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Tony Barbee opens up about the ‘unprofessional’ comments by DJ Jeffries’ family

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Barbee was careful not to mention any names, but he made it clear there’s nothing ‘unprofessional’ about him or Kentucky.

Jeremy Chisenhall

When DJ Jeffries decommitted from Kentucky, his father raised some questions when he told a Memphis radio station that the Kentucky coaching staff was unprofessional when his son told them of his decision.

“They kind of shocked me,” Corey told the Jason & John Show on 92.9 FM in Memphis. “They were kind of unprofessional. So, if they come (back), they come. If they don’t, we’re fine with that too.”

In a later interview, Corey came back and said it was Kentucky assistant Tony Barbee that he was referring to.

Barbee addressed the comments with the Courier Journal, saying it would be hard to find any player or parent that they have recruited to Kentucky that would say he or any of the coaches were unprofessional.

“In general I’ve worked for Cal for a long time, I’ve recruited a lot of players for Cal, including a lot of the guys on this team. You’d be hard-pressed to find any players we’ve ever recruited, even the ones who decided not to come to Kentucky -- a player or parent -- who would say that we were ever unprofessional in our recruiting,” Barbee said Thursday to the Courier Journal.

“The way we approach recruiting is this is about the kids and their families and what’s best for them. Not about what’s best for us. Cal’s said it a million times: Kentucky is not for everybody. It takes a special breed to want to play here.”

Barbee was quick to point out that his statement was in general and not referencing a single incident. NCAA rules do not permit coaches to comment on unsigned recruits.

We still really aren’t sure what Corey Jeffries meant when he said Barbee was unprofessional. The popular idea is that DJ told them he was decommitting, and Barbee told him that Kentucky wouldn’t continue to recruit him, which irritated the Jeffries family.

That obviously hasn’t been confirmed, but that rumor has gained some traction. Regardless, it seems like Barbee wants to make his point abundantly clear.

Be sure to read the full Courier-Journal piece here.