James (Turk) Tillman, a reserve ward-guard on the University of Maryland basketball team for the past two seasons, decided yesterday to transfer to Eastern Kentucky.

Tillman will leave today for the Ohio Valley Conference school. Classes start Friday, He will not become eligible for intercollegiate basketball until 1978-79 season and will have two years eligibility remaining.

"It's the school that's best fitted for him," said Pete Fedak, the attorney Tillman retained after being charged with two counts of petty larceny on the College Park campus last month. "He should be given a second chance and an opportunity to play."

Although Tillman now will not face action by the Mayland campus judicial board, he faces trail next month in Matyland District Court on the petty larceny charges. Fedak said Tillman would return for the trial.

Fedak said last last week that Tillman would leave Maryland. At the time Terrapin coach Lefty Driesell said it appeared Tillman would attend Point Park College in Pittsburgh because he ould only have to sit out one semester.

But Eastern Kentuck came into the picture because three of Tillman's former teammates at Eastern High School are members of the squad there. In the end, Fedak said, Tillman narrowed his choices to Eastern Kentucky and East Carolina.

Fedak said nine Division I schools made bids or Tillman.