Boys Basketball

East St. Louis’ Tilmon lands at Missouri

Jeremiah Tilmon's slam dunk against Alton in blowout win

East St. Louis senior and then University of Illinois commit Jeremiah Tillmon puts down a slam dunk off the pass from Kerion Chairs in the Flyers' Southwestern Conference win over Alton.
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East St. Louis senior and then University of Illinois commit Jeremiah Tillmon puts down a slam dunk off the pass from Kerion Chairs in the Flyers' Southwestern Conference win over Alton.

Jeremiah Tilmon, the four-star basketball recruit from East St. Louis, did what he was expected to do once he was released from his commitment to the University of Illinois.

He signed on with the Missouri Tigers, the school announced Monday.

Tilmon, 6-foot-11 and 255 pounds, averaged 15.3 points and 11 rebounds for the Flyers last season, and is considered a premier shot-blocker with an average of four per game.

His landing in Columbia had been speculated since new Missouri head coach Cuonzo Martin also hails from East St. Louis and has assembled a banner recruiting class that includes Michael Porter Jr., the nation’s top prospect.

Tilmon
Jeremiah Tilmon, No. 23, charges for the basket during a Southwestern Conference game against Belleville West in December 2016. The 6-11 East St. Louis center, a consensus four-star recruit, signed to play college basketball at the University of Missouri, the school announced Monday. Jimmy Simmons For the News-Democrat

“It’s truly exciting to keep a young man like Jeremiah at home with Mizzou basketball,” said Martin, who was hired by the university in March, in a statement. “Jeremiah, as a player and person, possesses the type of skill and presence we’d like to become a staple of this program.

“We feel that he has the ability to become a game-changing presence on both ends of the floor. His parents, April and Jeremiah Sr., raised a son who we feel can really flourish at the University of Missouri.”

Tilmon’s recruitment and entire high school career have been characterized by the drama and angst related to which uniform he would wear one season to the next.

He left East St. Louis after his sophomore season to play at La Lumier Academy in LaPorte, Indiana, only to return home for his senior season. Tilmon had even confirmed interest in playing at Althoff with friend and AAU basketball teammate Jordan Goodwin.

In fact, when Goodwin signed his intent to play at St. Louis University last August, it fueled speculation that Tilmon would follow. But on the last day of the early signing period in November, Tilmon put his verbal commitment to Illinois in writing.

That lasted until early April, when former Illini coach John Groce was fired, prompting Tilmon to ask for his release from the national letter of intent.

New Illinois coach Brad Underwood continued recruiting Tilmon, even as he granted the release. But media and fans quickly began pairing him with Martin and Mizzou.

Recruiting sites Rivals.com and Scout have previously ranked Tilmon a five-star prospect, but currently list him as a four-star recruit. He remains the consensus No. 1 player in Illinois. Scout pegs Tilmon as the No. 35 overall player, while Rivals rates him No. 42, ESPN lists him No. 43 overall and 247 Sports ranked him No. 97.

Tilmon also had offers from reigning national champion North Carolina, Kansas, Kansas State, Saint Louis, Indiana, Michigan State, UCLA, and others.

Michael Porter's brother, Jontay Porder, is ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 23 junior in the national and had been a presumptive Missouri target as well. With Tilmon’s signing, however, Missouri has maxed out its available scholarships for next season.

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