Versatile Phenom

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. --- It didn't take long to figure out why Roy Williams was seated courtside for the 16U St. Louis Eagles game in his first day at the Peach Jam.

Six-foot-seven Jayson Tatum brought the ball up the floor, drove the left baseline and smoothly pivoted past two defenders for a lay-up.

Tatum, a rising sophomore from St. Louis (Mo.) Chaminade, has a versatile game.

"I'm the type of player that doesn't have a defined position," Tatum said. "Wherever my coach puts me I feel like I can excel. But I do feel very comfortable playing the point."

Point guard was the position he played in front of UNC's head coach. The selfless floor general role is one Tatum embraces.

"That's actually my favorite part of my game," Tatum said. "A lot of guys can score, but being able to be unselfish and find open teammates is very fun."

But he's also a scorer and a clutch performer.

With the Eagles trailing by nine points with just over four minutes left, Tatum led the comeback, ultimately hitting back-to-back floaters in the final minute, including the game-winner.

"Coach needed points and stops and he comes to me as the leader on the team and tells me to help me win the game," Tatum said. "He told me to get to the basket."

After watching Tatum play, it's not surprising to hear him cite the likes of Syracuse's Michael Carter-Williams and UCLA's Kyle Anderson as players he models his game after. They, like him, are oversized point guards.

Whether or not Tatum ends up playing the point guard role in college remains to be seen – especially since he's apparently not done growing - but he sees the advantages he has at multiple positions.

"I feel most comfortably playing the one or the three, and I feel I can post up as well," he said. "It's fun, it makes me a matchup problem for a big guy or a little guy."

Despite turning 15 only a few months ago, Tatum has already logged international experience – playing with the USA U16 National Team – and hauled in a number of scholarship offers, with many more sure to come.

"I've gotten offers from Mizzou, Kentucky, Illinois, SLU, Marquette, Florida, Memphis - I think that's it right now. I'm hearing from Indiana, Michigan State, North Carolina," he said.

A UNC assistant coach attended one of Tatum's high school games last season.

"I think it's just mild right now," he said of UNC's interest in him.

Roy Williams's presence at Tatum's Peach Jam game, and how he performed in that game, would appear to be a signal that the Tar Heels' level of interest is going to increase.

Jayson Tatum Profile

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