Junior Trojans Standout Recently Received Offers from Six D1 Schools
NORTH EDISON, NJ—While St. Thomas Aquinas’ Quadry Adams committed to Wake Forest prior to the start of the 2019-20 season, and fellow Trojans teammate and sophomore, Jaquan Harris also getting D1 offers in the fall from Auburn and Rutgers, junior newcomer Tristian Jefferies has also been collecting his share of D1 scholarship offers. Jefferies, who previously attended Hudson Catholic and Gill St. Bernard’s, has received offers from six different D1 schools: Robert Morris, Manhattan, NJIT, Columbia, Stony Brook, and Bryant.
Jefferies, who most recently received an offer from Robert Morris this week, was the final ingredient to a St. Thomas Aquinas boys basketball team that won its first MCT/GMCT Championship in 28 years, claimed its second straight GMC Blue Division title, and finished the season at 23-5 overall. Playing in only 15 games, Jefferies was still quite productive by making 52 field goals, 21 threes, and 37 foul shots for a total of 204 points. He also collected 97 rebounds, 45 assists, 39 steals, and 5 blocks to average 13.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 2.6 steals per contest according to stats compiled at NJ.com.
The St. Thomas Aquinas junior, who earned a number of honors in the 2020 GMC Hoops Awards, scored in double figures in 12 of the 15 games he played for the Trojans this season. He also collected double digit rebounds in two games including a season high 21 point, 13 rebound performance for his only double double of the season in a 90-67 victory over Executive Academy Charter from Allentown, Pennsylvania at the 2020 MLK Roundball Classic at New Brunswick High School on January 20th.
Jefferies also recorded a season high 6 assists in a 104-46 victory over Spotswood at home on January 24th, and a season high 6 steals twice versus Metuchen (won 77-49) on January 22nd, and against South Plainfield (89-49) on January 29th. Two days after that South Plainfield game, Jefferies made his GMC Hoops debut in a hard fought 68-64 victory over Blue Division arch rival Carteret, where he scored 16 points, grabbed 6 rebounds, and collected 3 assists, and 3 steals. He would make three more appearances under the GMC Hoops spotlight.
All of those appearances occurred during St. Thomas Aquinas’ run in the 2020 GMCT including 7 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals in a 55-43 win over Colonia in the GMCT Elite Eight, 9 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal in a 72-55 victory over Edison in the GMCT Final Four, and a personal tourney best 16 points along with 7 boards in a 63-52 victory over South Brunswick in the GMCT Championship. In total, Jefferies made 7 field goals, 4 threes, and 16 free throws for a total of 42 points along with 25 rebounds, 8 assists, 5 steals, and a block over four GMCT games to average 11.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.3 steals per game in the tourney.
As a freshman at Hudson Catholic, Jefferies made 12 field goals, two threes, and five foul shots for a total of 35 points along with 19 rebounds, 6 steals, 5 assists, and 4 blocks in 15 games for an average of 2.3 points and 1.3 rebounds per game for the Hawks. During his sophomore year at Gill, Jefferies played in only 8 games, but was still very productive and helped the Knights win the 2019 Somerset County Tournament Championship by making 25 field goals, 9 threes, and 13 free throws for a total of 90 points along with 39 rebounds, 16 assists, 10 steals, and a block for an average of 11.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.3 steals per contest.
Over his first three years in high school, Jefferies played in just 38 games, but still managed to make 89 field goals, 32 three pointers, and 55 foul shots for a total of 329 points along with 155 rebounds, 66 assists, 55 steals, and 10 blocks, or an average of 8.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. Prior to the 2019-20 season, Jefferies was selected to the 2019 Celtics Fall League All-Star Game in Elizabeth along with Aquinas teammates Adams and Harris.
Robert Morris, which competes in the Northeast Conference along with the likes of FDU and LIU-Brooklyn, finished 20-14 overall including a 13-5 mark in conference play this past season. Manhattan, a member of the MAAC with the likes of Iona, St. Peter’s, Monmouth, and Rider, was 13-18 overall including an 8-12 record in conference this past season. NJIT, which competes in the Atlantic Sun conferences with the likes of Liberty, Lipscomb, and Florida Gulf Coast, finished 9-21 overall including a 6-10 mark in the A-Sun this season after reaching the CIT Quarterfinals in 2018-19.
Columbia, which is currently coached by Jim Engles, who had served as the NJIT men’s coach several years ago, was 6-24 overall including a 1-13 mark in the Ivy League in 2019-20. Stony Brook, a member of the American East Conference along with the likes of the University of Albany, Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire, was 20-13 overall including a 10-6 record in conference play. Bryant, which was a NCAA D2 school in the Northeast-10 at one time, and now competes in the Northeast Conference with Robert Morris, was 15-17 overall and 7-11 in conference play this past season.
Some former GMC players that have played for NJIT include: Dan Stonkus (South Brunswick), Jonathan Dixon (St. Joseph’s), and Rob Ukawuba (East Brunswick). Marques Townes (Cardinal McCarrick/St. Joseph’s) played for FDU before transferring to Loyola-Chicago, and Iverson Fleming (North Brunswick) played for LIU-Brooklyn of the Northeast Conference. Brandon Hall (Colonia) played at St. Peter’s in the MAAC while former St. Peter’s High School standout, Mars Mellish played at Manhattan in the MAAC. Marqus Blakely (Metuchen) played at Vermont of the American East Conference while Woodbridge High School’s all-time leading scorer, Buck Jenkins, played at Columbia.
Congratulations Tristian, on receiving all of these D1 offers, and best of luck next season and beyond.