Posted On: 02/21/18 6:00 AM
Bloomington 6’7” power forward Chris Payton has had a notable last few months both on and off the court. On the court he has had a dominant junior season. With the injury to Colton Sandage he has taken on a huge scoring load while dominating inside scoring and on the glass. Off the court Payton made major news with his decommitment from Illinois State. PrepHoopsIllinois’ #4 overall 2019 prospect and #2 power forward is going to become a major priority recruit by high majors this spring.
What does he bring to the table as a prospect? He has good strength in his upper body with big time athleticism. Payton plays above the rim slamming home monster jams on a consistent basis. He is aggressive taking it at the defense with quick and assertive moves. Payton gets to charity stripe at a high rate because of his aggressiveness. Plays powerful inside and you have to make sure you have a body on him at all times because he is a big time rebounder. All areas of his game showed progress this season including his face up jumper. We have seen him three times in person this season and he was a force in all three contests.
PHI caught up with Payton to discuss his big jump as a junior.
“I feel like I’ve been a lot more dominant offensively and defensively. Continued to improve my jump shot and as of late I’ve started playing with more effort and energy. Although I’m still trying to find ways to contribute.”
Since he has decommitted quite a few schools have reached out to him showing interest in his services.
“West Virginia, South Carolina, Akron, Kansas, New Mexico, Kansas State, and Illinois.”
What schools have extended scholarship offers so far?
“Illinois, St. Louis, Bradley, and Illinois State have offered.”
On Sunday Payton went to Illinois for their game against Nebraska. What stood out about the Illini visit?
“It was really fun. Great atmosphere in the gym. Awesome game to watch.”
He spoke about what he will be looking for in a school this time around.
“As long as the style of play fits my game and the program is fun to be a part of.”
He does not have any other visits lined up at this time.