Junior Deshaun Thomas has elected to forgo his senior season at Ohio State and become eligible for the NBA Draft. The 6’7″ forward averaged 14.4 points per game as a Buckeye, scoring 1630 points in three years, while averaging 5 rebounds per game, and shooting nearly 48 % from the field.
A native of Fort Wayne, Indiana — Thomas is considered by many as a first round draft pick. Well known for his offensive production, Thomas put Ohio State on his back at points during his junior season. Averaging just under 20 points per game and starting in all 37 games played this season.
And when it mattered most in his Ohio State career, he stepped it up. Thomas is the second all time leading scorer in Buckeye tournament history. His 62 tournament rebounds are also fourth all-time in school history.
In a prepared release by the Ohio State Communications department, Thad Matta talked about Deshaun’s development as a player the last three years.
To see Deshaun grow into the man he has become has been amazing. His accomplishments on the floor speak for themselves but I am just as proud of him and what he has done off the floor. We recruited him offering the opportunity to grow as a person and player and that is exactly what happened. I know there is much more in-store for him in the future and I am proud to have been able to coach him.
Thomas will spend time between Columbus and Indianapolis preparing for the NBA Draft.
With the 21st pick in this evenings’ NBA draft, former Buckeye Jared Sullinger was informed that he would be headed to one of the most legendary franchises in basketball when he was drafted by the Eastern Conference’s Boston Celtics.
The two year star at Ohio State saw the end of a challenging week with the phone call from Danny Ainge; a certain lottery pick after his first season in Columbus, a second season with the Buckeyes resulted in concerns regarding his health- particularly his back. Sullinger missed several games this past season with hamstring and back injuries, and numerous scouts raised concerns about his resilience over a longer season.
However, several medical professionals and the Sullinger Camp were adamant that his durability would not be an issue- and GMs noted that he would be a steal in the second half of the first round. Jared is the 7th first round pick in six years for Ohio State.
Jared’s work ethic has never been questioned, nor has his heart. I believed going into the draft that whoever ended up selecting him would get a greater player than his draft status and statistics would indicate- he is the ultimate team player, and will thrive under another quality coach. Sullinger joins a team with some aging leadership; it will be interesting to see if he can contribute minutes to rest the veterans while learning the ropes and awaiting his time to shine. The sky is certainly the limit.
Video by WBNS-TV’s Dom Tiberi
In a press release tonight, the University had reflections from Coach Matta and an overview of Jared’s career at Ohio State. Read More
With the drafting of Jon Diebler by the Portland Trailblazers in last Thursday’s NBA Draft, the Buckeyes added one more of their products to the professional ranks. Diebler joins former Buckeye Greg Oden on Portland’s roster, although it remains to be seen if the two will ever fulfill the opportunity to play together that was not afforded in college due to Oden’s departure for the NBA after his freshman season. Oden’s injury troubles since joining the NBA are well known for both their regularity and severity, and those following his career are now mostly hoping just to see him get some minutes on the floor, as the prospect of making a big impact on the league seems to be dwindling. It would be a welcome sight to see Oden running the floor again, demonstrating the defense and shot-blocking that were his signature in college and feeding the ball out of the post to Diebler on the perimeter, but before these two young players that contributed so much to Thad’s efforts at building the Ohio State program can hit the hardwood together, Oden must overcome the initial hurdle of getting healthy.
In a way, Oden ushered in a different kind of era for Ohio State basketball. Although he has struggled in the NBA, Oden had a stellar freshman year at Ohio State, earning him the #1 overall pick in the subsequent draft. Beginning with that pick in 2007, Ohio State has had a player taken in the first round of the draft each year until this year, when Diebler was taken in the middle of the second round. Mike Conley and Daequan Cook joined Oden in 2007 at the #4 and #21 spots, respectively, 2008 featured Kosta Koufos going #23, 2009 saw B.J. Mullens selected #24, and last year Evan Turner was taken with the #2 pick. Prior to Oden’s class, Buckeyes appearing in the draft were few and far between, and selections of Ohio State players were always in the second round when they occurred. Even Michael Redd, who went on to have an All-Star caliber season in the NBA, and who remains a member of the Milwaukee Bucks to this day, was not selected until #43 in 2000. Read More
With the NBA Draft set to take place Thursday night, new Ohio State basketball alums David Lighty and Jon Diebler will be waiting attentively in hopes of hearing their names called for one of the 60 picks in the two rounds of the Draft. Neither Lighty nor Diebler is an appealing enough prospect for an NBA team to warrant a coveted place in the Green Room, where the players nearly guaranteed to go in the top 20 picks are invited, but both former Buckeyes had solid senior campaigns that will at least get them some consideration for picks later in the Draft.
Ohio’s own Cleveland Cavaliers hold both the first and fourth overall picks, although the final slots could easily change before or during the Draft in a typical flurry of trade activity. Minnesota, Utah, and Toronto hold the second, third, and fifth picks, respectively, and will seek to add some much-needed talent to their rosters. Top candidates for a lottery pick include Kyrie Irving of Duke, Derrick Williams of Arizona, Enes Kanter of Turkey (that’s the country, not a university from the MEAC), and Brandon Knight of Kentucky, who we will refrain from wishing ill will upon. You will note that Jimmer Fredette, although having a good shot at a lottery pick, is not among the elite prospects for this year’s draft. Jazz trading down, anyone? Read More
The Boston Celtics have used their first pick in the 2009 NBA draft to select Michael Jackson F (Neverland). Hope this works out for them.