The crown jewel of Illinois basketball’s 2017 recruiting class is on the move. Five-star big man Jeremiah Tilmon (IL) has confirmed that he’ll be transferring back to East St. Louis to finish his high school career. Tilmon previously played for the Flyers as an underclassman before moving to Indiana for a year.
Tilmon was at La Lumiere Prep last season, and he helped lead the Lakers to an appearance in the 2016 DICK’S Sporting Goods National title game. He averaged 13.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game during the regular season.
What’s the reasoning behind the move? According to The News-Gazette, Tilmon primarily wanted to be closer to home.
"I’m not home sick or nothing, but I wanted to come home for my final year and finish my school off at East Side," Tilmon said Tuesday night after news of his transfer was initially tweeted out by La Lumiere coach Shane Heirman. "My mom would be around me and it would help my academic situation and I could be around my family more.
While it’s pretty cool that Tilmon will be back in Illinois, the move could be a bit concerning for John Groce and the Fighting Illini. Four-star wing Jordan Goodwin committed to St. Louis University last weekend, and he has a pretty great relationship with the big man. Combined with the fact that Billikens assistant Corey Tate is the former director of Tilmon’s AAU team, and it’s not hard to imagine that there may be some local pressure to flip. I’m absolutely not implying that a decommitment is on the way, but I think that scenario has at least become a possibility, albeit an extremely unlikely one. If anything, it may just give Josh Whitman some reservations should a coaching change be discussed at the end of the season.
Tilmon committed to Illinois on July 11, and has since shown zero signs of wavering from that decision. He’s been sidelined since late May as he continues to slowly recover from a shoulder surgery (dislocation).
Jeremiah Tilmon Highlights