Tatum An Elite Target

LEXINGTON, Ky --- Roy Williams is selective with his scholarship offers, especially when it comes to underclassmen. And Jayson Tatum, an elite 2016 prospect out of St. Louis (Mo.) Chaminade College Prep, understands that.

So when Tatum picked up a scholarship from the Tar Heels before he started his sophomore season, he knew it was a big deal.

"They told me that Harry Giles is the youngest person they offered and I'm second after that," Tatum said. "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."

Williams and Tatum have kept in touch since the offer. The North Carolina head coach has also been by his school this season.

"It's been going real well," he said of UNC's interaction and recruitment of him. "We've been keeping in touch a lot. Roy Williams makes a statement and tries to show his face as much as possible and I appreciate that a lot."

The UNC head coach visited Tatum both in September and again in December.

What is Tatum's take on the Tar Heels?

"I like North Carolina a lot, especially their tradition," he said. "I just think Roy Williams is a wonderful coach."

UNC is far from the only school targeting Tatum. He also listed Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Florida, Michigan State, Ohio State, Duke, Indiana, St. Louis, Memphis and Marquette.

His last two 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."

Over the weekend Tatum played in Lexington (Ky.) Catholic's Goodfellas Pizzeria Shootout. While in Lexington, he and his teammates swung by Kentucky's campus.

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

Tatum said with his season in swing he doesn't have any other trips planned. When asked about a UNC visit, he said he doesn't have a date in the works.

"Yeah that's probably going to be a while because it's just so far from St. Louis," Tatum said about a trip to North Carolina.

At the Shootout event, Tatum impressed with his smooth and effortless game. He scored 21 points and reeled in nine rebounds in a win over the host school.

At 6-foot-7, Tatum is skilled and able to fill a variety of rolls. Perhaps what stood out the most was his overall feel for the game and passing ability. He also made jump shots both off the catch and dribble.

"I'm not just a scorer," Tatum said. "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."

Scout.com ranks Tatum, who won't turn 16 until March 3rd, as the No. 2 sophomore in the nation.

Jayson Tatum Profile


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