Spartan Basketball All-Access ’18: “Waiting Your Turn”

the spartans passed a test against
Purdue but there’s more to come with four games remaining on the schedule
the Spartans will have to keep their poise to accomplish their goals he’s
shooting Miles has it. He’s shooting for the win He got it. He got it. He got a three. He got a three. And that’s it. This game is over. Michigan State just knocked off the
Boilermakers and folks we’re alive and well in this big ten race growing up in Grand Rapids
Xavier Tillman grew up with strong family influences and a love for
basketball I grew up with three brothers and one younger sister and then my
parents Rosvelle and Tanya we grew up a real close family we spend every day
together we always went to each other’s sporting events and stuff like that my
dad made sure that we were really close together and that we always just did
stuff together as a family all the time they were always frisky always fighting and
running around kind of little competitive against each other but
that’s good you know because when one does something you know the other one
tried to do better it was like me and him would fight my oldest brother would
protect me, oldest brother would protect him type things oh it’s kind of a rivalry. A big one.
the competitive spirit didn’t stop at Xavier’s siblings it was his
mother who had led his path to Big Ten basketball I was born and raised in
Flint Michigan so I have some Flintstones blood running through my
veins and so does Xavier went on to the University of Michigan where I played
for four years of scholarship athlete I was an All Big Ten Player a two year
captain second team all-big ten player part of at that time one of the all-time
best on women’s basketball teams at the University of Michigan
she um really liked Coach Izzo in the fact that he was a realist and that he
really cared about me and my family and he cared about like my skill level did
he talk to me about what I could do and the things I need to work on now no
other college coaches really told me that they kind of told me what I wanted
to hear and that’s what kind of separated into my mom it’s mind
coach izzo was involved very early in the process started recruiting Xavier in
ninth grade and really gave us some great advice about keeping our circles
small I kind of told us what it was gonna be a like and prepared us for it
we sat down together as a family and figured out what was really
important and prioritized those things terms of the education that he wanted
the type of school environment that he wanted of the kind of basketball
experience that he wanted and at the end of the day he narrowed down his choices
to Purdue Marquette and Michigan State my michigan state visit went really well
but in the back of my head I’m like okay well you know I still really considering
Marquette and then after the visit I was like ughhh I don’t know anymore
so then the day that we came back home for my last visit at Marquette
I told my fiancee I was like we’re going to michigan state and then she was like
really and I was like really and then she was so excited the reason that I’m
not choosing Marquette or Purdue it was because I have a dream and that dream is he’s in the right place he is a
consummate team player I hope that through basketball I hope it
gives him as much joy as it gave me in my life and it opens as many doors of
opportunity as it did for me because he’s gonna do the work I’m super excited
for the opportunities that he’s gonna get because of his basketball experience
but I just wanted to have fun enjoy it it’s gonna go super quick but he’s in a
great place in great hand the program is such an elite program where it’s like
they have so many alumni that have made it to the professional level the
coaching staff with Coach Stevens and Fife and OG and coach izzo it’s like
they pushed me to different levels and they and they challenged me every day to
have confidence in myself and just be the best player that I could be and like
the fans are just unlike anything I’ve ever seen before as far as like the
energy and the support and how much they care about us and stuff like that not
just on the court but off the court so those kind of things really like just
sealed the deal for me no player forgets their first workout
once they arrive on campus for Xavier it set the tone for his freshman year I
remember my first workout I was kind of nervous because I was like oh man like I
don’t know if they’re gonna think I suck oh man he’s really good I had no clue
what to think so I was okay well I’m just gonna come in and I’m just gonna
work really hard and I just came in consistently and I worked as hard as I
could as hard as I could and I ended up losing some weight that was a
big thing for me just losing weight but I didn’t know how and they told me
dieting was a huge one because they said you can’t really outwork a diet so it
doesn’t matter how hard you work you still have to put the right things in
your body to lose the weight that you want to lose so that was a big thing for
me push push push push push I think Xavier
has been a surprise for us finally be honest with you you know he came here
and lost 20 pounds and It kind of like changed this world he was a decent
student in high school he’s been a phenomenal student here he’s he was a
decent good player in high school we think he’s got a chance to be great
the Spartans starting lineup have provided a blueprint for Xavier to learn
from things I’ve learned from them confidence they all have so much
confidence in themselves we’re like they feel like they can make every shot they
take they feel like they deserve to be on the floor they feel like that the NBA
