It was announced last week former Bozeman high girls basketball player Kirsten Tilleman would transfer from Oregon State and was in the process of choosing the school where she would finish out her college basketball career. The minute that this was announced speculation immediately started as to which school would be lucky enough to gain her services, or as what I refer to Kirsten Tilleman Sweepstakes.
Lets start with a little review first. Tilleman is a 6-1 power forward who started all 31 games for Oregon State last season, while averaging 8 points, and 8 rebounds while shooting 46% from the field and shot 58% from the charity stripe in 2009-10 season. As a true freshman she averaged 3.8 points and 4.1 rebounds per game the previous year. Tilleman as a high school player was named 2006-07 Montana Gatorade Basketball Player of the Year as a junior, and 2007-08 Montana Gatorade Soccer Player of the Year. As a senior she averaged 14.4 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.8 steals, 2.9 assists and 2.8 blocks per game, and was the most highly sought after senior basketball player in the state. Oh yea did I mention she is an honor student.
When it became public about her wishes to transfer, both the boosters at Montana State and Montana started to get real excited about the possibility of landing Tilleman to play for their program. There is speculation even, on Egriz.com as well as some booster friends of mine that Tilleman has committed to play for the Griz in the 2011-12 season – the first year she will be eligible. I think this speculation is a little premature. While I feel the Griz are a very strong contented for Tilleman’s services, I am hearing from a couple sources close to the situation that she has not committed to any program, and will visit up to 5 schools before making her decision. I also hear she is not rushing her decision. I have heard that Tilleman will be visiting U of Montana and then head over to Bozeman for an official visit to Montana State May soon. After these trips she will schedule others.
One other thing to keep in mind about Tilleman’s transfer. Under NCAA rules she must sit out the 2010-2011 season if she transfers to another Division 1 program. Unlike most transfers who transfer to their there new school first and sit out the year at the new school, Tilleman plans to sit out at Oregon State and pay her own way there as a regular student. This, if you can afford it, is a great way to go because you become a free agent. You do not have to worry about your chosen school not having a scholarship to offer you, they can plan ahead and free up one for 2011-12. The other benefit for Tilleman is she could even wait and see how her favorite teams perform next year and then choose. Even if she commits to team ‘X’ this spring she could change her mind attend team ‘Y’ next spring. She could even decide to go back to the OSU basketball team at the end of 2010-11 season if she wanted (and they wanted).
Overall it will be interesting to follow and see where Tilleman eventually does end up, but who ever does get her is going to get a good one.