As recent headlines have already announced, the nations top fifth year high school player Davon Jefferson
is no longer a member of the basketball team at The Patterson School. The 67 WF left Patterson over a week ago, and there have been some conflicting reports of the reasoning behind Jeffersons departure. Davon spoke with DraftExpress Director of High School Scouting Rodger Bohn to set the record straight on his departure from Patterson, college recruitment, and possible early entry to the NBA Draft.
Jefferson was originally a member of the class of 2005, and thought of as more of an undersized PF prospect. He signed a letter of intent to play at UNLV, but failed to qualify and then de-committed after assistant coach Marvin Menzies, who recruited Jefferson, left for Louisville. The Lynwood California product then hit the AAU scene playing with HSquad, who then changed their name to Team Danny Williams.
On the summer circuit, Davon showed off his vastly improving perimeter game and proved those who doubted his ability to move out to the wing wrong. As each tournament came and went, it seemed as if his perimeter skills kept getting better and better. In the Reebok Big Time Tournament (the final major AAU tournament of the summer), Jefferson was downright amazing, leading DraftExpress to write a feature article on him.
Eventually, Jefferson wound up at The Patterson School (NC) for a prep year in an attempt to get eligible for college. Jefferson led the nations top ranked prep school in scoring and rebounding, but eventually took a leave of absence before quitting Patterson. Along the way, he discovered a few of the realities of life at prep school.
I liked it in the beginning, it was cool. It was alright because the living conditions were good. The team lived in a house, like a three story house on campus, Jefferson told DraftExpress. Then the school went on a budget, and they started feeding us bologna sandwiches for meals and I didnt really like that.
Plus the traveling
the traveling was horrible, Jefferson continued. We would travel to a game 18 hours away with the entire team in one van. We would have 17 people in a supposed 15 passenger van, but we would have all of our gym bags and those would take up an entire row of seats.
There was a lot of stuff behind the scenes that I really didnt know about that I really didnt like. I just felt that I wasnt going to be able to get qualified there, so I left.
Jeffersons next step is to focus on get qualified academically. Im just basically going to get qualified. Im going to finish up my core classes, take my test, and find a school to go to.
When probed where he would land next, Jefferson said I havent decided yet. Right now Im taking my internet classes and stuff like that. Davon then went on to confirm that he will be able to take care of his core requirements through his internet classes, and that he plans on taking the SAT or ACT as soon as possible. He has indeed registered this past week to take both tests.
As far as Jeffersons college recruitment goes, he listed USC, Georgetown, Oklahoma State, and Kansas, but then added one more. Illinois. They called me; they talked to me and said they wanted to start recruiting me. They said they wanted to get me down for a visit. I guess you could put Illinois in there. I like Illinois.
When asked why he was considering those four schools when they are all loaded at the small forward and/or power forward positions, Jefferson said Im not even worried about it, because I know Im going to come in and Im going to outwork people. Im not really worried about a starting spot because Im going to come in and outwork people for sure.
Right now, I would probably say USC is the leader, Jefferson told DraftExpress when pressed for which school is currently leading in the running for his services. Jefferson recently wrapped up a visit to the USC campus in which he watched the Trojans take on and eventually beat visiting Arizona.
I really didnt get to take the whole visit, I really only got to go to the game against Arizona. Ive been busy working out and stuff. I just went to the game yesterday against Arizona, he said. I enjoyed the game and I sat down and talked to the coaches, but I did set up another visit.
It has been rumored for quite some time now that Davon is a lock to enter the Draft this year, but he wouldnt go that far. I asked him what he would do if he were put in the situation where he entered the draft, but wasnt projected as a first round pick and couldnt qualify for college. Jefferson responded I havent really thought about that. My first option before the NBA Draft is to get qualified.
When asked if there was a timetable as to when Davon would enter the draft, he told us that hes just going to make the right decision for me and my family. I just dont want to go and put my name in and not get picked up or picked in the second round. Stuff like that.
DraftExpress then asked if the struggles of prep to pro players such as Andray Blatche
, Louis Williams
, Gerald Green
, and Martell Webster
had made him rethink entering the draft and the response we got was quite refreshing.
It made me think about it a lot, Jefferson told DraftExpress when asked if the decisions of his 2005 classmates that ended up in the second round would factor into his choice on whether to enter the draft or not. You know how you have conversations with them at camps, AAU games and stuff? You know they talk about how theyre not going to go for sure unless they know for sure theyre first rounders? I guess they all think theyre first rounders. So obviously a lot of them dont have the right information. So I just want to make sure I have the right information and make sure.
As for joining several of his highly regarded classmates in the D-League? I really dont know. The D-League
Id rather not do it.
Also discussed was his transition from power forward to small forward. The response that we got truly showed how tough the switch is, especially when you consider that Davon is considered such a terrific athlete.
Its a lot harder transition. Ive been playing power forward mostly my whole basketball career, then to have to switch and play on the wing
having to guard guards sometimes, Jefferson told DraftExpress. Sometimes you arent the quickest dude, and you have to shoot or post up. Ive really been working on my shooting, my dribbling, and my mid-range games. Some shooting drills
back cuts, back up cuts
stuff like that.
DraftExpress will continue to update fans on the Davon Jefferson
situation. While his lack of success at Patterson has likely put any discussion of the 2006 draft on hold, Jefferson is still a premier prospect that is more than capable of playing his way into the NBA after a couple of seasons of development at the college level.