Donnie Tillman

Utes ink prized forward

Utah officially added an important piece of its 2017 recruiting class on Wednesday...

On Wednesday evening, Findlay Prep star Donnie Tillman made it official and signed his letter of intent to play for the University of Utah basketball team. The 6-foot-7 inch, 215 pound power forward verbally committed to the Utes on February 1st and since then never wavered in his commitment.

How Does Tillman Impact this Class?

Tillman joins fellow Utes signees Branden Carlsen and Jaxon Brenchley, to the current 2017 class. However, as of now, Tillman will be the only current Ute signee that will join the 2017-18 basketball roster. Both Carlsen and Brenchley will delay their college experience by two years in order to serve a full time LDS mission. With the graduation of Lorenzo Bonam, the transfers of Devon Daniels and Jojo Zamora, and the possible departure of Kyle Kuzma - who declared (without signing an agent) to the NBA draft - the Utes will still have some roster spots to fill. Locking down Tillman was very important in order to continue recruiting the final pieces of this class. With Tillman on board, Utah can boast a big time player that will help continue the winning tradition up on the hill.

What Does Tillman Bring as a Player?

The Utah coaching staff absolutely loves what they are getting with the addition of Tillman. Tillman is a very versatile wing player. He will more than likely spend most of his time rotating between the three and four spot. However, Tillman is fully confident in his ability to bring up the ball and be a spot up shooter, allowing Utah to use him from any position, 1-4. Larry Krystkowiak’s style of play suits Tillman's game perfectly. Tillman has the ability to post up on smaller defenders or play more of the NBA style, isolation game if that is what the defense is allowing. He's a great inside-out player, who prides himself on making the correct basketball play. Tillman loves watching how Coach K allows players to run the court after grabbing a defensive rebound. Tillman uses his size and energy to his advantage on the glass, and he loves to quickly turn up court to lead a fast break. This is something that will immediately impact the Utah team on the court. 

Over his senior season, Tillman focused on improving his shooting ability and his range. He has a smooth shot anywhere out to NBA three point range. Tillman took great pride in shooting just under 50% from three point range over his final season. He plans on immediately coming in and being able to make 4-5 three point shots per game, which is a skill set this Utah team desperately needs.

What to Expect Now

With the Utah coaching staff playing their cards close to the vest, look for Utah to be extremely aggressive searching for a transfer from another program. Utah has a few Junior College players on their radar and will also explore any graduate transfers that become available. It would not be surprising to see the staff once again look overseas to complete the roster. Utah has had luck in the past in doing so, and they are doing their due diligence in scouting foreign players.

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