2015 five-star big man Elijah Thomas talks Indiana

012512Indiana’s ascent back to the top of the national rankings has been one of the major storylines in college basketball over the last year and that rise is shining a favorable light on Bloomington as a destination for the nation’s top recruits.

After wrapping up one of the top classes in 2012 and 2013, the Hoosier staff continues to recruit aggressively for 2014 and beyond.

One of the latest names to surface on the radar is 2015 Dallas (Tex.) big man Elijah Thomas.

The 6-foot-9, 235-pound forward is rated the No. 6 player in his class according to ESPN.com and talked to Inside the Hall on Thursday night about his interest in the IU program.

“I’ve got a lot of interest in them,” Thomas said. “I like watching them play. I like the way they develop players. And I like their style of play and how they’re a family.”

Thomas said he’s spoken to assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Kenny Johnson and called that budding relationship “excellent.”

He’s also been watching Indiana games on television this season and said the way IU utilizes national player of the year candidate Cody Zeller is a major plus in his eyes.

“I like the way they let Cody Zeller make his own decisions,” Thomas said. “They trust his basketball IQ so much. That appeals to me a lot. From watching coach Crean on television, he’s just a really good coach. He knows how to push his players and make them successful on and off the court. I like that a lot.”

Thomas spent his freshman season at Rockwall High School, but transferred to Prime Prep, which was founded by former NFL standout Deion Sanders, last month.

He also dropped 25 pounds, which has helped his explosiveness in the post.

“I’m strong [in the post],” he said. “I’m working on being a low post player because when I was younger I played guard so I have good ball-handling skills and a very high IQ. I’m a team player and don’t really like taking bad shots. I can set screens for my teammates to help them score, block shots and start the break, score off of screens, get to the line and score in the low post one-on-one.”

While he’s still early in the process, Thomas reeled off an impressive list of schools that he’s hearing from in addition to Indiana.

“Duke, Georgetown, N.C. State, North Carolina, Illinois, Baylor, Kentucky, Ohio State, Kansas, Florida, that’s about it.”

  • atlhoosier

    “That’s about it”

    ………

  • Evansville Hoosier

    That’s a pretty good list to start from. Maybe if Vonleh plays exceedingly well next year he’ll like our player development even better.

  • marcusgresham

    Deion Sanders, Headmaster

  • Haystacks

    Prime prep, really Deion? This country doesn’t have a chance in education.

  • plane1972

    Not sure why Kentucky would be interested. This kid is not even top 5.

  • N71

    What a nice headline to wake up to, “5 Star Big Man Talks Indiana”.

  • http://www.vccm.net/ iubase

    MC Hammer as private tutor….hammer time

  • Abellham Lincoln

    Read on Prime Prep. Its already showing potential trouble.

  • SCHoosier

    Four years ago, a prospect like this wouldn’t even answer the phone if IU called. Now..E. Thomas can relate..with accuracy, the major points of IU b-ball that he knows about and likes. Thank you Coach Crean and staff, national TV and VO, Will and Cody (Player development prime examples).

  • Guest

    Read on Prime Prep. Already drawing negative attention.

  • WisconHoosier

    He sounds bright, articulate, poised, and focused. Very impressive.

    Just imagine him and 6’10 250 lb Diamond Stone (2015) on the same team.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daren-Patrick-Collentine/1498325427 Daren Patrick Collentine

    So did Deion Sanders just open this school a month ago? That sentence didn’t make sense to me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daren-Patrick-Collentine/1498325427 Daren Patrick Collentine

    Nevermind. He transferred there a month ago. Im retarded.

  • twarrior87

    Is it weird for a prospect to describe himself as having a “very high IQ”? I can’t imagine telling someone I’m very smart, just seems a little off to me. I’m not saying he’s definitely selfish, conceded, or arrogant. Maybe he was repeating someone eles’s description of him. I know I’m reading too much into it, but the section where he’s talking about himself seemed a little “off” to me.

  • http://www.insidethehall.com/ Alex Bozich

    Not selfish, conceded or arrogant at all. Very well spoken and intelligent kid. One of the better interviews I’ve done recently.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gregory.spera.3 Gregory Spera

    I’m just trying to do the math here. He is class of 2015. That would make him a high school sophomore. That would make him, what… 15 years old? He’s already 6′-9″ and 235 lbs after having DROPPED 25 lbs?!? Yes, please.

  • twarrior87

    Excellent, thanks Alex. Like I said I was probably reading too much into it. I’m glad to hear that from someone who’s spoken with the kid. You do a great job!

  • Ben Ancelet

    He likes to set screens and get teammates open…any way he can suit up now so Jordy can get an open look off of something he doesn’t create or a dribble penetration?

  • Ben Ancelet

    He likes to set screens and get teammates open…any way he can suit up now so Jordy can get an open look off of something he doesn’t create or a dribble penetration?

  • A TRAIN

    i luv it u can never have enough GOOD big men…stay on him coach johnson…go iu

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