The Mizzou basketball roster decided to evolve again yesterday! Let’s catch up.
Tilmon committed to Illinois last July, choosing to play for his in-state school over Kansas, Michigan State, North Carolina and Texas. He signed a letter of intent with the Illini in 2016.
Illinois fired Coach John Groce on March 11, and Missouri entered the conversation for Tilmon shortly thereafter when the Tigers hired Martin, who is also from East St. Louis, on March 15.
Tilmon requested a release from his letter of intent with Illinois on April 5 and was granted it a week later. He was strongly linked to Missouri throughout April, though reports emerged that Kansas and DePaul were also interested in Tilmon and that Illinois might be back in the picture.
Rich Gray is the founder of the St. Louis Eagles basketball program, now Brad Beal Elite. Tilmon played for the Eagles two summers ago, prior to his junior year of high school. Following that summer, he left to play in prep school at La Lumiere. [...]
Gray said Tilmon is “absolutely” a traditional center, a position that grows more rare every year on the college level.
Phillip Gilbert, East St. Louis’ head coach this past season, said Michigan State, North Carolina, Texas and UCLA, among others, expressed interest in Tilmon as well.
“He’s a great kid, a kid who wants to learn and become the best he can possibly be, the best college player he can be,” Gilbert said. "He ultimately wants to make it to his dream, the NBA, but in the short term this is a great addition for the Missouri Tigers. He’s going to put his head down and work. He’s always had that mentality.”
Gilbert said Tilmon has already qualified academically to enroll at Missouri. It’s possible the NCAA Eligibility Center might take a closer look at his transcripts, which can be customary for a recruit who transferred multiple times during high school.
Mizzou relied on senior Russell Woods in the post during Kim Anderson’s final season, but Woods graduated after averaging 6.7 points and 4.3 rebounds last season.
That meant Martin only inherited two post players — sophomores Reed Nikko, who averaged 2.5 points and 2.3 rebounds in 10.5 minutes during 28 games as a freshman last season, and Mitchell Smith, who was limited to 11 games after a torn ACL early in his freshman campaign.
Tilmon’s commitment also moved Mizzou’s recruiting class rank to sixth according to both Rivals and 247. The addition of Jontay Porter would mean another couple of spots. What world are we living in?
One in, one out. There’s still one more scholarship remaining now that Jakoby Kemp has announced his transfer.
"Our Mizzou basketball program wishes nothing but the best for Jakoby in the future, and we will work to assist him in his transition any way possible," coach Cuonzo Martin said in a statement from Missouri athletics.
His transfer decision frees up a scholarship in case Jontay Porter, the younger brother of Tigers signee and top 2017 prospect Michael Porter Jr., opts to reclassify and enroll at Missouri next fall.
- St. Louis prospect Dallas Craddieth released his top 12, and Mizzou made the cut. Only, uh, 11 more schools to eliminate.
- Mizzou Baseball has clinched an SEC Tournament bid, but now it’s time to win out and get back on the bubble before heading to Hoover. That means taking care of Eastern Kentucky this afternoon at 4pm CT. The Colonels are 24-28. Looks like Michael Plassmeyer will get the start. Shortstop Chris Cornelius won SEC freshman of the week honors after nailing four extra-base hits in the South Carolina series.
- Mizzou Men’s Golf is a hair off the pace after one day in the NCAA regionals — the top five teams advance, and the Tigers, the fifth-seeded team in the regional, are currently 11th. They’re only two shots out of a tie for seventh, but they’re eight shots out of fifth. Looks like their second round begins at 8:55 a.m.
- Here’s a quick Mizzou Network feature on Mizzou Softball heading to Oregon.