Tilmon Recaps Illini Visit

Jeremiah Tilmon, the nation's number 5 player in the 2017 class was in Champaign Saturday and talks about his visit in this exclusive interview with Scout.com.

Jeremiah Tilmon is arguably one of the best if not the best underclassman in the state of Illinois on the hardwood. Tilmon had a chance to put that talent on display in the annual Pangos All-Midwest Frosh-Soph camp in Chicago this past weekend.

"It was nice," Tilmon said. "I played a little good and a little bad at times. I started off a little sluggish but it was alright once I got going."

Tilmon had a chance to go up against a solid set of post players from around the Midwest. He thought the matchup against his peers was good once he shook off the rust.

"I had good matchups out there," he said. "It wasn't really that there wasn't anything I couldn't do out there, I was just in the car for a long time Saturday, and I was a little sick. I'm a little rusty."

Tilmon's endurance struggled a bit this weekend, but not because of a lack of conditioning.

"I condition every week," he said. "All the time. Before school, after school. But being sick, it was a little rough to keep going."

Tilmon, who now stands 6'10" tall and weighs in at 236 pounds is a physical presence on the floor. The big man is still growing physically, but his role with his East St. Louis team is also continuing to grow.

"I think I can contribute a lot," he said. "We're going to have a good team this year. My knee's been hurting a bit, so I know I'm growing still."

Tilmon's defensive presence on the floor is a game changer. Still developing as an offensive player, he knows his strengths as a rim protector.

"It helps a lot (being able to disrupt or block shots)," he said. "Me being able to block shots helps get my teammates fast breaks and open shots and stuff. Sometimes opponents don't want to come into the lane against me."

Tilmon made a slight detour on his trip to Chicago for the camp and passed through Champaign to see the University of Illinois on Saturday morning. Tilmon's visit was a very positive experience.

"It was great," he said. "I got to walk around the dorms with the players, watch practice, shoot around, see campus."

Tilmon spent time with the whole team, but clicked almost immediately with fellow "618" native Malcolm Hill.

"(I got along well with ) all of them really," Tilmon said. "But for real, Malcolm Hill. Malcolm is from Belleville East, which is like 10 minutes from my high school, so we bonded real quick."

Tilmon also spent time catching up with Illinois assistant Jamall Walker and Head Coach John Groce.

"I have a good relationship with the coaches," he said. "I feel like family to them."

Coach Groce is a high-energy guy, so it's no surprise that his intensity in practice caught Tilmon's attention.

"Coach Groce is a little high strung and energetic," he said, "and was like that the whole practice."

Tilmon, though highly sought after, isn't focusing a whole lot on recruitment right now. But Illinois did get a visit from the early five-star.

"Just Illinois right now," he said, "but I'm not sure where else I'm going to see next."

The good news for Illinois fans is that it won't be too long before Tilmon sees Illinois in action again, as he plans to catch a couple games this season.

"I'm going to the Illinois game when they play Mizzou in St. Louis and then I'm going to see them when they play Indiana at home," he said.

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