Mar 22, 2014; West Lafayette, IN, USA; A basketball rests on the court during a stoppage in play against the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles and the Oklahoma State Cowgirls in a women

Scouting The Recruits: Elijah Thomas


Mar 22, 2014; West Lafayette, IN, USA; A basketball rests on the court during a stoppage in play against the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles and the Oklahoma State Cowgirls in a women

 

Basketball players, specifically elite basketball players, start to get scouted in their early years of high school, some even younger than that. Some top of the line universities will offer scholarships to some players even before their senior year, therefore it’s only natural to get to know some of these blue chip recruits before they even shine on the NCAA, or for some, the NBA stage.

In last week’s “Scouting the Recruits” I interviewed Wheeler High School’s Jaylen Brown, and this week I have Elijah Thomas of Lancaster (Texas) High School.

Elijah is a 6’9”, 230-pound power forward/center in the class of 2015, and is a five-star recruit. Elijah is widely regarded as one of the top big men in his class, and is ranked as one of the most elite recruits by most major recruiting sources.

Database

Overall Ranking

Positional Ranking

ESPN.com

  #6

#3

247Sport.com

  #22

#6

Rivals.com

  #9

N/A

Scout.com

  #12

#6

Elijah, who plays AAU basketball for Team Texas Elite, is dominant on the low block. Thomas can score in the paint, and has the ability to finish with both hands. Thomas isn’t afraid to take contact either, and will bang bodies in the low post. Thomas is a plus rebounder, and an above average defender. His strength is by far one of his best qualities, and he will be able to use that to his advantage, even once he reaches college. The only real nag on him is his lack of elite outside and mid range scoring abilities, but these are things that can be worked on in his senior year, and into college.

I was able to ask Elijah a few questions recently, here’s what he had to say:

SM (Shawn McFarland): As a junior in high school, you’re already being scouted by colleges, dealing with media, all while trying to raise your game for your senior season, something most high schoolers don’t have to deal with.How do you plan to cope with all of the extra distractions that will becoming more prevalent in the coming months?

ET (Elijah Thomas): Well first of all I would like to thank my lord and savior Jesus Christ for putting me in this position. It’s a huge blessing! I just have to remain hungry, humble, and I must keep a chip on my shoulder and it will all take care of itself.

SM: You’re rated as a 5-star recruit by major scouting sources (ESPN, Rivals, 247Sports, Scout.com), how does it feel after years of hard work and dedication to receive this high praise?

ET: It feels great! Again, it’s all a huge blessing especially when you find out how many other young, or older people apart of your society look up to you and watch your every move.

SM: ESPN has you rated as the #3 overall recruit at your position (power forward/center), behind Stephen Zimmerman of Bishop Gorman High School and Diamond Stone of Dominican High School. How do you plan to distinguish yourself from those two, and try to show that you are the best at your position in the 2015 recruiting class?

ET: I believe I am a power forward, not a center, but I plan on getting into NBA shape, showing my full game on and off the court.

SM: As you enter your senior season, the idea of committing to a college will be a huge topic. You may not know what school is your #1 right now, but what are you looking for in colleges (size, playing time, close to home, national exposure, etc.)?

ET: I’m looking for an important bond between a head coach and his staff and my family and I, going with someone I know, rather it be one of my close friends Jawun Evans or Admon Glider, being able to play national TV pretty often, being able to win, and being able to play right away.

SM: Who is your favorite NBA player, past or present?

ET: My favorite NBA players from the present would be Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Trevor Booker. My favorite players from the past would be MJ, Wilt, and Hakeem.

Elijah has reportedly received interest from tops schools such as Florida, Georgetown, Illinois, Arizona, SMU, Texas, and many more, but has yet to make a final decision. With one more season of high school basketball left to be played, he has plenty of time to improve his skill set for scouts.

Expect to see more of Elijah Thomas as he enters his senior season, and then onto college, and keep checking in on HoopsHabit.com for more recruit profiles.

Shawn McFarland covers the NBA and HS Basketball recruiting for HoopsHabit.com, follow him on Twitter at @McFarland_Shawn

Tags: Elijah Thomas High School Basketball Ncaa Recruiting

  • raptorfactor

    I-L-L…