D.J. Jeffries, a transfer forward out of the University of Memphis who is entering his junior season, was once the top-rated recruit in the state of Mississippi, according to 247Sports.
Hailing from Olive Branch, Mississippi, Jeffries chose to play his first two collegiate seasons as part of Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway’s program, where he was a regular member of the rotation.
Mississippi State fans may recognize the name from the National Invitation Tournament championship game this past season, a game that saw Jeffries rack up 15 points and five blocks as Memphis defeated MSU 77-64.
Needless to say, Jeffries and the Bulldogs are well acquainted.
Jeffries was one of three Memphis players to enter the portal this offseason, an intriguing development given the program’s current status as a bubble team on the verge of cracking the NCAA Tournament.
Mississippi State, under the guidance of head coach Ben Howland, is no stranger to such a concept. The Bulldogs have curated a bit of a reputation for themselves under the current regime as a program consistently close to being a team that reaches the NCAA Tournament.
Jeffries has the potential to be one of those pieces that could push the Bulldogs out of the NIT and into the real deal. Standing at 6-foot-7 and 215 pounds, Jeffries is a versatile forward.
Jeffries joins the program with plenty of eligibility left, so expect him to be an important part of Howland’s scheme for multiple seasons.
With several other players transferring in, there’s a potential logjam for minutes that Howland will have to navigate this season.
But I’d wager that’s a good problem to have.