Preps Talk

Illinois commit Jeremiah Tilmon transfers back to East St. Louis

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Illinois commit Jeremiah Tilmon transfers back to East St. Louis

The Mr. Basketball race in Illinois just got really interesting. 

Illinois commit and five-star center Jeremiah Tilmon confirmed on Tuesday that he is transferring back to East St. Louis from powerhouse prep school La Lumiere for his senior season.

After spending his junior season at the LaPorte, Indiana-based prep school, the 6-foot-10, 235-pound Tilmon figures to be a major factor for the Flyers this year as he'll enter the IHSA season as the No. 1 big man in the state.

As a sophomore at East St. Louis, Tilmon averaged 11.3 points and 6.9 rebounds per game before making the move to La Lumiere last fall to improve his academics while facing tougher competition. During his lone season at La Lumiere, Tilmon started on one of the best teams in the country as the Lakers made it the DICK's Sporting Goods Nationals title game before losing to Oak Hill Academy. 

In that national title game in early April, Tilmon suffered a dislocated left shoulder that caused him to have surgery in late May. The injury and subsequent recovery forced Tilmon out of this spring and summer on the grassroots circuit. Tilmon averaged 13.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game at La Lumiere last season.

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Regarded as the No. 24 overall prospect in the Rivals Class of 2017 national rankings, Tilmon is the most important Illinois commit in the John Groce era and one of the best in-state prospects to enter the program in years. Tilmon picked Illinois over Kansas and North Carolina in July as he's part of an in-state, three-man recruiting class that includes Peoria Manual guard DaMonte Williams and Belleville East wing Javon Pickett. 

With his ability to score around the basket, rebound and defend the rim, Tilmon will be a major factor for Mr. Basketball this year as long as he is healthy from his dislocated shoulder. Tilmon should also help East St. Louis quite a bit, as the Flyers finished 12-14 last season before being eliminated by Belleville East in a Class 4A regional semifinal game. 

Illinois high school basketball is getting quite a bit of talent back in the state this season as Tilmon joins other Division I prospects like Alonzo Verge (Thornton) and Joey St. Pierre (Richmond-Burton) in returning to the Land of Lincoln. The return of Tilmon and Verge, in particular, means that the Mr. Basketball race could be really crowded next season and it should make for a fun storyline to keep track of thoughout the winter. 

72 Days To Kickoff: West Aurora

72 Days To Kickoff: West Aurora

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Aug. 5, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 30.

School: West Aurora

Head coach: Nate Eimer

Assistant coaches: Tony Melchiori (DC), Patrick Stremel (LB), Bob Fowler (DL), Charlie Graves (DB), Tim Phelps (OL/DL), Mike Runge (OL), Ron Murphy (QB), Alex Shaw (WR) and Joe Howell (RB).

How they fared in 2018: 9-2 (8-1 Upstate Eight Conference). West Aurora made the 8A state football playoff and beat South Elgin in the opening round. They lost to Edwardsville in second round action.

2019 regular season schedule:

Aug. 30 vs Plainfield South
Sept. 6 @ Plainfield East
Sept. 13 vs Joliet Central
Sept. 20 @ Romeoville
Sept. 27 @ Yorkville
Oct. 4 vs Oswego
Oct. 11 vs. Plainfield North
Oct. 18 @ Minooka  
Oct. 25 vs Oswego East

[MORE: 93 Days to Kickoff - Oswego East]

Biggest storyline: A new home in the Southwest Prairie Conference. Can the Blackhawks fare well and keep up their winning ways with a step up in competition?

Names to watch this season: QB Will Tammaru (Sr.) and DE Matt Johnson (Sr.)

Biggest holes to fill: The Blackhawks will welcome back 13 returning starters (seven offense, six defense) and feature several multi-year starters. Standout defensive lineman Denver Warren has transferred to Brother Rice. How will roster depth play a role? Overall numbers can be better for every high school program-- including West Aurora.
 
EDGY's Early Take: Coach Nate Eimer's Blackhawks depart the Upstate Eight and enter the Southwest Prairie. The program has had great success the last four seasons (all playoff berths), with 30 wins to their credit. The program had 30 wins total between 2005-14. West Aurora is pretty stacked with talent and is expected to challenge the upper tier of the newly-realigned league. They look to get back into the state playoff field for the fifth straight season and make a deeper run come November.
 

73 Days To Kickoff: Fenwick

73 Days To Kickoff: Fenwick

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Aug. 5, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 30.

School: Fenwick

Head coach: Gene Nudo

Assistant coaches: Dick Eufrasio, Titcus Pettigrew, Tim Rooney, Brien Rooney, Craig Schneider, Joe Bauers, Mike Herman and Joe Hajek

How they fared in 2018: 3-6 (2-2 Chicago Catholic League/Green Conference). Fenwick failed to qualify for the IHSA state football playoffs.

2019 regular season schedule:

Aug. 30 vs Curie
Sept. 6 vs Dunbar
Sept. 13 @ Nazareth Academy
Sept. 20 @ Joliet Catholic
Sept. 27 vs. Marist
Oct. 4 vs Marmion Academy
Oct. 11 vs. St. Patrick
Oct. 18 @ Leo  
Oct. 25 @ St. Ignatius

[MORE: 75 Days to Kickoff - St. Ignatius]

Biggest storyline: The new conference. Can the Friars bounce back from last season while playing a new and challenging league?

Names to watch this season: OL/DL Sean Carpenter (Sr.) QB Kaden Cobb (Soph.) and WR Bryce Legan (Sr.)

Biggest holes to fill: The Friars welcome back several starters from last fall but will also need to find six new replacements on the defensive side of the football.

EDGY's Early Take: Fenwick struggled last season. The Friars played several underclassmen starters and they're hoping that experience will pay off come August. The new CCL/ESCC mega conference also brings new challenges. It includes a tough path in the middle of the season with games at Nazareth, at Joliet Catholic and then at home vs. Marist. If the Friars can get out of the gate quickly, they have a good shot at earning a state playoff spot in 2019.