As if Fighting Illini fans needed another reason to look forward to the annual game against Missouri, some more gasoline was thrown on the rivalry Monday morning.
Four-star big man and former Illinois commit Jeremiah Tilmon has officially signed a National Letter of Intent with the Tigers, meaning he’ll team up with Michael Porter Jr. — the nation’s No. 1 prospect — in Columbia this Winter.
Tilmon originally signed on to play under John Groce at Illinois, and although Brad Underwood retained Jamall Walker as an assistant, the 6-foot-11 prospect requested a release from that agreement following the coaching change. Cuonzo Martin’s Tigers quickly became the favorite to land the talented East St. Louis native shortly thereafter.
Missouri has had one of the best offseasons in recent memory, and their roster is on the verge of a complete 180-degree turn. Illinois hasn’t been nearly as fortunate, however there’s still plenty to be excited about at this juncture. Four-star guard Mark Smith just picked the Orange and Blue over the likes of Michigan State and Kentucky, and the program still has four open scholarships to fill.
Obviously, this news will sting for the Fighting Illini. But on the bright side, at least the Braggin’ Rights game will be returning to national prominence after a relatively miserable three-year stretch in St. Louis.