Texas A&M Basetball has just received a verbal commitment from 4-star Center Elijah Thomas; he gave his pledge to Coach Billy Kennedy during an announcement ceremony at Lancaster high school. The Aggies were selected over Illinois, Oklahoma State, LSU, and SMU. Thomas, a 6-10 Center from Texas, is currently the #29 overall recruit in the class of 2015 according to the 247sports Composite Rankings.
Here's a quick scouting report C/O of Eric Bossi (Rivals.com):
Thomas is a big man with a great feel for playing in the lane. Comfortable setting up shop on either side of the lane and he uses his strength to hold position. Has soft touch and is outstanding at feeling his defender and spinning off of him. Above average rebounder.
The addition of the ambidextrous big man will bring a legitimate offensive threat to the Aggie front-court. Here are some of Thomas' recent highlights:
Thomas is now the fourth member of TAMU's 2015 recruiting class; he joins fellow Texas natives D.J. Hogg (#31), Tyler Davis (#33), and Admon Gilder (#83).
Illinois still has one remaining scholarship, so look for Coach John Groce to remain active on the recruiting trail. The Illini have made 5-star Power Forward Carlton Bragg's final cut--look for the staff to go "all in" for him. Marcus LoVett, a 4-star Point Guard from Chicago, is starting to generate more interest and Illinois will surely get involved. Lastly, Former Illini Darius Paul could potentially return next season. Paul was kicked off the team this offseason due to disciplinary issues and is currently enrolled at a junior college in Texas.
Losing out on Thomas hurts, but Illinois will be just fine moving forward. In total the Fighting Illini will have 8 former top-100 recruits on the 2015-16 roster. The season may be a year away, but Illini Nation can take solace in the fact that reinforcements are on the way. The team should be well worth the wait.