is gonna come they’re all patient with it and then nobody’s forcing it they
just have the confidence in their own ability that they’re gonna be successful
one day and and I that kind of instill that confidence in myself like okay you
know I I gotta think the same thing in my head because I see how well it’s
working out for them I wanted to be like the giant growing up
I wanted to be that athletic guy who could do everything past shoot run the
floor get highlight dunks and stuff like that I realized that I couldn’t jump
like LeBron does but at the same time always had in the back of my head that I
wanted to still play like him so that’s what I try to do but just mostly from
the post even though it’s a Xavier wanted to
model his game after LeBron it was another 23 that struck coaches Izzo’s
memory I can’t give back so much credit yet his dream on turned out so
good but it when I look at dream on at the same age there’s things that X is
ahead of dream on on you know now Tremont really started kicking in as he
lost the way to took him maybe more of his freshman year and he got back on
track so X got a long way to go but where he
is like him as his intelligence his toughness his will the work and will the
win winning is a very important part Xavier proved that winning was important
when the Spartans took on Maryland early in Big Ten play Cash threw me a bounce pass
on a pick and roll and I scored pass down low to Tillman I think was
like my first point of the game and once I scored I was like oh man like I’m
ready I’m ready I’m ready for this so I was on defense and the guy threw bounce
pass and I got the tip and I was like you know what that ball is bouncing
slow I think I can go get it so then I just ran in I’d ov and even though I
stopped it before the line I slid past it and the ball went out of bounds but I
didn’t expect for my teammates or the crowd or coach to just go so crazy I
thought they okay yeah nice hustle time it was all over him he loves the effort
by his freshmen kind of like inside okay like that’s
what they really like and that’s what they need out of me is to be that energy
guy in to make energy and hustle plays okay I can do that
so Xavior Tillman doesn’t play a lot but his opportunities he scores a point
every two and a half minutes and even though sometimes it’s seven minutes
sometimes it’s ten minutes this kid has grown and exponentially over the year
and I am really excited for his future I mean he is gonna be a guy that
everybody’s gonna be talking about he’s got some of the intangibles that we love
he’s got toughness he’s a tell him what to do defensively
he knows his assignments he’s a film watcher at a young age which excites me
and just the way he’s handled himself in a circumstances that he’s been in has
been phenomenal this team is really talented so our only goal is to win a
Big Ten championship regular season and tournament champion and then make a huge
run in the NCAA tournament so like this summer that’s all we
prepare for we didn’t prepare to win a second in any place we just came to take
it all and with that being said like that’s our only goal and we worked
really hard for it also just enjoy the process because it is my freshman year
and I’m playing game but at the same time the back him
okay I kind of want to play a little bit more but it’s like look at who’s in
front of you and you have to just not necessarily sit back but you just have
to keep working and and stay humbling and just keep doing the right things and
eventually your times gonna come now we got to work on getting better every game
focus and energy are gonna be the battle right man all night number two Michigan State will take the
floor with Minnesota here inside the barn in Williams Arena here in
Minneapolis we’re about to find out as a maturity level of the ballclub can it
beat at Purdue can win the marquee game and then back it up because what we’ve
been saying now since we took the air they all count one and this one’s
important and then you win this one then the next one’s even more important to it
Winston here comes Jackson fakes the three gives it back to Caccius here comes
another long one and he’s two for two now to Caccius back to Jackson there’s
another three ball he got it every bucket made in this game has been from
long range the ball Winston bounce pass Jackson here comes a long
one MSU is five for five from long range
Lankford ends it over now to Kenny Goins going to the wing McQuaid for a three he
got it Michigan State is just lighting this place up from long range you gonna
take him on he was a step back to a little short rebound Ward up and it’s in
and Nick got fouled go first down down on the side McQuaid
head fake now the Jackson wide open for a three he got it he has 11 points
already wanna live it not much dying from three for Michigan State what a
spartans trying to finish things off here 1019 to go down low to Jackson and
Jackson just destroyed the rim that’s watch Bridges’ hustle here see if it gets
stacks of junk shot short rebound join McQuaid open for a three Spartans up big on the road looking for
their 13th big 10 win of the season a beautiful bounce pass to a cutting and
white opens Xavier Tillman for the slam and so what a performance a 30 point win
here tonight in Minneapolis and Michigan State’s winning streak is now going to
go to 9 straight it’s Michigan State 87 and the Golden
Gophers have 57 not come up and just start jacking shots so Spartan all-access welcome to our crib you know we got a lot of different
changes around here in the last couple years especially last year this past
summer we got the Hall of history you know Tom Izzo hall of history
recognizing a great coach our usual spot on the bench look like I fit right in
