By Brian Feldman, News 4 Sports
This afternoon I sat down at Chaminade with 2016 star Jayson Tatum, probably the best high school basketball player in the country in his class. Officially, his “Final Four” schools are Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky and – yes – Saint Louis University.
SLU is in contention with the big boys of the ACC and the SEC to land the premier player in the country next year.
“A lot of people (say to me) ‘SLU? Really?' I'm dead serious about it,” Tatum said today.
Sure, there are some family ties because Tatum's father, Justin, went there and the family is exceptionally close. But make no mistake about it. This would be one of the greatest recruiting upsets in history if the 6'8” guard/forward stays home and attends SLU, even if it's just for a year before leaving for the NBA.
“I know how much it would mean for my family and for the city of St. Louis if someone my caliber of talent were to stay home and play for SLU. It'd be a big deal,” Tatum said.
The top recruit in the country, as ranked by ESPN, says he'll likely decide which school he'll go to in the next month or two. It'll definitely be before school starts in the fall. Interestingly enough, Tatum said he's down to two schools (though he wouldn't officially say which two they were).
Reading between the lines, Tatum talked a ton about SLU and Duke. He cited concern over North Carolina's pending academic issues with the NCAA. Many who follow the situation strongly believe Tatum is deciding between staying home (and being a Billiken) and going to play for Duke and legendary head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Will the local star stay local and be that St. Louis kid who didn't go away like David Lee, Bradley Beal and Jordan Barnett among others?
As they say…stay tuned…