Xavier Tillman misses ‘everything’ about Michigan State basketball

Xavier Tillman, Michigan State basketball (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Xavier Tillman, Michigan State basketball (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Xavier Tillman is moving on from Michigan State basketball, but he recently admitted that he’s going to miss “everything” about the school.

Xavier Tillman made the tough decision to declare for the NBA draft on Sunday, passing up the opportunity to return for a senior season and help Michigan State win a national title.

Leaving on such a disappointing and fluke-ish note like a pandemic cancelling the NCAA Tournament is tough, but Tillman has a family that he needs to take care of and he graduated in just three years from Michigan State.

Just because this was a move that was necessary for the future of his basketball career doesn’t mean it was easy. He’s talked about the decision countlessly since making it public on Sunday and one interview caught my attention.

Jack Doles of WOOD-TV sat down with Tillman and asked him a few questions about his decision and what his future might hold.

One question and answer stood out in the interview.

Doles asked Tillman, “What are you going to miss about Michigan State?”

Tillman responded, “Everything.”

Tillman went on to say that he’ll miss the occasional “Go green!” from fans after a game which requires his “Go white!” response. He mentioned his teammates and Tom Izzo as well.

For a kid who developed into a star in just three years at Michigan State, he sounds as humble as anyone who has come through the program and that’s what fans are going to miss about him. He went from the No. 112 player in the 2017 class to the 2019-20 Big Ten Defensive Player of the year and now he’s projected as a first-round NBA draft pick.

You’d be hard-pressed to find an athlete this wise beyond his years as he sounds like an NBA vet already by the way he talked about Michigan State.

Tillman’s remarks about his former school have to be enticing for young recruits who might be looking into the Spartans. He gave glowing praise and alluded to the fact that he wouldn’t be the player he is today without Izzo and his coaching staff.

While Tillman may miss “everything” about Michigan State, you can bet fans will miss everything about him.

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