Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Fighting Illini Basketball Recruiting: Fighting Illini Pay Visit to Elijah Thomas


The Illinois Fighting Illini made the most of their week off between games as the team paid 2015 power forward Elijah Thomas a visit on Tuesday. Thomas is the top ranked Texas recruit by both 247Sports and ESPN while also being ranked in the Top 5 for the position rankings.

Jul 18, 2013; Washington, DC, Team USA West player Elijah Thomas (14) holds the ball against Team Canada during the Nike Global Challenge at Trinity University. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Jul 18, 2013; Washington, DC, Team USA West player Elijah Thomas (14) holds the ball against Team Canada during the Nike Global Challenge at Trinity University. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Thomas has been on the radar of numerous basketball programs from across the nation as he currently holds offers from 22 teams.

However, the Texas native is only heavily interested in nine schools which include SMU, Baylor, Illinois, Louisville, Minnesota, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Oregon, and Texas A&M.

Currently, the majority of the recruiting experts on the 247Sports Crystal Ball favor Thomas picking Oklahoma State when it’s all said and done.

Although, in this day and age, all the teams that receive heavy interest are in the race for Thomas until he signs that letter of intent.

Elijah Thomas is a force to be reckoned with in the paint. He can score in the paint and he can rebound in the paint. He has great hands and can score with either one. His only weakness comes on the defensive end of the court as he is not the best shot blocker.

According to ESPN, their scouting report states that the bottom line on Thomas is:

His hands and feet and the coordination he displays for a young big are quite impressive and make him a big time prospect. The key is how tall will he get because he isn’t a super athlete. We’re anxious to follow his progress closely. Thomas is a true up and comer and one of the better players in the 2015 class.

After losing out on the Cliff Alexander sweepstakes and losing the commitment of Quentin Snider, it would be huge for the Fighting Illini to land Elijah Thomas when it’s all said and done. Since John Groce signed on as the coach of the Illini, he has been able to bring in some quality talent, but hasn’t been able to sign the big name.

Maybe that can all change with Elijah Thomas for the Class of 2015.

The five-star recruit is currently ranked 1st in the state of Texas, 4th among power forwards, and 12th among 2015 high school recruits by 247Sports.

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Tags: Basketball Elijah Thomas Illinois Fighting Illini Recruiting