Originally Posted by Rowe
I guess I didn't watch enough Illinois games when he was there, because I just never saw any of that athletic ability. Whenever he came into the game he didn't stand out to me at all from a skill or athletic standpoint, in fact he looked outmatched playing against Big 10 backcourt players.
To me it seems like he'd have been better off going ahead to a MVC or Horizon Conference school in which he'd be facing players his level and that would give him some confidence in his game. I think he got torched by either Eric Gordon or Derrick Rose in HS on national TV, and that should've told him he needed to stick to the mid-major level.
I agree with the other dude in that Jeff lacked street hunger. Everything handed to him, and he doesn't have that drive that other players have to constantly prove themselves against "better players" because they're not scared of a challenge.
Well he was a preferred walk-on for us. I think he only received a scholarship offer from Valpo or other schools in that range out of high school. The reason you didn't get to see much athletic ability was that he wasn't that adept in basketball IQ. He didn't move well of the ball so you didn't see him cut for a dunk or alley-oop, and he didn't have much of a handle where he could blow by a guy for an athletic layup or dunk. He did have the ability to. He was fast as anyone we had. During the midnight madness you got to see some crazy dunks from Jeff during the dunk contest. Dude can jump. Even put on his dad's Jersey and did some of his signature dunks.
In fact, when Chester Fraizer graduated, he said that Jeff had the ability to be a better defender than he was, and that was 100% true. And if he had Chester's heart, he would've undoubtedly be a phenomenal player. However, few people in the world have the same amount of heart that Chester has. I miss that guy.