Jayson Tatum, a 6-foot-7 sophomore forward from St. Louis Chaminade High who has already received scholarship offers from Kansas University and Missouri, has been ranked No. 4 in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.com.
The initial rankings for high school sophs were released Wednesday by Rivals.com’s Eric Bossi.
Of Tatum, who was headline performer at the recent KC Prep Invitational in Shawnee, Bossi writes: “Tatum is a highly skilled wing player capable of playing multiple positions. At times he will remind you of a young Shaun Livingston while others it is like watching Kyle Anderson at a young age. More and more he is developing into the ‘point forward’ role, and his playmaking and desire to make big shots during clutch situations is off the charts. His high school has produced stud prospects such as Bradley Beal and NBA All-Star David Lee, and Tatum looks to be next in line.”
Josh Jackson (6-6, Detroit Consortium), Harry Giles (6-9, High Point, N.C. Wesleyan) and Thon Maker (7-foot, Martinsville, Va., Carlisle) are ranked Nos. 1 to 3.
Blackmon sets UM visit: James Blackmon Jr., a 6-3 shooting guard from Marion (Ind.) High, who visited with KU’s Bill Self on Tuesday and received a Jayhawk scholarship offer, will make an official visit to the University of Michigan the weekend of Sept. 27, UMhoops.com reports.
He originally committed to Indiana before his freshman year of high school, but reopened his recruitment in August. He’s had in-homes with Self, Kentucky’s John Calipari, North Carolina’s Roy Williams, Indiana’s Tom Crean and Michigan’s John Beilein.
Blackmon has taken unofficial visits to Michigan, Michigan State, Kentucky, Louisville and Indiana since the decommitment, UM Hoops reports. He said he wants to visit Michigan, KU, Kentucky and Indiana.
Self in Texas: KU coach Self on Wednesday again raced from 6 to 7 a.m. Boot Camp to an in-home visit, this one in Texas with Myles Turner, 6-11, 225 senior from Trinity High in Euless. The No. 6-rated player in the Class of 2014 lists KU, Duke, Kentucky, Louisville, Arizona, Ohio State, Texas and Oklahoma State. Turner had planned on attending Late Night in the Phog on Oct. 4, but recently accepted an invitation to attend the USA Developmental National Team mini-camp on Oct. 4-7. Thus he will have to reschedule.
Deep team: One can envision a scenario in which Bill Self’s six incoming freshmen, plus transfer Tarik Black and red-shirt frosh Landen Lucas, all make the rotation this season. Self also has returnees including Perry Ellis, Naadir Tharpe, Jamari Traylor and Andrew White III. It all adds up to what ESPN.com calls the “nation’s deepest team.”
KU is followed on the deepest team list by Louisville, Florida, Duke, Virginia, Harvard, St. John’s, SMU, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Kentucky and Villanova.
“It’s not exactly the 2008 national title team in terms of talent and quality depth, but Bill Self has plenty of players who can help,” writes Jeff Goodman. “It starts with freshmen Andrew Wiggins, Wayne Selden and Joel Embiid, continues with sophomore Perry Ellis and senior big man Tarik Black, and also includes junior guard Naadir Tharpe. Sophomore Andrew White is talented and Jamari Traylor can serve a role — as can big man Landen Lucas. There are also three freshman guards who can all play: Frank Mason, Brannen Greene and Conner Frankamp. Senior Justin Wesley, who averaged nearly 10 minutes a game two seasons ago, returns after missing last season due to injuries. The quality of the bench remains somewhat unknown, but that’s still 13 players if you’re counting at home.”