Michigan State Basketball: Did Dick Vitale have hand in Xavier Tillman decision?

Xavier Tillman Sr., Michigan State basketball (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Xavier Tillman Sr., Michigan State basketball (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

After seeing Dick Vitale tweet a report that he was returning to Michigan State basketball, Xavier Tillman had an NBA team reach out to him.

Anyone who knows college basketball knows that Dick Vitale is an out-there personality. He’s not for everybody, that’s for sure, but many people love listening to him on broadcasts.

Vitale is also known to tweet some interesting things that create some debate. But one tweet that stood out above all else this offseason was the report that Xavier Tillman was leaning toward a return to Michigan State for his senior year.

Immediately after Vitale tweeted this — and it did seem like Tillman was leaning toward coming back at the time — Tillman’s mother posted that the report was incorrect and no decision had been made. It seemed like all that momentum that led toward a possible return was crushed and fans were left playing the waiting game again.

Tillman ultimately decided to hire an agent and stay in the NBA draft and then Tillman admitted that he saw the Vitale report and it ended up playing a part in his decision.

While no one can truly say that Vitale’s tweet made Tillman want to declare, it did lead to an NBA team reaching out and Xavier said that played a role in the final decision to remain in the draft.

It’s tough to hear things like this because the tweet may have been accurate at the time, but because a prominent sports media figure posted it for thousands of eyes to see, the NBA came calling to make sure he knew that he was wanted.

What Vitale believed was a harmless fact-based tweet turned into Michigan State losing the best defender in the Big Ten and an All-American candidate for the upcoming season.

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