Tatum shines at shootout

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Jayson Tatum, Scout.com's No. 2 recruit in the 2016 class, was the main attraction at Lexington (Ky.) Catholic's Goodfellas Pizzeria Shootout on Saturday.

Up against the host school, Jayson Tatum certainly lived up to expectations. Tatum led St. Louis (Mo.) Chaminade College Prep to a win and scored 21 points and reeled in nine rebounds in the process.

While his scoring and rebounding was impressive, it was his ball skills, passing and overall feel for the game that stood out the most to me. Tatum created shot opportunities for teammates and played an unselfish brand of basketball.

"I'm not just a scorer," Tatum explained. "Coach tells me to try and get a triple-double every game and most of the time I get a double-double and sometimes I get a triple-double. That's what I try to do – score points and get rebounds and get my teammates involved as well."

While he won't be classified as a point guard, because of Tatum's ball skills, he spends quite a bit of time on the ball for Chaminade College Prep. He looked comfortable in that role.

"Sometimes I don't bring it up because they double-team me so I have to give the ball up," he said. "Coach likes me to go down to the mid-post and catch the ball down there."

Kentucky's John Calipari and a pair of assistants were at the game. Tatum stopped by their campus on Saturday.

"I thought my teammates were more excited, but this was my second time being here so I kind of knew where everything was," Tatum said.

The Wildcats are one of many schools that have prioritized Tatum.

"They offered me pretty early, after Boo Williams this past summer," he said about UK. "The way they run practice shows a lot because coach Cal has superstars on his team and he still pushes them to the limit and challenges them every day. That showed me a lot."

Much like Kentucky, North Carolina offered Tatum early.

"They told me that Harry Giles is the youngest person they offered and I'm second after that," he said about UNC. "That meant a lot to me for them to take a chance on me at such a young age. I'm just going to keep working and get better."

To go with Kentucky and North Carolina, Tatum said Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Florida, Michigan State, Ohio State, Duke, Indiana, St. Louis, Memphis and Marquette are showing serious interest.

Tatum's latest unofficial visits were to Illinois and Missouri.

"I went to Illinois," Tatum said. "That was great. I was there all day that Saturday with my father. Getting to watch them practice and workout and go through the campus. That was great."

"I went to a Mizzou football game," he added. "That was real fun being in that environment and seeing the fans. I had a great time."

With his sophomore season in full swing, Tatum isn't planning to take any visits in the near future.

"I don't have any set or planned right now," Tatum said. "Probably after the season is over."

Tatum, who won't turn 16 until March 3rd, said he's not rushing his recruitment and likely won't make a decision until late in his high school career.

"I'm just taking it one step at a time," he explained. "It's still really early. I got three more years of high school. I'll make a decision sometime during my senior year."

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