Xavier Tillman - NBA Draft Room

Xavier Tillman


POSITION: PF CFROM: Michigan State
(Grand Rapids, MI)
HT: 6-8WT: 245

Draft Notes

Xavier Tillman is a big, physical force on the court who projects as a possible first, but more likely a second round pick in the 2020 draft.

Tillman is a long 6-8, 245lbs with a reported 7-0+ wingspan. He’s not the tallest PF/C but he’s a really strong defender in the paint, can block shots and really throws his weight around and makes his presence felt. He’s an effort guy who doesn’t really on elite physical tools but plays with heart and passion and intelligence; a typical Tom Izzo upperclassman.

Tillman can guard a bit on the perimeter as well, mostly thanks to his smarts and hard work. He’s not the most gifted in terms of lateral agility or overall foot-speed but he can play effective defense, even when he’s forced to switch onto a guard. He’s got quick hands and great anticipation.

On the offensive end Tillman is more of a low usage player who shoots a high percentage from the field on good shot selection. His Junior year at Michigan State Tillman but up averages of 13.7pts, 10.3rbs 3ast, 2.1blk and 1.2stl on shooting splits of 55/26/67. As you can see the outside shot isn’t a strong suit of his game, nor is FT shooting. This was ok at the college level but he’ll need to develop into at least a respectable floor spacer to excel at the next level.

His greatest strength on the offensive end is his screen setting and his ability to make great decisions passing the ball, especially out of the short roll. This skill will be highly utilized at the NBA level.

Despite some limitations there’s a lot to like about Tillman. The attitude and intensity that he brings to a team has value in itself and his glue-guy style of play might not show up in the stat sheet but it leads to wins. From rebounding, setting screens, defending multiple positions and keeping the ball moving on offense, he just knows how to play and brings a lot to the table as a prospect.


  • NA

Draft Projection

late first to mid second round pick in the 2020 NBA Draft


2020 Power Forwards

  1. Obi Toppin – 6-9 – Dayton 
  2. Aleksej Pokusevski – 7-0 – Serbia
  3. Precious Achiuwa – 6-9 – Memphis 
  4. Paul Reed – 6-9 – DePaul
  5. Jalen Smith – 6-10 – Maryland
  6. Xavier Tillman – 6-8 – Michigan State
  7. Mamadi Diakite – 6-9 – Virginia
  8. Reggie Perry – 6-9 – Mississippi State
  9. Lamar Stevens – 6-8 – Penn State
  10. Killian Tillie – 6-10 – Gonzaga (France)
  11. Paul Eboua – 6-8 – Cameroon 
  12. Emmitt Williams – 6-6 – LSU
  13. E.J. Montgomery – 6-10 – Kentucky