Dallas-area big man chooses to stay in-state, picking Texas A&M over Illinois, others

 LANCASTER, TX -- It's becoming a monthly Illinois basketball tradition.

The anticipation of a top-flight recruit committing to a college of his choice - and that choice isn't Illinois.

It happened again in the Dallas suburb of Lancaster, and 6-foot-9 power forward Elijah Thomas committed to Texas A&M.

Before he made his announcement Thursday afternoon, Thomas wrote a blog about his top-5.  Here's what he had to say about the Aggies: "They were the first to offer me a scholarship when I was in the eighth grade and I'm close with the team and the coaches."

Thomas made his official visit to Illinois in September, and had been very open about his recruitment on social media in the months before and after.

In that same pre-decision blog, Thomas also gave his opinion on the Illini:

"Illinois is a school I really like a lot," he said. "I love how they maneuver their posts in their offense. Coach Groce is a great coach and I love the atmosphere there too. Their fans are crazy and they showed me a lot of love on the visit. Plus, I'm really close with all of the guys committed there."

Aside from Illinois, he listed SMU, LSU and Oklahoma State in his top-5.

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