It seems like lately the Friars have seemingly had depth at the beginning of the season only to have that depth evaporate rapidly before their eyes. Last year it was Kris Dunn needing surgery then Vincent Council slipping on a silly court decal (since outlawed by the NCAA, thankfully). This year it was again Kris Dunn needing surgery and then the Austin/Bullock situation that led to both players being suspended for the entire school year and ultimately Brandon Austin deciding to move on to Oregon.
The “iron 6” has been pretty fun to watch in stretches this season but it appears they have been running on E the last few times out. Having some depth at the guard position would be very helpful right about now. It seems that Ed Cooley and his staff are doing their best to make sure there will be plenty of guard depth on next year’s roster.
One name that has surfaced over the last month or so is 2014 PG recruit, Austin Tilghman. Austin is a native of Middletown, DE and is a former high school and current AAU teammate of 2014 PC commit, Ben Bentil. One interesting note that I was not aware of before speaking with Austin is that he and Bentil are much more than teammates. Bentil lives with Tilghman. Bentil calls Austin’s mother, “Mom” and his father, “Dad”.
Bentil and Tilghman are brothers.
They have spoken about playing with each other at the next level and have even joked about playing against each other. While Bentil is currently dealing with missing many of his St. Andrew’s high school games due to a bizarre ruling by the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association that he is a 5th year senior, Tilghman is playing his senior season at Archbishop Carrol in Philadelphia. He’s a two sport star there who also has offers and interest for football from Villanova, University of Delaware, Coastal Carolina and FIU in addition to an offer from Manhattan College and interest from PC, Binghampton, Furman, Monmouth, FIU, Canisius and recently JMU for hoops. He has taken visits to Quinnipiac, Fairfield and FIU wants he and his family to come in March while Manhattan College is looking to set up a visit soon after their recent offer.
When asked about his biggest strength, the 6’2 215 lb Tilghman stated something his former St. Andrew’s coach, Terrell Myers, has praised him for in the past: high basketball IQ and ability to use his size and body “to get where I need to be on the court.” He states his biggest weakness as shooting off the dribble but it’s something he is working on a lot.
“I am determined to get where I need to be and make the plays,” Tilghman said. “I have been compared to Marcus Smart, Aaron Clark, and Levance Fields.”
Levance Fields is a player many Friar fans may remember from his time at Pitt. The toughness and grit he played with are likely what lead to the comparisons. When I asked Austin if he agreed with people describing him as a “bulldog” at the PG position he replied, “bulldog is one way to describe it…I won’t be bullied.”
Tilghman transferred to Archbishop Carroll after playing at St. Andrew’s with Bentil for his first 3 years of high school. He is now playing in the very competitive Catholic League in Philly and his current team is the same team that lost to former Friar freshman, Brandon Austin’s Imhotep squad in the state finals last year. It’s interesting to note that Tilghman has really only played the point guard position for a few years and he played mainly in the post prior to his freshman season at St. Andrew’s.
It appears PC will keep an eye on this young man as they continue to scour the globe for some guard depth in the 2014 class with Kris Dunn coming off a second shoulder surgery and the only other point guard on the roster right now for next year being walk-on Casey Woodring.
A source involved in PIAA Class AAA basketball in Philly had this to say of Tilghman’s game, “he’s tough…he’s solid…he’s got balls.”
Sounds pretty good to me.