In the midst of a number of incoming recruits deciding to de-commit from VCU basketball, one former recruit decided to stay and continue his collegiate career at VCU.
On Wednesday, April 15, Tim Pearell of the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that rising-sophomore forward Justin Tillman will be staying at VCU, electing to remain with the Rams and new head coach Will Wade. Pearell reported the two spoke Wednesday night after Tillman requested his release days prior. However, Tillman’s decision wavered, resulting in Wade’s first win for the program after enduring many losses the previous weeks.
Tillman addressed Ram nation on Twitter late Wednesday night with his decision.
“I have decided to be here with my brothers and stay at VCU….RAMNATION!! #Brotherhood #Family”
“After taking some time to think it over, my ultimate decision came down to the fact a special brotherhood, which we have here at VCU, cannot be duplicated,” Tillman said in an official statement released by VCU officials.
The Detroit, Michigan native played in all but one game this season, missing the game against the University of Richmond on February 25. He averaged 3.6 points and 2.5 rebounds this season. The 6-foot-6 big man averaged 12.3 minutes per game. Tillman will likely see his minutes increase with his ability to play on both sides of the floor, particularly on the defensive end. Tillman’s 34 blocks was only second to rising redshirt-junior Mo Alie-Cox’s 68 blocks on the year.
Tillman was second in scoring among last year’s recruiting class, recording 127 points on the year. Tillman’s season-high was a 16 point outing against Belmont University on December 16, 2014. Tillman would also register a career-high seven field goals on the day.
This year the men’s basketball team went 26-10, winning the Atlantic 10 championship en route to their fifth-straight NCAA appearance.
Apart from the graduating senior class, men’s basketball will now return with all of their players to defend their A-10 championship crown next season.