NCAA BK

Deshaun Thomas to enter NBA draft

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP)

Forward Deshaun Thomas will forego his final season of eligibility at Ohio State and will enter the NBA draft.

Thomas finishes his Buckeyes career ninth on the school's all-time scoring list. He averaged 19.8 points and 5.9 rebounds this season as the Buckeyes landed in the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament.

''My three years at Ohio State have been the best years of my life,'' Thomas said. ''I have grown tremendously as an individual and as a basketball player. I intend to return to finish my degree, but I believe that now is the best opportunity to pursue my dream and begin my career as a professional basketball player.''

Ohio State went 29-8 this season. In three years, Thomas helped lead the Buckeyes to 94 victories, three NCAA tournament appearances and a Final Four appearance in 2012.

The Buckeyes also won Big Ten regular-season titles in 2011 and 2012 and earned a pair of league tournament titles in 2011 and 2013.

''To see Deshaun grow into the man he has become has been amazing,'' Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. ''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.''

Tagged: Ohio State, Ohio, Deshaun Thomas

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