It is obviously still very early in the development of the players in the 2016 class, but one storyline is already beginning to take hold. There are some elite wings in the Midwest, and which one emerges as the best will be interesting to see.
Jayson Tatum, Josh Jackson, and V.J. King all rank in the top six in the country on the updated 2016 list, and all bring a little something different to the table.
Of the three, Tatum, from St. Louis, is the highest rated at No. 2 overall. He is the most skilled of the trio, but the least athletic. Still what Tatum can do on a basketball court is impressive. Quite honestly he can handle playing any of the three perimeter positions, and depending on how his body fills out in college he might even be able to play some at power forward as well given that he is already in the neighborhood of 6-foot-7.
Tatum is a skilled passer, handles the ball well for his size, makes shots at the mid-range and from deep, and has long arms and continues to get more athletic as his body fills out. Quite honestly there is no hole in his game, and Tatum keeps on getting better, and is one of the few kids in the country who is a legit triple-double threat when he gets on the court.
While Tatum is the most skilled, it is Jackson who is the most athletic and toughest. From the city of Detroit, Jackson personifies the city on the basketball court. An athletic and strong 6-foot-6 wing, Jackson loves to attack the rim and finish through contact. He is an absolute pitbull with the ball in his hands and can get wherever he wants on the court with his combination of strength and athleticism.
Outside of that, Jackson has developed into a reliable shooter from deep, and then also isn’t afraid to get his nose dirty and attack the glass. Jackson is one of the better wing rebounders in the country, and takes pride in being more than just a scorer.
Of three it is probably King who is the smoothest shooter. King is a legit 6-foot-5 with long arms and a great shooting stroke. Also he has a solid handle which allows him to attack off the bounce going in either direction. That makes King one of the toughest players in the country to matchup with because there is no good way to defend him.
Also King is an excellent athlete who is more than capable of finishing above the rim. As King continues to get stronger and play with more assertiveness, his upside is through the roof.
Overall it isn’t easy to separate these three as players. All are big time talents, and all bring a little something different to the table. Tatum right now leads the way, but it is up for grabs on which of the trio ends their high school career in the top spot.