The 6-foot-2 shooting guard has a stocky frame and doesn't look the part, but his game has piqued the interest of coaches and scouts. The young guard is known as a dead-eye shooter, but what has really made him stand out when playing top competition on the AAU circuit is his ultra-competitiveness and toughness. Hatton plays with the swagger of an east coast city kid, and not a teenager in the suburbs of Kentucky. When the stakes and competition have risen, so has Hatton's play.
Hatton first broke out onto the scene after the Fab 50 freshman camp in Chicago when he was one of the 20 players named to the All-American game from the camp. At the time, schools from the Atlantic-10, along with the Big East, Big 12, Pac 10, Horizon and ACC were all calling on him. However, things slowed down as far as his recruitment is concerned this past summer after he sprained his ankle early in the summer and then came back and recovered, while running with a new loaded Louisville Magic squad that features Xavier targets D'Angelo Russell, Trey Grundy and Jordan Green. Trying to fit in on a new team with other high-level scoring options, resulted in fewer opportunities and much lower numbers than usual.
Right now, Hatton says he has been receiving real interest from Oklahoma State, Xavier and Butler along with a few other schools. The most recent team to check him out was Xavier, as the Musketeers' staff took in one of his games last week. Hatton scored 16 points in the contest and showed off his all-around game that makes him an intriguing prospect.
His numbers are slightly down after starting the year slowly, but Hatton's strength is his shooting ability. He has shot well over 40 percent in year's past, but is just over 35 now for this season. His range extends beyond the 3-point line, and his release has gotten quicker in the last year or so. While his athleticism isn't good, it's somewhat sneaky and the general consensus seems to be that it's better than most people originally thought. This has been helped by Hatton performing extra conditioning exercises everyday after practice to drop some weight. His change of pace and quick first step make him tough to stay in front of as well, despite him not having the best speed or leaping ability.
Hatton is not just a spot-up shooter either. He started at point guard as an eight grader at the varsity level, and has a tight handle with a nice crossover. He scores off the dribble well, and even uses his strength to bully defenders inside to get off short jumpers or fade-aways. He also has a good natural feel with great vision when passing.
Hatton made his first college visit last year when he visited Xavier on New Year's Eve for the Florida game. It looks like he'll be making his second trip to the Cintas Center when Xavier takes on Dayton this Saturday.
Because of his body, Hatton is probably the type of kid that will be evaluated for a while by all different types of schools, before he receives many offers. His development, including whether he grows another inch or two or not, will determine his future.
Currently though, he's making a name for himself by scoring points. Hatton scored his 1000th varsity point last year as a freshman, and will graduate high school as one of the areas most prolific scorers. After making clutch three after clutch three and leading Dixie to their first regional title in 57 years in last year's 9th Region finals game that went into four overtimes, he's starting to build his legend as a clutch performer as well. He's won two more games this year in clutch fashion, on a game-winning shot and by getting fouled on a three at the buzzer and then making all three free-throws.