Video Exclusive Illini Mike Tisdale Interview

miketisdale

Interview by Paul M. Banks and Paul Schmidt, write-up by PMB

When it comes to the NBA Draft, any 7 footer with average-or- better athleticism is a bonafide prospect. Illinois junior Center Mike Tisdale (7’1”, 235) is certainly on the radar screen of NBA GMs for 2011, if not 2010. An honorable mention All-Big Ten selection by coaches and media, he was one of the league’s most improved players, finishing fourth in the Big Ten in field goal shooting and second in the league in conference play FG percentage. He was the team leader in blocked shots, ranking fifth in the Big Ten.
He doesn’t do all his work inside either, as he possess very nice form on his jump shot.

In a sound trashing of the Michigan Wolverines last winter, Tisdale stepped out and knocked down a couple big treys, prompting opposing coach John Beilien to tell the media: “I didn’t know he could do that. I didn’t know he could Pittsnogle us.” Beilien was referring to the former West Virginia University icon he once coached Kevin Pittsnogle who (according to a New York Times feature last March) is now well over 300 pounds, out of basketball and lives in a double-wide.

Tisdale is also well known for the overly publicized 6,000 calorie a day diet that the program has put him on, in the hopes that he will gain some weight and become a bulkier post presence. When I look around in a room full of sports writers, I think they share his diet. If Tisdale gets big enough to bump and grind with the big boys, he’ll obtain the consistency that he lacks now. Becoming more sure of himself would help too. We discussed his confidence, whether he would just rather have a salad sometimes and much more in this video below

Last season Tisdale was the team’s leading scorer in 11 games, more than any of his teammates. Over one five-game stretch, he averaged 19.0 points while shooting 58.8 percent. As of today, it looks like he’ll be a mid 2nd round pick in 2011, because his career arc (at this early stage at least) is reminiscent of former Illini big man Robert Archibald. He was never an actual star, but was solid enough to be drafted 31st overall by the Memphis Grizzlies in 2002.