Diehard hoops heads have known about Demontrae Jefferson since his high school days.
The Texas Southern sophomore was once a three-star recruit and rated as one of the top 100 players in the country by 247 Sports back in 2015. A YouTube sensation, Jefferson’s game engenders thoughts of Aquille Carr, a diminutive dynamo that never played a game at Seton Hall after setting the Internet ablaze more than a half decade ago. One mixtape highlighting the work Jefferson put in on the summer travel circuit three years ago has garnered nearly four million views. Those who scour box scores following blowouts might’ve noticed the 27-point performance he put up in his college debut, a 31-point defeat at the hands of then 11th-ranked Louisville last season on his way to earning Southwestern Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year honors.
To say his play through 12 games in 2017-18, averaging 23.4 points per game (No. 7 in the nation), has been the Milwaukee native’s coming out party would be a gross overstatement. To label Jefferson, who stands just 5-7 and tips the scale at a feathery 150 pounds, the best pound-for-pound player in America would be deftly accurate.
Plain and simple, Jefferson has been terrorizing opposing defenses all winter as the Tigers Mac Daddy and Daddy Mac (Kriss Kross) the country playing the nation’s toughest schedule. In his last three games against No. 21 Baylor, Wyoming and No. 15 TCU, he’s put up 26.6 points on 50 percent shooting from the field and behind the 3-point line.
And it appears he’s only getting better. The platter of dribble-drives and stepback jumpers he served up the Horned Frogs was his magnum opus to date. TCU sophomore Jaylen Fisher (who stands at 6-2, by the way) and pretty much anyone else the Horned Frogs put on Jefferson couldn’t check him. He gave Fisher the more blues than B.B. King, pouring in a game-high 29 points on 12-for-22 shooting and knocking down five of 11 from deep while tying a season-high with six assists. He played all 40 minutes of regulation for the fifth time in 2017-18.
TCU pulled away late, winning 91-72, but coach Mike Davis’ Tigers led by four with 1:08 remaining in the first half, trailed by two at the break and faced a six-point deficit near the midway point of the second half.
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Source: Sporting News