Talk to any NCAA coach and they will tell you that April has now become the most important month for recruiting. Identifying players is one of the key things to do for recruiters. One player that many schools have as a prime target in the class of 2006 is John Tiller, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound shooting guard from Wheeler High School in Marietta, Ga. A half dozen coaches rolled into the Peach State to see him in action this week and many more are sure to follow.
Playing with the always-talented Atlanta Celtics, Tiller has emerged as one of the top players for the team this year. His defense on guys like O.J. Mayo has grabbed the attention of coaches. His scoring against some of the best teams in the country helps, too. See his 27 points against the Houston Hoops.
Going back to the state playoffs, his defense on guys like Louis Williams and Mike Mercer helped start the momentum to the Real Deal on the Hill and the Kingwood Classic, where he shined on both ends of the floor. Tiller has no complaints over the last three weeks.
"I think I've done really good actually. I feel like my shooting touch came up some and I'm taking it more to the rack now. My main goal was to win of course but I also wanted to get on the map and put myself onto the scene," Tiller said. "I've had six coaches come by in the last couple of days. I think I've done pretty well."
Tiller said coaches from Virginia Tech, Auburn, Georgia State, Marshall, Wofford and Georgia have all stopped by Wheeler High School after the Kingwood Classic. Alabama, Indiana and Miami have all inquired as well. Georgia Tech has always been in the picture, Tiller says.
"I think Coach (Paul) Hewitt is coming by, too," Tiller said. "That is a school that I really want to look at. With their basketball and academics, it's a school that I really like. Everything about them I like. They are a good engineering school and I like that."
Schools will come around as the year progresses. Tiller said he doesn't have any immediate plans to hit the road for visits. However, looking at a school that isn't too close to home is something he's thinking about.
"I wouldn't mind getting away from home and learning how to be less dependent from my parents," Tiller said.
With continued play like he's had in 2005, schools from all over will most certainly be willing to give him a chance to get out on his own.