The MOsports.com staff with the help of top basketball talent evaluators from around the Show Me State have put together a list of the Top 50 players in Missouri. This was a difficult process to find the top players in the state, regardless of class. Players were evaluated on current level of skill, and potential at the next level.
Jayson Tatum entered his freshman season at Chaminade (St. Louis) High School with as much anticipation as some of the top players to ever suit up in the Show-Me State.
Entering his freshman year with the pressure of living up to Brad Beal, a Chaminade alum or Tyler Hansbrough who was a Missouri prep star before moving on to North Carolina and the NBA can be a lot to live up to, however Tatum was more than up to the challenge in his inaugural season.
Tatum, a 6-foot-6 inch, guard/forward for the Red Devils enters the MOsports.com Super 50 as our first freshman selection this season following an ultra successful campaign in which he started for Chaminade, helped them to the Metro Catholic league crown and into the MSHSAA playoffs.
"Jayson is a very gifted player", commented Chaminade head coach Kelvin Lee. "The son of a former SLU standout and Soldan coach, Justin Tatum, he has a serious upside. Being 6-6 he is a matchup problem for opponents."
This season Tatum shared Player of the Year honors in the Metro Catholic Conference. He averaged 13 points per game, connected on 42% of his shots from the field, including 32% from beyond the arc (16/51) and 79% (99/126) from the free throw line.
Capable of scoring inside, outside, and setting up others with his playmaking ability on the perimeter Tatum show flashes of brilliance in just his first varsity season. Finishing games with "buzzer beating" shots for victories, he showed maturity beyond his years.
"He can play 4 positions", added Lee who coached at the Division I level prior to his stint at Chaminade. "He has the ball-handling skills to play the point, shooting ability to play off guard and wing, and has post up skills to play the 4 position. Once he gets stronger, the sky is the limit for him."
In addition to his scoring, Tatum dished 3.38 assists, grabbed a pair of steals per night, and finished the season with 38 blocks. An all-state selection by the Missouri Sportswriters and Sportscasters, Tatum was one of twenty-three of the nation's top 16-and-under male basketball players who earned selection to the 2013-14 USA Basketball Men's Developmental National Team.
"He has a bright future", exclaimed Lee. "He has offers from Mizzou, Kansas, Illinois, SLU and Florida. Ohio St, Indiana, Iowa, Villanova, Kansas St and Xavier and a host of others have Jayson on their radar."
In the coming years the interest in Tatum will only grow statewide as his national reputation continues to grow. Living up to high expectations seems to be no problem for the hard working prep.