UNC Offer Opens Jeremiah Tilmon's Eyes

The offer from North Carolina provided further validation for Jeremiah Tilmon that he is indeed a big-time basketball prospect.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. --- Roy Williams and North Carolina have been selective thus far with offers to the 2017 class, but La Porte (Ind.) La Lumiere center standout Jeremiah Tilmon is a member of that exclusive group.

Williams watched Tilmon, a 6-foot-10, 235-poung post player, score 20 points on Dec. 9. A day later, as Tilmon was preparing for mid-terms, he received a call from the UNC head coach and was informed of the official offer.

“I was just happy,” Tilmon recalled, while competing at the Hoop Hall Classic this past weekend. “He called me and we talked on the phone and he told me right before study hall. I was happy.”

“He offered me and told me to keep working,” he added.

Since formerly offering Tilmon a scholarship, Williams and the Tar Heels have been in close contact.

“They’ve been on me a lot,” Tilmon said. “I talk to their coach all the time. I feel like it’s a big school for me to go to, so I feel like I just have to keep working. That’s a big level. When I talked to him, I asked him what I need to do to get there, and he just broke it down to me and kept it real and I’ve been working.”

Tilmon said their conversations have centered on how UNC plans to recruit him, but also how they would use him if he were to end up in a Tar Heel uniform.

“He’s telling me that he’s going to come see me more often and I asked him how they teach their bigs and how they use them,” Tilmon said.

“Their bigs do what I want to do,” he said. “Sometimes I want to bring the ball up the court and sometimes I want to shoot the ball. That’s what their bigs do. They let them face up and they aren’t just in the post with their back to the rim.”

For Tilmon, the draw to North Carolina starts with the program's prominence.

“I like the fact that it’s a big school,” he said. “Growing up you would never think you have the opportunity for them to look at you. So when they came it opened up my eyes, like ‘I can actually do it.’”

The UNC staff has discussed a possible official visit with Tilmon, but at this point, due to the rigors of school and his junior season, there hasn't been an opportunity to schedule one.

“I really just don’t have time,” he said about a possible visit. “With school we never have time to go anywhere.”

North Carolina isn’t Tilmon’s only recent offer. UCLA and Texas offered him since the season started. He also cited interest from Illinois, Kansas, Iowa, Iowa State, Arkansas, Purdue, Louisville, Indiana and St. Louis.

Tilmon, who has taken past unofficial visits to Illinois, Indiana and St. Louis, is enjoying a strong junior season.

“I’m trying to run the floor hard and be aggressive in the paint,” Tilmon said. “I’m shooting the ball more and working on my offense. I think everything is opening up for me.”

Tilmon said his offseason transfer to La Lumiere School has been beneficial and that he’s more focused, both on and off the court, which has led to an improvement in his game.

“I think the school I’m at is a different program and a different coaching staff,” Tilmon explained. “Everything is different. Everything is harder and you can’t joke around. You have to take everything serious. We go to big tournaments and if we lose, one game will hurt you. You have to work hard every day, non-stop and I’ve been working on my own too.”

Tilmon ranks as Scout.com’s No. 6 center and the No. 17 overall prospect in the 2017 recruiting class.

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