NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. — Five-star basketball recruit Jayson Tatum helped the United States earn a gold medal at the FIBA U19 world championships in Greece earlier this week.
The accomplishment didn't earn him any time off.
Tatum returned home to St. Louis from the world championships Tuesday morning, and he was back on a plane the following afternoon to join his teammates for the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League finals at the Peach Jam in South Carolina.
"It's definitely tough," Tatum said. "I definitely feel it on my body. The time changes are messing with me. But I just have to get used to it and get over it."
He seems to be over it.
Tatum averaged 27.5 points and 11.5 rebounds in the first two games of the Peach Jam on Thursday, leading his St. Louis Eagles to victories in both contests. In the first game, he made 17 of 18 free-throw attempts.
Those performances were just the latest examples of why Tatum is one of the most coveted recruits in the class of 2016.
He recently narrowed his list to UK, Duke, North Carolina and hometown Saint Louis, and a decision could come at any time.
Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, UNC's Roy Williams and SLU's Jim Crews all watched Tatum play Thursday evening. UK's John Calipari is expected to see him later this week.
The Blue Devils have emerged as the favorite in Tatum's recruitment, though he says he still hasn't decided on a destination.
"I hear that a lot," he said of the Duke talk. "People say their opinion. All of my schools — they're on there for a reason. And I could go to any of the four."
Tatum was the first player from the class of 2016 to receive a scholarship offer from Kentucky, and he said he heard from Calipari after he returned home from Greece earlier this week.
UK is also on the list of Harry Giles, the power forward from North Carolina who some consider the No. 1 overall prospect in the class of 2016.
Tatum and Giles are great friends off the court, and they haven't shied away from the rumors that they intend to play college basketball together.
Two years ago at Peach Jam, five-star friends Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones openly talked about a package deal. They ended up at Duke and delivered a national title.
While Tatum declined to reveal any "favorites" in his final four, he knows all about how that pairing turned out.
"They had one goal in mind," he said. "They accomplished it, and they had fun doing it. Who wouldn't want to do that?"
First stop: UK Coach John Calipari started off this week's live recruiting period at the Adidas event in the Atlanta area, where he watched class of 2016 stars Kobi Simmons, Rawle Alkins and Jarrett Allen.
Simmons has emerged as Calipari's No. 1 recruiting priority at point guard, and he told reporters Wednesday night that he has already scheduled his first official visit: UK on the weekend of Aug. 28.
The 6-foot-5 prospect from Alpharetta, Ga., has already visited Lexington multiple times, and the Cats are the favorite among the recruiting analysts who have logged predictions on his 247Sports Crystal Ball page. That website's composite ranking pegs Simmons as the No. 6 overall prospect in the class of 2016.
He has also planned an official visit to Xavier for the first weekend in September.
Second stop: Calipari popped up in Charlotte on Thursday morning for the Under Armour All-America Camp, which includes many of the top players from that shoe company's summer circuit.
Among the players evaluated by the UK coach Thursday were Thon Maker, Sacha Killeya-Jones and Markelle Fultz, all from the class of '16.
Maker and Killeya-Jones both have scholarship offers from Kentucky, but Fultz is still waiting on his. The five-star combo guard visited Lexington earlier this summer and does have offers from Arizona, Louisville, Maryland, Texas and several other top programs.
Third stop: Calipari took a little break from recruiting Thursday evening to watch his son Brad and the Kentucky Travelers play in the Best of the South showcase in Suwanee, Ga.
The Travelers — Kentucky's only Nike EYBL-affiliated program — did not qualify for the Peach Jam this year after making it the last two summers.
Brad Calipari will be a senior at The MacDuffie School in Massachusetts this fall. He began his high school career at Lexington Christian Academy.