After a roller coaster journey during which he committed to Illinois on two separate occasions, Jeremiah Tilmon has signed with the Missouri Tigers.
The Missouri basketball program became even more intriguing on Monday morning, as the school announced that it’s added 6-foot-10, 235-pound forward Jeremiah Tilmon.
Tilmon, a product of East St. Louis High School, is ranked as a four-star prospect and the No. 42 recruit in the country by Rivals. ESPN ranks him as a four-star prospect, the best player in Illinois, and the No. 43 player in the nation. He originally committed to the University of Illinois last July, de-committed in April after coach John Groce was fired, recommitted later that month, and then opened up his recruiting process again.
Tilmon has a special connection with new Mizzou coach Cuonzo Martin, as both are East St. Louis natives. With Groce–the coach he originally committed to at Illinois–having been fired and replaced by former Oklahoma State coach Brad Underwood, the decision ultimately came down to whether Tilmon was more interested in playing at his home state school for a coach he had no relationship with, or at a school which is arguably just as widely-followed in East St. Louis where he could play for an East St. Louis native. Tilmon chose the latter, and there’s no reason he should be faulted for that, despite the fact that he was much more indecisive during his recruiting process than he needed to be.
Tilmon joins an extensive collection of ESL athletes at Mizzou that also includes football players Terry Beckner, Jr., Nate Strong, and Tre’Vour Simms.
If his tweet on Monday morning is any indication, it sounds like rising sophomore forward Jakoby Kemp will be the man to have his scholarship pulled so Tilmon can join the team. Now Kemp, who was a three-star recruit, will be left to find a school in late May with virtually every D-1 roster in the country filled up for the 2017-18 season. (You can file this incident away for the next time someone argues that a renewable scholarship is sufficient compensation for a Division I basketball player’s services.)