Othyus Jeffers is moving on up
I'll get that name spelled right eventually. Though by the time I do, he may be gone. Can we just call him OJ?
From the official release,
Utah Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor announced today that the team will sign guard Othyus Jeffers (pronounced oh-THEE-us) of the NBA Development League’s Iowa Energy to a 10-day contract, pending the outcome of a successful physical. Jeffers becomes the 18th D-League Call-Up to the NBA this season, and second by the Jazz (Sundiata Gaines). Following the transaction, the Jazz roster now stands at 13 players.
So he's a 6' 5", 210 G/F that went to school at Robert Morris - Chicago and has played the last couple of seasons in the D-League for the Energy. Lots out there on him, but there's an exceptional piece from RU last season. Here's a snippet,
Jeffers grew up in a rough neighborhood and had already had two of his brothers murdered by the time he graduated from high school. This, as it would anyone, seemed to affect his schoolwork, leading to Jeffers needing to go the JuCo route out of high school, settling with Los Angeles' Southwest Community College. There, he averaged 22.3 points and 10.7 rebounds, leading to him getting scholarship offers from Big 10 and Big 12. Ultimately, he decided he wanted to be closer to his family back in Chicago, though, leading to him choosing to go to the University of Illinois, Chicago campus.
So what kind of player did we get? Also from RU,
The things that'll get him to stick with an NBA team, though, is his defense. Although he doesn't block many shots, his on-ball defense is exceptional. He gets in a guys grill and doesn't swipe at the ball, but stays on him close enough that eventually the player just passes the ball rather than dealing with Jeffers pesky-ness. He's quick enough that the offense can't get around him, and he's strong enough that nobody's going to be able to go through him.
His offense, on the other hand, needs a bit of work, but not much. Off the dribble, he's exceptional, as no one can defend his first step and he's able to finish at the rim - he's very deliberate. Shooting though, is ocassionally a bit of a problem. It's not that he has a bad shot, it looks pretty, but it doesn't fall as much as you'd think it should when watching it leave his hands. He's been a power forward much of his career though, so I'm assuming his jump shot will improve with more time spent, as it seems the mechanics are there.
He's got some solid stats this season: 51% shooting, almost 7 rebounds a game, and a little over 14 points a game.
Unfortunately for him, he's likely just a stopgap until the Jazz can figure out who they really want. Not saying he couldn't make it, but given that he's another wing...
His current number is 6 which just happens to be open with the Jazz right now. I hope he has the blessing of LeBron James. Maybe he'll catch on for the rest of the season and hit a game winner over the King in the finals?
We're not going to see much of this kid play, but at the least, hopefully he gets some PT to impress some other teams and gets signed. Maybe he'll even be in training camp with the Jazz next season.
At least we'd have a new entrant for the rookie dance off
Othyus Jeffers balla "I gotta feeling" durante il riscaldamento (via wh0iswalter)
Looks like Matt got this up before I could finish my post.