Thomas discusses conditioning, recruitment

Scout.com caught up with five-star Elijah Thomas where he discussed his conditioning, the head coaches that keep in contact the most and he touched on his relationship with Larry Brown.

Elijah Thomas' focus has changed. After battling conditioning issues, the 6-foot-8, 240-pound center said he's turned the corner.

"Everything is going well," Thomas told Scout.com. "I can honestly say I'm in the best shape of my life since I've been playing basketball. My coach is known for getting guys in shape. He's coached Chris Bosh and Bryan Hopkins so he's seen pros and knows how to get you ready for the next level."

Outside of his coach pushing him, Thomas said his mentality is different than last year.

"I think it's just all mental for me," he said. "Last year I was in OK shape. Then towards the summer, I turned into that kid I was in the eighth grade and that wasn't really good for me. I just think it was mental for me to tell myself I wasn't doing that again."

"I wanted to get back into shape and prove to people that I should be in the running for the best player in the country," he added.

Early in the season, Thomas, a five-star recruit, is averaging 22 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks a game.

Thomas has had a number of college coaches come to see him this year. Among the head coaches that have stopped by are Anthony Grant, Thad Matta, Rick Barnes, Scott Drew, Billy Kennedy, Larry Brown, James Dickey, Lon Kruger, Travis Ford and Dave Rice.

"It's going good," he said of his recruitment. "I actually sat down and watched a lot of games this year. I'm learning how teams play. A lot of coaches tell you this guy plays this way, but it's kind of 50-50. Some teams don't throw the ball [inside] as much as they say, but some do."

"It's getting better," he added about the process. "I've just told myself I wasn't going to worry about it, but I pray about it pretty often and I'm just blessed to be in this situation pretty much."

Thomas has already taken unofficial visits to Baylor, Oklahoma State, Minnesota, SMU, Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Kansas, Alabama and Arizona. Schools like UNC, Louisville, North Carolina State, Illinois and Oregon also recruiting him.

Who does Thomas hear from the most?

"Larry Brown, Dana Altman, coach Grant from Alabama, Billy Kennedy, coach Matta, coach [Rick & Richard] Pitino from Minnesota and Louisville, coach [John] Groce from Illinois, coach Rice from UNLV and coach Drew from Baylor he talks to me pretty often."

"Definitely coach Larry Brown," Thomas added. "I reach out to him just as much he reaches out to me. That guy has so much wisdom and so much love for the game. I can talk to him about pretty much anything. It's not just about basketball all the time."

Thomas said there is high interest in SMU because of that relationship with brown, plus the proximity to home.

"It intrigues me because you'd get to play for Larry Brown and it would be playing close to home and again Larry Brown isn't just known for being a great basketball coach, but he's a great person."


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