BREAKING: Texas A&M freshman forward Elijah Thomas has notified the program of his intentions to transfer. https://t.co/gQQRqYFTmD— TexAgs (@TexAgs) December 15, 2015
What do we make of this?
Thomas, a four-star recruit and ESPN100 product out of Lancaster, TX, showed well in early action before losing minutes to nagging injury concerns, foul trouble, and the return of senior Jalen Jones. His form may have dipped, but he was still the heir apparent to 25 minutes per game vacated by Jones beyond this season... so this decision is curious to say the least. Thomas becomes the sixth player to leave the A&M squad since the end of last season*, placing additional transfer emphasis on a program that struggles for continuity on a year-to-year basis.
*It's worth noting that one or two of those guys left in part because Davis and Thomas were going to take a big chunk of frontcourt minutes. This has to sting for them.
The most exciting part of this incoming recruiting class wasn't their impact on the 2015-2016 season. It was the stability they were going to provide moving forward. A program that had become increasingly dependent on incoming transfers was finally going to have a stable core. That's no longer the case.
Billy Kennedy released the following statement on Thomas' transfer request:
"I’m disappointed in Elijah’s decision to transfer. He’s struggled with injuries and missed several weeks of practice. Unfortunately, sometimes young people have a hard time working through the process. I wish Elijah the best."
And Thomas added the following:
"I'm just hoping to find somewhere that I can get an opportunity to show what I can do," Thomas told ESPN. "I have no bad feelings about anything. I appreciate everything Coach (Billy) Kennedy and the staff did for me, and I'm hoping they are successful. Now I'm going to lean on my family and Coach Wes (Grandstaff) and find a place to start the next chapter of my career."
We still have everything we need to contend this season, but the future looks a bit more cloudy.