Vols makes a cut for Minnesota wing’s DJ Jefferson

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While questions remain about what Josiah-Jordan James and Santiago Vescovi will do as they test the waters of the NBA Draft, Rick Barnes is wasting no time trying to fill those positions. He now tends to Tennessee basketball for a four-star Minnesota wing.

DJ Jefferson, a four-star everywhere but 247Sports, where he’s a three-star, included the Vols in his top three. Standing at 6’5″ and weighing between 185 and 190, Jefferson is listed as a shooter on Rivals and ESPN and a small forward on 247Sports and On3.

Initially, Jefferson was engaged in the Tulsa Golden Hurricane from April 13-22. Joining Tennessee basketball on its roster are the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and the Washington State Cougars. He announced the schools on Saturday afternoon on Twitter.

Coming out of Minnesota Prep in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Jefferson follows 2022 five-star winger Julian Phillips, who recently announced the Vols in his top five. Jefferson would probably be more of a development and depth guy than Phillips, but he fills the same void.

Regardless of what happens, UT could use more help on the wing. They lost Victor Bailey Jr. and Justin Powell to trades last year, and even if James returns, the departures of Brandon Huntley-Hatfield and John Fulkerson could force Barnes to move James down. This is the case even if Olivier Nkamhoua returns.

If James went low there would be a need on the wing again, and it could be immediate. Simply put, Barnes and the Vols need another player there, and Jefferson could help fill the void, even if he’s not ready for Barnes’ system just yet.

None of Rivals Future Cast favorites 247Sports Crystal Ball or On3 to land Benson made their final cut. As a result, Tennessee basketball is in as good shape as anyone to land him, so the Vols should keep fighting after the guy.

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