Mike Tisdale stands 7'0" and checks in at 205 pounds, and has played himself into a Division I scholarship at his dream school - the University of Illinois. "I came to Illinois because it's been my dream school since I was a kid and it's everything I thought it would be. I love playing for Coach Weber and being around the guys," said Tisdale.
Because of his size the obvious question is if the big man plans to red-shirt, but he knows how tough the game is and what he needs to do if he wants to contribute. "At first I really didn't know how much bigger and stronger they were until I started to play against them, so I knew I had to hit the weight room hard. I feel since I've been here I feel I'm getting bigger and better too, and just trying to hold my own," Tisdale said.
One player of note that expects big things from Tisdale is junior guard Chester Frazier. "Mike can go. He's been the biggest surprise so far to me. For a guy that size he can shoot it like a guard and his post moves are tough to handle. He's going to be a tough match-up for a lot of big men in this league, and he's a lot stronger than what he looks like," Frazier stated.
"That's cool. A lot of guys feel that way about me, but as a team we're going to be pretty good. We're very athletic and much deeper than years past. We have great chemistry on this team. Coach has been stressing defense; that's going to be what we hang our hat on each game," Tisdale responded.
"I just come here each day with the right mindset and work hard, and I love the competition. I love being here. Illinois has been my dream school since I was a little kid, like I said earlier, and it's my home state. The program is awesome and there's a lot of history here," stated Tisdale.
"We're going to be good this year. I think we can surprise some people. We have what it takes to win the Big Ten. We have a great group of players and the most important thing is we all get along and everyone works hard," he added.
Mike was a four-star recruit listed here at Scout.com and his stock became even higher after his great summer play of last year.