23 - Xavier Tillman

6-9, 265 Power Forward/Center
Michigan St. Sophomore
01/12/99 (21.9 yrs)
Grand Rapids, MI
High School
Grand Rapids Christian
Team Site Profile
Jump Shot
NBA Ready
Post Skills
88 Overall:

NBA Comparison: Udonis Haslem

Strengths: Tillman emerged as one of the best and most dominant big men in the entire Big Ten over the course of his last two seasons in East Lansing … His touch around the rim and rebounding dominance helped earn him All-Big Ten honors in his final season … He is also a gifted defender with great discipline, strength, and anticipation. His 1.2 steals and 2.1 blocks per game awarded him the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in his junior year. His impact on defense went far beyond the stats as he anchored one of the conference’s best defenses with leadership and inspiration … One of those guys that can unite and motivate a team with vocal leadership and leading by example … Excellent court vision for a big man with three assists per game and only two turnovers, rarely from bad passes … He was able to dominate in the post in college with a great hook shot and efficient scoring (58% FG for his career) … While he did not shoot a high percentage, he showed that he could potentially develop an outside shooting game in his final season. If he can threaten from the perimeter at some point in his career, he will be a valuable asset for any team … The southpaw is relentless and never stops fighting for rebounds; a major reason why he averaged a double-double despite only being 6’8 in a conference with giants like Luka Garza, Daniel Oturu, and Kofi Cockburn … This relentless effort will help him at the next level as team are always looking for players who will be ready to contribute right away after a short offseason

Weaknesses: Tillman is very undersized for a player who hangs out mostly in the post. At only 6’8, he will be at a severe disadvantage. He also is not athletically gifted enough to make up for it with leaping ability. His rebounding solely depends on high effort and positioning, which may not be enough at the next level … He is showing promise that he could eventually spread the floor with a perimeter jumper, but until then he will just clog the paint and prevent guards from being able to drive … Tillman is also one of the older players (22 just after the start of the season) in the draft having played three years of college ball at Michigan State … Does not have a great repertoire of post moves and does not threaten too much with a post fadeaway … Jump shooting will make or break Tillman’s career. If he cannot develop a perimeter shooting game or even a mid-range game, he will struggle to earn impactful playing time despite his passing ability and high motor

Overall: Tillman  is a high IQ player with an extensive skillset, just not in the most valuable areas. His lack of a jump shot and small stature hinder what he will be able to do in the NBA regardless of how much he develops … He is already behind on the developmental process at the age of 21 (almost 22) and will need to do so quickly if he wants to become an impact player off the bench, which is close to his overall ceiling.

Notes: Measured: 6’7.50” barefoot, 6’8.50” in shoes,  8’10.00” standing reach, 266.5 lbs, 7’2.00” wingspan at the 2020 NBA Combine …

Derek Bast 11/19/20