Tatum, Giles: On Package Deal and UNC

Harry Giles and Jayson Tatum are both Top 3 prospects in the class of 2016 and have openly discussed the possibility of playing together at the next level. In light of Tatum's announcement of finalists, Inside Carolina pursued the duo's latest status.

HAMPTON, Va. – There’s a chance Harry Giles and Jayson Tatum play basketball at the same college.

If it does happen, it will be because each family individually assessed their situation and determined the same school was the best fit for them.

A package deal they are not.

“It’s still where it was a long time ago, not a package,” said Justin Tatum, Jayson’s father and a former player at St. Louis. “It’s just good friends and good relationships between both families and we’re going to do what’s best for our kids.”

Jayson Tatum is further along the recruiting process than Giles. Last Friday, he announced Kentucky, UNC, Duke and St. Louis as his four finalists.

It was a move that surprised Giles.

“It caught me off guard,” the 6-10 Winston-Salem native said. “I saw some people talking about it, I went to Twitter and I saw his list.”

When asked about him and Tatum ultimately picking the same school, Giles responded: “We’ll see… We’ll see. He might have made it a little harder on me.”

Jayson Tatum put it this way: "We talk of course about what schools are both recruiting us but we first both look at it from the perspective of what’s best for each of us so that if Harry feels like he likes one school that’s best for him and I like another that I feel is best for me, then we’ll go our separate ways but if we find a school that fits the both of us and that we feel like we both could do well at, then we could go there."

His father added: “I think they might have one or two schools in common, but Harry has like Vegas (UNLV) and Ohio State on there. But they got similar main ones I believe, Duke and North Carolina. So they have something in common.”

The impetus for Jayson Tatum announcing his top four schools was a conversation with Mike Krzyzewski.

“After that visit with Coach K, he noticed some of the schools that were on his list he wasn’t seriously considering going to,” explained Justin Tatum. “He wanted to not waste other people’s time and get to the point."

Some were surprised UNC made Jayson Tatum’s final list, considering he’s visited St. Louis multiple times, taken an official visit to Duke and unofficial to Kentucky yet never visited Chapel Hill.

“He’s (Roy Williams) been recruiting me for a few years now,” Jayson Tatum said. “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.”

The Tatum family and UNC staff are working on setting up a visit.

“We tried to get with Coach (Williams) and asked ‘What’s the best time?’” Justin Tatum said. “Obviously they want us to come when something is going on. We don’t really care if something is going on or not, it’s just a chance to get him up there. So we’re in the process of still trying to work that out. We want to come, Coach Williams and Steve (Robinson) and those guys are going to make sure we get up there.”

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