Deshaun Thomas leaves Ohio St, enters Draft, where does he fit?

Deshaun-Thomas

Deshaun Thomas was the NCAA Tournament’s scoring leader last March. Before the Buckeyes were eliminated in the Final Four, Deshaun Thomas really showed what he can do offensively, and improved his NBA draft stock. This year his NBA Draft stock plateaued, after jumping greatly his sophomore season. Deshaun Thomas will now enter the draft and see where his fortunes lie.

Thomas plans to finish the 2013 Ohio State Spring Semester while splitting time between Columbus and Indianapolis preparing for the NBA Draft. Also check out the interesting letter to the editor Deshaun Thomas placed in the school’s paper a couple days ago.

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Ohio State just too big and strong for Northwestern: 75-73

jared-sullinger-nba-draft

Ohio State came in 33-2 and winners of 13 straight versus Northwestern when nationally ranked. So you had to like the chances of the nation’s #10 team in Evanston. When you saw them make their first six shots and jump out to a 69% to 35% field goal average (nearly double) about halfway through the first half, I’m sure you liked their chances even more.

Give Northwestern (17-12, 7-10) credit though, they did keep fighting, and they fought hard to nearly force overtime in the final seconds.

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Illini Brandon Paul Drops 43! Illinois Stuns #5 Ohio State!

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Illinois wing Brandon Paul was incredibly efficient tonight, becoming the 1st college basketball player in the last 15 years to score 43+ on 15 or fewer field goal attempts. It’s the third most single game points by an Illini in program history.

His heroics carried the Illini to a 79-74 victory at home over the #5 Ohio State Buckeyes.

What a special performance. There is just so much good to write here, in the second half alone, but I’ll try to keep it from becoming 600 words.

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#2 Ohio State (ment) Game: Buckeyes Crush #4 Duke 85-63

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In the transition from 2010 to 2011, the Ohio State Buckeyes lost Evan Turner, the man who swept all the national college basketball player of the year awards, but got better. Last year they were the tournament’s overall #1 seed, lost a couple key guys this offseason, but may be better this year than they were last year. They certainly looked the part Tuesday night.

This was supposed to be the Big Ten/ACC Challenge heavyweight title fight. Instead it was a laugher, as OSU scored the first 13, and ran away with it long before halftime. Duke never led, and instead suffered one of the worst November beatings in the history of the school. This was no doubt one of the worst losses of the Coach K. era.

Jared Sullinger had a game-high 21 points (and eight rebounds) for the Buckeyes. It is the 41st time he has scored in double figures in his career. Aaron Craft had 17 points and eight assists. But the name which started to become household in this one is Deshaun Thomas, who had 18 points. It is the 17th time in his young career and sixth consecutive that he has scored in double figures. A highly rated recruit who got lost in the shuffle last year, he’s playing a very prominent role for the Bucks this year.

“Everything kind of fell into place for him (Thomas). He had a couple of nice drives and open threes, which got him into a rhythm. The last play of the first half, the out of bounds play, was huge – we literally put that in at practice today and it gave us all the momentum going into the break. He just has a knack for finding shots,” OSU Coach Thad Matta said of Deshaun Thomas’ performance after game.

Ohio State has now defeated two AP Top 10 non-conference opponents at home this season for the first time in history. They are 3-3 all-time vs. Duke and 38-26 all-time vs. the ACC. Ohio St. moved to 5-5 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge with four-consecutive wins. As a ranked team, the Buckeyes are 402-108 overall and when ranked in the AP Top 10, the Buckeyes are 280-59.

NBA players Evan Turner, Mike Conley, Greg Oden, Lebron James and Dwyane Wade were all in attendance at this game.

“I thought Ohio State played a great game against us. They were a fresher team; I thought our team played tired. They are very athletic, together and they played with a great verve. Obviously they are deserving of the win, but they were a lot fresher than we were. We could never get into the ballgame,” Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski said.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

#3 Ohio State Buckeyes: College Basketball 111 in 111

ohio state buckeyes cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

During last season, it seemed very likely that the Ohio State Buckeyes would lose all five starters.  However, Jared Sullinger and William Buford chose to return to school rather than enter the NBA Draft.  Those two will anchor a young, but very talented team that should once again be in national title contention and could possibly be even better than last year’s team that won 34 games.

