USC: Davon Jefferson

Video: Catching up with Davon Jefferson

July, 27, 2011
One of the more odd stories of the past few years of USC basketball involved freshman phenom Davon Jefferson and his curious decision to join O.J. Mayo as a one-and-done following the 2007-2008 season in Troy.

Mayo went third overall; Jefferson, a potential first-rounder who averaged 12 points and six rebounds as a freshman, went undrafted. Since then, he's spent two years with Maccabi Haifa in Israel, part of it alongside Jeremy Tyler, and a year with AVSEL Villeurbanne in France. Earlier this month, he signed another one-year deal with Russian league squad BC Triumph Lyubertsy -- not exactly what he envisioned when leaving school early and not exactly what many college basketball pundits envisioned for a national top-10 recruit out of high school.

But so it goes. Jefferson put up solid numbers last season in France, averaging 18.5 points and 7.4 rebounds in 34 games. He's also spent a couple summers in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas but has yet to latch on with a NBA team for any significant period of time.

While home from Europe for the summer, Jefferson underwent platelet-rich plasma therapy on an injured knee in Vancouver, Canada, which sidelined him for a few weeks. Now recovered, he made his organized-basketball debut last weekend at the Drew League in South L.A., near his hometown of Lynwood. The 6-8, 215-pound Jefferson looked as athletic as ever in Drew action as he led his team against a potent squad made up of Denver Nuggets' first-round selection Jordan Hamilton and two other former NBA players.

Asked afterward about his year with the Trojans, Jefferson was at first a bit defensive.

"It was cool, I enjoyed it," he said. "That's all I got to say about that."

Then, with a little bit of prodding, he opened up a bit.

"All positive memories," Jefferson said. "I still got a lot of people I talk to from USC, got a lot of friends, a lot of important people I met and got to know over the years. I enjoyed it, you know what I mean?

"One good year."

Here's a full one-on-one video conversation with the 24-year-old Jefferson:

Stories from summer league

July, 12, 2010
A few anecdotes and some video to pass on from the blog's two-day stay in Las Vegas, spent catching up with three former Trojans in action for their NBA squads in summer-league play:
  • First, a great one-on-one with Marcus Johnson, in which the former Trojan high-flyer explained why -- why he thought, at least -- Suns summer-league point guard extraordinaire Zabian Dowdell didn't pass him the ball at one point in Saturday's game for what had the makings of another one of the spectacular alley-oop dunks Johnson pulled down so often at USC. Kevin Arnovitz details it over on ESPN's TrueHoop blog as well: "I mean, some guys aren't used to me, so they're not sure if I can jump or not, so I understand that," Johnson said. "But you think you can?" Johnson: "I mean, I know I can. I think you think I can too." Here's a video with Johnson, including that exchange and his assessment of his performance through two summer league games:
  • And here's the video with DeRozan, in which the 20-year-old swingman talks about what he expects out of the Raptors' 2010-2011 season. You can also see DeRozan's humorous response when asked if he enjoyed playing alongside former UCLA guard Michael Roll for Toronto during the summer. Keep in mind that Roll is sitting directly to DeRozan's right and listening to every word of the conversation after the Raptors beat the Suns 103-69:
  • Dwight Lewis, who went undrafted last month despite a fairly prolific four-year career at USC, latched on to the Rockets for the summer after flirting with playing for the Mavs' summer-league team. It's proven to be a good decision for Lewis so far, as he has been effective as a swingman behind Jermaine Taylor and Chase Budinger. Here's a video with Lewis, taken after his 10-point performance in Friday's 100-82 Rockets win over Johnson's Suns. Highlights include Lewis talking about the Pac-10 connection as former Cal guard Patrick Christopher did lay-up drills just behind him and Lewis' comments on Rockets' first-round selection Patrick Patterson:
  • And, lastly, a few other USC-related items of note: Lewis added to his solid performance on Friday with nine points Saturday off the Rockets' bench. Remember Davon Jefferson? The former one-and-done Trojan, who spent the last two seasons playing professionally in Israel after failing to make an NBA roster when he declared for the 2008 draft, has resurfaced on Miami's squad. He'll make his summer debut tonight at 7 p.m. With five Trojans playing in Las Vegas, the only left is O.J. Mayo, also a one-and-done Trojan. A 2008 first-round pick, Mayo will open up play for the Grizzlies at 7:30 p.m. on Monday.



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