Elijah Thomas, 6-9, 230 pound big man, has trimmed his list of schools to Oklahoma State, SMU, Illinois, Texas A&M, LSU, and UNLV.
Thomas is widely considered to be among the best bigs, and even one of the best players in the 2015 class. ESPN ranks him as the 10th best player, Rivals as the 11th best player, and 247Sports as the 17th best player in the nation. He would be a dominant inside force, which, I think we all know, is something that OSU has lacked in recent years. Hailing from Lancaster High School, it would mark another successful trip to the Metroplex for Coach Travis Ford if he were able to persuade Thomas to be a Poke.
There's a lot to love about Thomas's game. He has a knack for scoring down low and has a very soft touch around the basket. He has a variety of post moves and can use either hand. He has a 7-1 wingspan so his length is great as well. What struck me as most surprising about his game after watching his tape is that he can even put the ball on the floor a little bit, though he's definitely more comfortable around the basket. He's a very talented rebounder (please come here, I'm begging you), and also shows some nimble footwork.
Thomas is not without some faults. He's not a great athlete at all, which is something that is pretty obvious from watching his highlights. Not a lot of explosiveness and plays below the rim. Another concern is his fitness, but hopefully that's something that goes away with a college conditioning program. He can also appear disinterested at times on the defensive end.
Honestly, he reminds me a lot of DeJuan Blair, a slightly undersized big man with weight problems, but has the ability to score around the basket in a variety of different ways and is an excellent rebounder.
Here's a quote from Thomas on OSU and his recruitment.
This was the second school to offer me a scholarship. Coach [Butch] Pierre and coach [Travis] Ford have been to my school as many times as they could. They’ve been to all my games and I know a lot of the players there. The fan base and people there are really cool. I like their academics, outside of basketball, which means a lot. Also there’s an opportunity for me and Jawun to play together.
The rest of the article by Evan Daniels can be found here.
And here's some highlights of Thomas.
Thomas will take his official visit to OSU on September 13th.