Deshaun Thomas Back To Buckeyes; Eyes 2013 Championship
To-be-junior forward Deshaun Thomas is returning to Ohio State for another season under coach Thad Matta with hopes to complete a goal even Jared Sullinger couldn't fulfill- to win an NCAA Championship.
Thomas was the Buckeyes most dominant player late in the season and many scouts hoped that the versatile lefty forward would enter the pro ranks to capitalize on his scorching stretch; he finished the season ranked second on the team in scoring (15.4 points, .531 percent from the floor) and rebounding (5.0) and had an 2012 NCAA Tournament-high of 31 points in Ohio State's opening-round game against Loyola (MD).
Standing at 6'7" with an excellent muscular-build, Thomas can play both inside and out, posting up smaller defenders and finishing commonly with his dominant-hand inside or showing deep range from the perimeter. But Thomas is at his best when he puts the ball on the floor and attacks the rim. He has the size and athleticism to compete inside on the glass (although his efforts were not consistent), where he ranked as one of the nation's better offensive rebounders with better than 2.5 boards per game. His versatility made him one of the most complete offensive players in the country this past season and his impact goes well-beyond just the offensive end: his +13.3 plus/minus was 10th in the nation.
With the departures of Jared Sullinger and senior William Buford, Thomas will take over the reins to the team along with classmate Aaron Craft. If the junior forward can put in a more consistent effort on both ends of the floor, especially on the defensive glass without Sullinger, he projects as a mid-to-late first-round pick in 2013.