By Kyle Daubs
By halftime Saturday, Drake Jeffries confirmed that he was the real deal.
The 2017 Mattoon High School product broke onto the NCAA Division I scene Saturday by scoring 19 points in Wyoming’s basketball win over Mississippi Valley State.
Jeffries nailed five 3-point shots and made 6 of 15 overall from long range in Wyoming’s 97-61 season-opener victory.
Jeffries’ 19 points are the most points scored by a Coles County basketball player since Joey Miller dropped 28 points against UT-Martin for Eastern Illinois University in 2012.
The 6-foot-5 swingman added eight rebounds, two assists, and two steals in 35 minutes of action.
“I just was super excited to put on that Wyoming on my chest and play for the state,” Jeffries told the Casper Star Tribune. “It’s one of the best feelings I’ve ever had honestly. It’s taken me a long time to get here to the Division I level, and I finally made it. I’m glad with where I’m at. It’s just a blessing.”
Jeffries spent last season at Indian Hills Community College in Iowa and was considered a three-star recruit by Rivals.com. He was a First-Team All-Region member after averaging 9.8 points per game. Jeffries was considered one of the best 3-point shooters in the nation with a 45% success rate.
Jeffries helped his team earn a second team in the national tournament before COVID-19 shut the season down.
Before Indian Hills, Jeffries redshirted and played one season at Minot State in North Dakota where he averaged 6.4 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. At Mattoon, Jeffries was a two-time All-Apollo Conference basketball team selection and he also finished 11th in the triple jump at the state track and field meet.