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Ohio State’s Forgotten Freshman, Deshaun Thomas

Deshaun Thomas

Blind resumes are ever-so popular this time of year in college basketball with Selection Sunday nearing. Instead of comparing two teams, let’s compare the per game averages of Player A and Player B:

Player A – 18.2 min, 11.7 pts, 5.4 rebs

Player B – 12.5 min, 4.9 pts, 2.7 rebs

Per game, Player A has played 25 percent more minutes, scored nearly three times as much, and grabbed twice as many boards as Player B.

By: Justin Mertes-Mistretta

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Ohio State’s Deshaun Thomas: The Forgotten Star Freshman

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When it comes to the number one team in the nation, the Ohio State Buckeyes, people usually start by talking about their stud freshman Jared Sullinger, who might just be the best player in the nation. Seniors David Lighty and William Buford should end up on NBA rosters next year, even though Will has taken a big step back this year.

Then there’s that phenomenal freshmen class. After Sullinger, Aaron Craft is making some headlines. But don’t forget about big ten freshman player of the week 11-29-10 Deshaun Thomas, who went off for 15.5 ppg, 68% fg that week.

By Paul M. Banks

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#1 Ohio State Stays Unbeaten; Skate by Illini in Champaign

To paraphrase Dean Martin’s timeless lyrics and apply them to college basketball: “Everybody loses a ballgame sometime, everybody gets defeated somehow.”

And on paper, it appeared Ohio State’s trip to Assembly Hall meant “that sometime was now.”

We know that OSU is the #1 team in the Big Ten (after all, they’re #1 in nation), but many experts (including ESPN’s Dan Dakich) believe Illinois to be the second best team in the conference. So it makes sense that a road game against the Illini would logically be the hardest game left on the Buckeyes’ schedule.

By Paul M. Banks
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THE Ohio State Buckeyes Big Ten Preview

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Ohio State has stormed to a 13-0 start, winning every game by double-digits. They are also 1-0 against the AP top-25 (win against former #10 Florida). While they haven’t been tested early on, the Big Ten schedule will prove just how tough the Buckeyes really are.

Game to Watch: OSU at Wisconsin, February 12. The Buckeyes are 0-7 at the Kohl Center during Bo Ryan’s current nine-year stint with the Badgers. This includes the Greg Oden/Conley runner-up team of ’06-’07. By the time these two teams meet, the Buckeyes may very well be the #1 team in the nation. The Badger football team already knocked off the then #1 ranked Buckeyes. Could this be a similar fate for the OSU basketball team? This may just be the best game out of the entire Big Ten schedule, let alone Ohio State’s.

By: Justin Mertes-Mistretta

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Profiling #4 Ohio State’s Phenomenal Freshmen Class: More than Jared Sullinger

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After his dominating performance at #11 Florida yesterday, there’s been a lot of buzz about Buckeyes big man frosh Jared Sullinger, not to be confused with his older brother J.J. Sullinger who also played for tOSU.

And neither is to be confused with J.D. Salinger, author of “Catcher in the Rye,” although I have made that mistake on occasion. As big as this year’s Ohio St. freshman class is, next year’s will be giant as well.

Thad Matta, head coach of fourth-ranked Ohio State, added a fifth member to the 2011 class of recruits with the submission of an NCAA National Letter of Intent Wednesday by Amir Williams, a 6-foot-10 inch, 220-pound center from Birmingham, Mich. Williams’ addition to the class strengthens a group of high school seniors already rated by analysts as a Top 10 class nationally.

So when Sullinger‘s one-and-done there will be plenty of reinforcements.But what about this year? How good are the Bucks rookies? At Big Ten Media Day I sat down with OSU senior center Dallas Lauderdale to discuss the freshest batch of players.

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