"I never thought we were going to lose. I have faith in myself and in my teammates and it showed in the end and we came out and won this game," Tatum said.
Tatum Drops 40; Talks Duke & Future
CHICAGO -- Duke Class of 2016 commit Jayson Tatum is off to a great start with Chaminade this season and he caught up with TDD at the Chicago Elite Classic.
The national two-day shootout, played at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, gave the St. Louis powerhouse a quality win over Miller Grove, a Georgia state title contender.
In the game, Tatum went for 40 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and three blocks as he went 15-for-16 from the free-throw line to help his team close out a tight win.
The win put Chaminade at 2-1 on the season, as they blew out McCluer North and lost a close game to Oak Hill. Tatum had 30 points while battling foul trouble against McCluer North and put up 27 points and 12 rebounds in the loss to Oak Hill.
One of his overall improvements has been his 3-pointer, which looks more polished and consistent. Tatum said he's been working on improving his perimeter jumper after slowly revamping other parts of his game.
"[I've] really worked on my shot over the course of three games. Shooting the ball from 3 and just trying to be aggressive from the beginning. Attack and put pressure on the defense," Tatum said.
"Every morning before school I just work out with consistent repetition."
In his free time, Tatum tries to watch the Blue Devils this season to get a feel for the roster and support his future team.
"They're young. They have a lot of talent and I think they've been picking it up a lot lately. Guys like Brandon Ingram are starting to play a lot better. He's one of the best players in college basketball and Grayson Allen has been really playing like a leader," Tatum said. Amile Jefferson and Matt Jones are the upperclassman [doing well] and Coach K has been doing a great job."
As a member of the Class of 2016, Tatum is in a monster class for the Blue Devils that includes five-star forward Harry Giles, five-star point guard Frank Jackson and four-star forward Javin DeLaurier.
"I'm looking forward to it a lot," Tatum said. "To play for Coach K is a dream come true, it really is. We're going to have one of the best recruiting classes in the country. We're going to work hard and have a lot of fun this year."
While Duke is going to compete for the No. 1 class once again, Tatum is still working to get one more piece to come for next season.
"We're really trying to get Marques Bolden, he's the last guy on the list that would really put us over the top," Tatum said. "We're really working hard to get him to come here."
Chaminade is a favorite to win a Missouri state title and they'll play a national schedule this season that includes the prestigious City of Palms Holiday Tournament and the Hoophall Classic in January.
If Tatum continues to put up big numbers he'll be in strong consideration for national player of the year.
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