Tennessee basketball held a media day on Tuesday as the Volunteers get set to take the floor later month. Rick Barnes has a deep and experienced team, but one of those backend rotational players may be in question going forward.
DJ Jefferson, a four-star wing who redshirted last season, has not been with the team over the past few sessions. Barnes announced the news during his media session on Tuesday afternoon.
“DJ has missed the last couple practices due to the fact that he hasn’t lived up to what we want to do in all facets of the program,” Barnes told reporters. No other details were given.
Jefferson was the 85th ranked prospect in the class of 2022, signing with Tennessee late in the process after his stock really took off. He took the redshirt last season as planned, but he had the opportunity to crack the rotation for this season. Especially with Chris Ledlum opting to hit the transfer portal again, the door is open for Jefferson to find some playing time.
We saw a flash from Jefferson over the summer during a scrimmage in Italy. He finished up his trip with a 13 point performance against Stella Azzurra, shooting 5-10 from the field. The 6-5, 207 pound wing will now have to work to get back in Barnes’ good graces.
Tennessee has two scrimmages — one big one against Michigan State on October 29th — before opening the season against Tennessee Tech on November 6th. It will be interesting to see what happens with Jefferson over the next four weeks.