Tatum Talks Top Four

HAMPTON, Va. --- Jayson Tatum is one of the most coveted prospects in the 2016 class, but on Friday he surprised by narrowing his list down to just four schools. The St. Louis superstar wing discussed his reasoning, the inclusion of UNC and the status of the potential package deal.

Why did you decide to cut your list now from 10 down to four?
I really wanted to get more serious, coming into EYBL, and not try to waste anybody’s time. Focus in on the schools I’m most interested in so they could focus their attention instead of the other six schools.

People thought Kansas was pretty high up there, but they didn’t make the list …
I had reasons for what schools I didn’t put in and what schools I did. Really just who I have been in contact with the most, showing the most interest and who I feel most comfortable with.

What has Roy Williams done to stay so high up on your list?
He’s been recruiting me for a few years now. He just shows a lot of interest, coming all the way from North Carolina to see me play, coming to my school to talk to me, watching me work out with my team, talking to me and my parents a lot. That shows a lot.

How does it impact you to see him make that effort?
It impacts me a lot. Shows how much he cares and how badly he wants me to play there.

Did you and Harry talk before you came up with your top four?
We didn’t talk about my top four. I don’t even think he knew I was putting it out there.

You and Harry (Giles) have talked a lot about playing together, and UNC, Duke, Kentucky are on his list as well. How much conversation has there been about that?
There’s been quite a lot. We do have some schools on our list that are recruiting him and also recruiting me. Dennis (Smith) as well, but there’s some schools that are recruiting Dennis that aren’t recruiting us. First and foremost we look for what fits us individually the best and see how that can work for the both of us or all three of us.

You had an in-home with Duke last night, how did that go?
It went great. They just won the championship on Monday and the first day they could come out they came to see me. That really said a lot.

What did you learn recently about Duke?
I took a visit in the end of February, beginning of March. I got to learn a lot – see the campus, watch a game, watch how things work and things like that. … I didn’t know what to (expect), it was my first visit and I was just coming in with open eyes, ready to listen.

You’ve taken an official visit to Duke, and an in-home visit with Duke – and you haven’t done that with any other schools. Do you see how it can be perceived that Duke is ahead?
I can see that. They obviously are making the biggest push right now and showing the most interest, that they really want me – not that other schools don’t want me to come visit, they just make the extra effort it seems like.

Has North Carolina talked with you about a visit?
Yeah, North Carolina really wants me to visit and that’s something I’ve really wanted to do when I have free time.

Is that free time after the summer, in the fall?
I don’t really know yet. It could be before school’s out or coming up next fall.

When you picture the perfect college system, how do you want to be used?
Really not just one position – multiple positions on the floor where I can show my skills…

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