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Damien Jefferson sixth to transfer from Lobo hoops

And now, we’re at six.

Sophomore-to-be wing Damien Jefferson on Sunday announced he, too, will transfer from the University of New Mexico men’s basketball program.

The 6-foot-5 guard announced his decision on Twitter one day after point guard Jordan Hunter revealed he will transfer from first-year head coach Paul Weir’s program.

Jefferson becomes the sixth scholarship player with eligibility remaining to announce he will transfer from UNM since the end of the season, leaving the roster with five returning players, four newcomers and four open scholarships.

“After long talks and deep prayer with my parents, I have decided that I will be transferring from the University of New Mexico,” Jefferson wrote on his Twitter account. “This organization has been instrumental in my path as I got nothing but love from my teammates and coaches. I’d like to thank Coach Neal, Coach Huss, Coach Harriman, Coach Rencher and the entire faculty and coaching staff for the previous year. Also, thank you lobo fans for the love and support y’all showed throughout the year. Thank you!”

Jefferson played in 29 games this past season for UNM, starting six times. In 15.1 minutes per game, he averaged 5.3 points and 2.3 rebounds. He scored double figures six times with a high of 14 points on Feb. 14 vs. Boise State.

He, like several other players, considered transferring earlier in the spring after the season. Craig Neal was fired March 31 and Paul Weir hired April 11. At that point, Sam Logwood and Anthony Mathis, both of whom had previously announced they’d leave, decided to return.

Jefferson was discussing a possible transfer before Neal’s firing and was still considering a move while getting to know Weir and the new coaching staff.

With his departure, the UNM roster is void of any freshmen (none are signed to join the team) or sophomores (Jefferson was the last) for the 2017-18 season.

Jefferson, the son of former Lobo Everette “Highway” Jefferson (1979-80), has not said where he plans to transfer.

He was recruited out of East Chicago (Ind.) Central High School and was rated a top 150 recruit one year ago.

The six players who have transferred and where they are going are:

• Jefferson, guard, TBD
• Hunter, point guard, TBD
• Elijah Brown, shooting guard, Oregon
• Xavier Adams, wing, Pittsburg (Kan.) State University
• Jalen Harris, point guard, Arkansas
• Aher Uguak, wing, Loyola-Chicago

The four players, all transfers, UNM has signed so far, and where they are transferring from, are:

• Antino Jackson, point guard, Akron
• Chris McNeal, point guard, Indian Hills (Iowa) Community College
• Jachai Simmons, forward, Midland (Texas) College
• Troy Simmons, guard, Polk State College (Florida)

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