Cal and co. a great head start on this class. The potential pairing of Jeffries and James Wiseman gets me pretty excited as well. A lot of experts think Kentucky is the pick for D.J, and so do I.

Prediction: Kentucky

Alec Usleaman

D.J. Jeffries is down to three schools, and Kentucky has emerged as the pretty heavily favored landing spot. Jeffries is ranked 17th by ESPN Top 100 as a 5-star recruit. His numbers speak volumes to the type of talent he is and how lucky a team would be to land him.

In my opinion, this is an easy choice for him to make. Kentucky fits his style of play the best out of his top three, he’ll see more national TV time, and he wants to be on the team that wins the SEC Tournament and makes a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.

I think it’s a foregone conclusion he chooses Kentucky, but I also think there’s a key piece going unnoticed in his recruitment.

In 2017, Jeffries played for Team Penny with another certain recruit Kentucky has sought after, James Wiseman. Wiseman is the top prospect in the ESPN Top 100 list and Kentucky has been seen as his favorite.

Coach Cal may be pursuing Jeffries now more so to possibly build a bridge for Wiseman in 2019 as well, or 2018 if he reclassifies. Having an old teammate telling you that Kentucky is the place to be may be the little extra push James needs to finally commit.

Prediction: Kentucky

Zac Oakes

D.J. Jeffries is going to be joining the SEC in 2019, and I believe he’ll be wearing Kentucky blue when he does.

Jeffries brings a lot to the basketball court. He’s a great offensive talent, very athletic, and has the physical tools to be a solid defender.

I really thought Jeffries would wait to see if Penny Hardaway ended up at Memphis, but it seems like he is ready to end his recruitment. Keep an eye on him though if Penny takes over at Memphis.

Nonetheless, I think Jeffries is a great player to start Kentucky’s 2019 class off with. Hopefully he will be a building block of another superb Calipari recruiting class.

Prediction: Kentucky

Jamie Boggs

D.J. Jeffries will be a huge get for whichever school he chooses on Monday. The four-star forward is an uber-athletic guy with a strong mid-range game. He has a smooth shot that can be developed and he has potential to be an elite scorer.

Looking at Kentucky’s 2018 roster, assuming Keldon Johnson heads to the NBA after one year, Jeffries’ skill set will be a huge need in 2019.

Considering everything I have heard and read, the biggest threat to Kentucky in Jeffries’ recruitment was Penny Hardaway if he accepted a college coaching position. With Jeffries making his announcement so soon, and before Penny even gets an offer, I think that will be good news for Big Blue Nation.

Prediction: Kentucky