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Michigan basketball targeting Saint Mary's transfer Joshua Jefferson

clayton-sayfieby:Clayton Sayfie04/11/24


Dusty May hires Justin Joyner to Staff & word on transfer portal targets

Michigan Wolverines basketball has an obvious tie with Saint Mary’s forward transfer Joshua Jefferson, and the Maize and Blue have reached out to express their interest in his services.

On3’s Jamie Shaw reported that Jefferson is set to take visits to Virginia (April 12), Iowa State (April 19) and VCU (April 26). UNLV will conduct an in-home visit at some point. U-M, Clemson, SMU, Georgia and TCU have also reached out.

Michigan head man Dusty May has reportedly hired Saint Mary’s associate head coach Justin Joyner as an assistant, giving the Wolverines a potential X-factor in his recruitment.

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Jefferson is the No. 78 overall player and 17th-best small forward in the transfer portal, according to On3’s rankings. He played two seasons with the Gaels and has two years of eligibility remaining.

The 6-foot-8, 220-pounder started all 26 games in which he appeared for Saint Mary’s last season. He averaged 10.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game, while shooting 54.1 percent on twos (85-of-157), 27.6 percent on threes (16-of-68) and 72.3 percent on free throws (34-of-47).

“I have a point forward-type skill set,” Jefferson told On3. “I’m best as a playmaker and showing my all-around game. I’m a three-level scorer and can defend one through four on the court.

“I watch a lot of [Orlando Magic forward] Paolo Banchero and [Minnesota Timberwolves center] Naz Reid — bigger forwards who can put it on the floor and score with their back to the basket or shoot it.”

Last season, Jefferson was used in spot-up situations, producing just 0.653 points per possession, and also post-ups, generating 0.942 points per trip (including passes). The latter mark ranked in the 59th percentile in the country.

Jefferson made a whopping 66.3 percent of his shots at the rim, slotting in the 83rd percentile in the nation. The Michigan transfer target also converted on 38.7 percent of his hook shots (37th percentile).

Saint Mary’s posted a 26-8 record and earned a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament, where it fell to No. 12 seed Grand Canyon in the first round.

The Las Vegas, Nev., native played in 34 games off the bench as a freshman in 2022-23. He averaged 2.2 points and 1.4 rebounds in 8.1 minutes per contest, shooting 43.4 percent from the field and 31 percent on 29 three-point attempts.

An unranked recruit in the 2022 class, Jefferson attended Las Vegas (Nev.) Liberty. He averaged 17.7 points per game during his senior season, leading the Patriots to their first-ever Class 5A state championship.

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