2017 big man Jeremiah Tillman made his first visit to Illinois on Tuesday…
2017 Intro: Jeremiah Tillman
Sometimes it doesn't take long to figure out that a kid has a chance to be special. In the case of East St. Louis (Ill.) freshman Jeremiah Tillman that means layup lines. The 6-foot-9 and 230 pound center is just starting to figure out the game, but his upside is absolutely through the roof. No matter how talented, a freshman can struggle in high school basketball, but so far so good for Tillman. "I think I have played well," said Tillman. "I had a bad game (Monday), but I have been running the floor well, blocking out, posting up, just a lot of things. I am just still understanding everything." In an age where too many post players try to be the next Kevin Durant and float on the perimeter, Tillman does his damage down low. With good hands, long arms, excellent athleticism, and solid footwork, all the tools are there for Tillman to dominate on the block. "I think once he starts to get more comfortable with his position, once he gets into the weight room, and starts working on his body more he'll continue to grow," said East St. Louis Head Coach Antonio Young. "That is when his confidence will come, but right now he is doing what I ask him to do and that is rebound and be 6-foot-10." Recruiting wise it is clearly very early for Tillman, but already some of the top programs around have been in to see him. "Indiana, Purdue, Kansas, Kentucky, Illinois, there are a lot of schools," noted Tillman. Tillman has already made a visit to Indiana, and he enjoyed his time in Bloomington. "My trip to Indiana was fun," said Tillman. "They took me around campus and I got to scrimmage with the players and stuff." Another school he has dropped by is Kentucky. "I have seen Kentucky," said Tillman. "I saw the dorms and I have just been all around there. It was nice." For now though recruiting isn't the focus, getting better is, and according to Coach Young, that is exactly what Tillman is doing. "He doesn't understand what he does just being as big as he is," said Young. "He has gotten so much better recently. He has had a lot of foul trouble this year. In our first four games he fouled out of two of them, and he was in foul trouble every one of them, but he is now to the point where he understands how to be long, how to chase rebounds, and he has been solid. Our last three games I think he has been averaging 11 points, five blocks, and eight or nine rebounds." He continued, "For him as a freshman to be averaging eight points and seven rebounds, my thing to him is to keep doing that. That gives him something to build on. Everybody wants him to be a superstar right now, but he has to continue to work on his body and keep getting better. He is still growing, he's having growing pains, his knees hurt, his body is changing, he just turned 15 two weeks ago." While not many know of Tillman now on the national scale, that is sure to change going forward.
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