For all the hoopla surrounding the Duke Freshmen trio, it should have been a given that their debuts would spark media interest. And while we are still waiting on Harry Giles, the debuts of Jayson Tatum and Marques Bolden have occurred. Bolden, has gotten off to a bit of a slow start due to a combination of conditioning and a lack of playing time. Tatum, however has been the opposite. He has played in three games since returning and the returns have been outstanding especially when you exclude his first game back against Maine. In total he has averaged 15 points and seven rebounds in the the three games so far. He has done so while showcasing a full array of offensive tools, especially from the mid range area, where he has already demonstrated a Kobe-like turnaround fadeaway jumper.
The more surprising and profound impact has been on the defensive end of the court. He has used his length and athleticism to make plays throughout his time on the court, showcasing an ability to have quick hands and create turnovers. A very intelligent player, it has been rare to find him outside of position even as he gets his feet wet in the college game.
More importantly, I think his debut made a lot of draft pundits remember who he is as a player. Since he was on the bench in the early part of the season and his peers were all having success (Check out Lonzo Ball, Lauri Markkanen, and Jonathan Isaac) he was sliding down draft boards. Yes, this is early in the season and you can debate the merits of draft boards in December but this was indeed happening. Now healthy and thriving on a extremely talented Duke team expect to see Tatum resume his place in the Top 5 of the draft.