Thursday, October 20, 2011

Amile Jefferson Enjoyed UConn's First Night

Spoke briefly the other day with Jason Polykoff, who coaches Amile Jefferson at Friends Central in Philadelphia. Jefferson, of course, is the 6-foot-8, 195-pound forward who made an official visit to UConn for First Night last week.

Jefferson is coveted by some of the biggest programs in the country, and Polykoff believes it goes beyond the fact that he can “pretty much score whenever he wants.”

“I would say the biggest reason I have coaches tell me he’s such an attractive recruit, besides his skill, is he’s such a good kid,” Polykoff said. “He’s great in the classroom, well-liked in the community. He’s a very personable, funny kid, outgoing. The younger kids at school all like him.”

“It’s pretty rare,” Polykoff continued, “to see if somebody with such a great personality but also have so much talent.”

Polykoff said he hasn’t hear too much about Jefferson’s visit to Storrs last weekend, other than that he was told he enjoyed the visit and that First Night was “great.”

According to the coach, Jefferson will visit Kentucky this weekend and plans to visit Stanford next weekend. He’s already made officials to Ohio State and UConn, and has been on numerous unofficial to Villanova and Temple (as well as one to NC State).

Jefferson has been very deliberate in his decision-making, but may make his college choice within the next few weeks.

“I can tell you that he’s been strongly encouraged to make his decision in the fall,” Polykoff said.

Jefferson is strong in the classroom and has already notched a qualifying SAT score, but may take them again “just because he wasn’t happy with the scores the first time around. He wants to improve them,” Polykoff said.

Jefferson’s father is Malcolm Musgrove, who once played basketball at Delaware State.

Elsewhere:

UConn's Andre Drummond has been named one of 12 players honored as preseason candidates for the Wayman Tisdale Award, which will be given to the nation's top freshman.

The candidates are:

Bradley Beal, Florida (G, 6-3, 207, Fr., St. Louis, Mo.)
Chane Behanan, Louisville (F, 6-6, 245, Fr., Cincinnati, Ohio)
Khem Birch, Pittsburgh (F, 6-9, 220, Fr., Montreal, Quebec)
Anthony Davis, Kentucky (F, 6-10, 220, Fr., Chicago, Ill.)
Andre Drummond, Connecticut (C, 6-10, 270, Fr., Middletown, Conn.)
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky (F, 6-7, 232, Fr., Somerdale, N.J.)
Le'Bryan Nash, Oklahoma State (G/F, 6-7, 230, Fr., Dallas, Texas)
Austin Rivers, Duke (G, 6-4, 200, Fr., Winter Park, Fla.)
Marquis Teague, Kentucky (G, 6-2, 189, Fr., Indianapolis, Ind.)
Adonis Thomas, Memphis (F/G, 6-6, 222, Fr., Memphis, Tenn.)
Josiah Turner, Arizona (G, 6-3, 192, Fr., Sacramento, Calif.)
Cody Zeller, Indiana (F, 6-11, 230, Fr., Washington, Ind.)

The USBWA has chosen a national freshman of the year since the 1988-89 season when LSU's Chris Jackson was the recipient. Other previous winners of the award include Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Jason Kidd and Chris Webber. Last season, Ohio State's Jared Sullinger won the inaugural Wayman Tisdale Award.

The Tisdale Award winner will receive a statuette designed by nationally-recognized sculptor Shan Gray. A permanent Wayman Tisdale Award is on display at the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.

The late Wayman Tisdale was a three-time USBWA All-American at the University of Oklahoma. Following a stint on the 1984 U.S. Olympic basketball team, he played 12 seasons in the NBA before retiring in 1997 to focus on a blossoming jazz music career. In March 2007, he was diagnosed with cancer and, following a courageous and difficult battle that included the amputation of his right leg in 2008, he passed away in May 2009.

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January 3, 2012 at 1:26 PM 

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