``I just wanted to stay home," said the 6-foot-8 ½, 215-pound forward. "I like the coaching staff and I know a bunch of the players on the team."
``I like Coach (Tim) Floyd a lot," he added. "I was surprised at how well the team is doing this year because I never got to see him in the NBA. I think he's a real good coach."
``I think I'll have a better chance of making an impact at USC," Jefferson said. "But it was important for me to stay close to home. That was the biggest thing."
``I want to go to college and have fun," he added. "I don't see going to the NBA happening anymore."
Jefferson went into the season at Patterson School (N.C.) as the most talked about prep to NBA candidate, but his reputation took a hit at an event in November in Rhode Island.
``It was real rough, probably the roughest time I've ever had," Jefferson said of the expectations he faced this season. "It all came too quickly. This was my fourth year playing and it just came too quick. I wasn't expecting all that pressure and all the people in my ear all the time."
``I didn't think it was going to be that hard," he added. "People asking me that question all the time."
Jefferson left Patterson about a month ago and is currently taking correspondence courses in an effort to qualify academically to play next season as a freshman.
According to sources, Jefferson's chances are about 50-50 of being eligible for the Trojans next year.
``I'm working on a couple of core classes," he said. "I don't have too much to do. I'm confident I'm going to qualify academically."