The four-year Spartan brings a lot of maturity as a college veteran, but also as a father and a husband. As the league is getting younger, and players are entering the draft at 19 and 20 years old, Tillman’s approach and situation is different — as he has a family of his own to account for in the whole process.
On how having a family coming into the NBA has changed his approach, especially during the pandemic -— Grizzly Bear Blues (@sbnGrizzlies) November 20, 2020
He'll bring his kids with him to pre-draft workouts and let them play on the side, while he was working out
His maturity radiates through his poise and approach to the game, as he’s a true student for the game. Over the course of the call, he states his passion for studying film, but he also loves watching highlights, interviews, and listening to podcasts with former players.
The biggest storyline here is his reunion with fellow Spartan Jaren Jackson Jr. Their friendship runs deep, as Jaren is Tillman’s best friend — and was the best man in his wedding.
Jaren and X were screaming and shouting on the phone when the news broke about him coming to Memphis— Grizzly Bear Blues (@sbnGrizzlies) November 20, 2020
On the court, Tillman’s fit is interesting, since his skillset is unique for a big man. Over the course of the interview, he emphasizes his work in the short-roll game as a playmaker. Offensively, he bodes well with either Jackson or Brandon Clarke. Tillman sees them as two perimeter threats that can put the ball in the basket in a variety of ways.
"BC has proven he can be that spot-up shooter ... that helps me as a playmaking big and finding him on the short roll." He sees the fit with him, Jaren, and BC, because of how many ways those 2 can put the ball in the basket.— Grizzly Bear Blues (@sbnGrizzlies) November 20, 2020
On the other side of the court, he’s another strong defender who can serve as a backline communicator that can anchor the defense and switch positions. And as he continues to absorb information, you should see his defensive upside come to fruition more and more each passing game.
Finally, the coolest part of the interview — something I didn’t put together until Tillman said it — was who he modeled his game after. When I asked him this, I knew he’d likely say Draymond Green, but the profiles are strikingly similar.
Xavier Tillman models his game after Draymond. He praises his defensive, playmaking, and shooting as a big man.— Grizzly Bear Blues (@sbnGrizzlies) November 20, 2020
Here's the cool part -
They were both the 35th pick, went to Michigan State, and grew up in Michigan
Tillman went into detail on how he studies Draymond and Bam Adebayo’s games — their defensive versatility, offensive shot arsenal, and playmaking.
Xavier Tillman Sr. is another find from Zach Kleiman and company that really fits the standard and identity this team is looking to set for this next-gen Memphis Grizzlies team.