WHEELING, W.Va. — Prime Prep sophomore Elijah Thomas was already on UK’s radar before Friday night.
Now, he could be moving to the top of the Cats’ 2015 wish list.
The 6-foot-8 forward turned in a dominating performance off the bench in Prime’s 59-46 victory over Huntington Prep on Friday at the Cancer Research Classic.
Thomas scored 18 points and grabbed five rebounds in just 12 minutes of play. He repeatedly abused Huntington’s frontcourt players with an array of moves in the post and finished 8-for-10 from the field.
“He killed us,” Huntington Prep Coach Rob Fulford said. “He’s got that Zach Randolph, old-man YMCA post game. He’s not athletic, but he’s tough to guard because he’s patient. … You can’t let him get deep position like that and not expect him to score. He’s too good.”
Thomas tweeted after the game that he had received a scholarship offer from Kentucky, but the Herald-Leader confirmed later Friday that he does not yet have an offer from the Cats.
But they are very interested.
“They loved him tonight,” Prime Coach Ray Forsett said. “So I’m pretty sure he’ll get an offer soon.”
Thomas — ESPN’s No. 6 overall player in the class of 2015 — also mentioned early interest from Duke, Florida, Indiana, Ohio State, Kansas, Baylor, Oklahoma, Georgetown, Louisville, N.C. State and Texas.
“I’m open to everybody right now,” he said.
Thomas transferred to Prime Prep over Christmas break, leaving nearby Rockwall High School to join a squad that looks destined to be in the national spotlight.
He’ll be a big part of Prime Prep’s future, especially after senior starters Jordan Mickey (Thomas’ cousin) and Karviar Shepherd depart following this season.
“He’s special, man,” Forsett said. “He gets a little bit more athletic, he’s going to be special. That’s going to be huge for him.”
Though he’s just getting started with the recruiting process, Thomas said he will start taking visits after the season. And he has a long list of destinations, including: Duke, N.C. State, Georgetown, Kansas, Indiana and LSU, where Mickey has signed to play next season.
And, of course, Thomas is looking forward to hearing more from Kentucky.
“It would be a good feeling to be recruited by them,” he said.