According to Daniel Carp of DukeChronicle.com, Jefferson has already added 20 lbs. to his frame since the end of this past season. He is now up to 214 pounds. and his goal is to be at 220 pounds by the beginning of next season. The extra muscle should make a huge difference when Jefferson is having to bang against post players like UVA’s Akil Mitchell or Maryland’s Shaquille Cleare.
Last season, Amile Jefferson was a 6’8”, 180-pound freshman who stepped up when Ryan Kelly went down because of a foot injury. Jefferson started seven games and proved to be a valuable contributor with his energy and ability to make plays around the rim. He occasionally had trouble with fouls but still averaged 4.0 points and 2.9 rebounds in just under 13 minutes per game on the season.
Next season, it’s looking like Jefferson could emerge as the team’s fifth starter. Most people are projecting Quinn Cook, Rasheed Sulaimon, Rodney Hood and Jabari Parker as the other four starters, but there’s been debate about who the fifth man would be.
With Marshall Plumlee and Josh Hairston still recovering from offseason surgeries, Jefferson has been able to build his strength and work on his game.
Despite only being 6’8”, the rising sophomore from Philadelphia, Pa., also posses a 7’1” wingspan, which helps make up for his lack of height. He’s also extremely quick with his feet and has a knack for finding the ball in traffic.
He’s even working to expand his offensive game, telling the Duke Chronicle, “I’ve been feeling really comfortable shooting that 15-foot jump shot.”
It’s clear he’s building his confidence and his strength for next season. And if he continues to progress, Amile Jefferson will be the final piece to a very dangerous starting lineup for the Blue Devils.
| || || |