right here huh ready for the game the start you even got part of the court
over here anyone ready to shoot some free throws see how we lookin man we got
the girls the guys jerseys make sure we look and fly all the way down to the
kicks so now as we keep heading farther in we got everybody that’s ever been
here not just the pros just anyone that’s ever come through here and we
keep going this way we got our fueling station where you know this is where we
come to get all the snacks some PB&J some fruit – fully stocked fridges of
anything you could ever ask for you know all the good stuff to keep us going
we’re gonna come back and check out the men’s basketball offices this is where
the the hub of men’s basketball or everything analytical everything with
the videos the coaches is where it goes on and as we keep going we make our way
into the film room we get to see coach Garland the og the og man so this is
where all of our managers hang out and do their film work know TK our oldest
resident on staff we got deli the video coordinator working with Gav right now
looking at some game film what’s up man good Shaun our second oldest resident on
staff just everybody working on film right now I’m kind of getting the hang
of it and down here we got where all the magic
happens you know that’s where the money’s made, it’s the aux gym this is a workout
area look at we got the young bucks in here working yeah this is just where it
comes this is literally where everything happens where we all get it right and
this is another one of our pristine upgrades this year
Draymond Green was so generous to donate a whole bunch of money to make
this place happen and it turned out to be beautiful than anyone ever expected
and now from here we’re about to go check out the locker room now you guys get to see a real treat got
a couple guys in here chillin right now you know Tom Chi el capitan Hojo you
know Cueto Big Shot Quaid we’re just chillin
you know a lot of guys spend their days in here when they don’t got anything to
do you guys won’t come check out my locker you know might not be too clean
right now but it’s all good so this is you see we got all the pictures on the
doors as I upgrade from last year but inside they even upgrade us I got a
couple snacks in here some papers shoes all the good stuff everything I need for
practice pretty much here we go the man who keeps us right what you got
in here Oh BC coming out the hot tub looking
grand who’s this Xavier those cash money I know my man, my fault bro yeah and Nick
Richie our trainer what’s up the operating man himself
keeps us all right let’s head out see this see the court so yeah it’s the door
we come out for the games it’s a route we take you know they just put this up
last two years or something like that all the things on the wall just used to
be white so it’s definitely a better addition yeah this is this is where we
meet for all the games right here get our little pregame jump going on and as
you can see the girls kind of warming up for the game so we’ll let them be but
you know I gotta go get ready for practice now so thanks for taking the
tour of my crib and change what you’ve done that’s the yeah we win a lot of
things happen it is not you I say welcome to Allstate Arena Michigan
statement number two in the land well Michigan State playing as well as
anyone in the country best start in school history like the well-oiled
machines this team Northwestern does not play great all year and you just have
that fear that they might show up today off to a great start easy look inside
black range from Michigan State to get on the board
Nick law again he has a quick seven-point and wild cats taking 14 to
6 lead and another to team with an agent with
trouble the Northwest has come out just socked Michigan stay in the mountain and
now it’s incumbent upon his party to respond begin punching back the Spartans
are discombobulated but Kidd Northwestern threat to that their
schemes defensively their alertness this kid is on fire
in the first half Northwestern has lead by as many as 27 points in this first half that
biggest deficit of the year for Michigan State it’s how you chip away at a big deficit
take the ball of the rim and get yourself closer to the bonus and each
five minute the courts that have
six or seven points this deficit easier said than done they hit the deck that got down thirteen to two runs the Michigan State
lookout 1125 to go in the game miles bridge is coming off the bench
here’s Winston basket year these Michigan State fans with a baseline an 18-2 to run after Northwestern at a
22 to run in the first half Winston Top of the key, pure lankford download Jackson and
Michigan State first points in 11 minutes one minute left
this is a big moment for michigan state of miles bridges right here that’s away
nothing but natural miles bridges down by 27 Tom Izzo number-two ranked
Michigan State Spartans come back and they beat northwestern for their tenth
consecutive win and they really had to dig deep to get this one I would
appreciate it we didn’t raise most kind of red


  1. I almost turned the Northwestern game off at halftime, and then I remembered a moment my brother will never let me live down. October 17th, 2015 – nine seconds left vs Michigan. All that is left is for their punter, who has been money all day to get the ball away. I couldn't stand to see the end of our undefeated season. I turned off the TV. I texted my brother a few minutes later – "could have played better, but still a good performance in AA". And he wrote back, "True, but who cares? Still unbeaten!" I didn't see the miracle punt block until Sportscenter that night. Now I NEVER give up.

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