Deshaun Thomas to return to Ohio State

Deshaun Thomas to return to Ohio State

Published Apr. 6, 2012 5:30 p.m. ET

COLUMBUS, Ohio--Deshaun Thomas, a sophomore forward on the Ohio State men’s basketball team, will return for his junior season, Thad Matta, head coach of the Buckeyes, announced Friday.

“Deshaun, his family and our coaching staff have spent the last week evaluating his future,” Matta said. “Deshaun determined he wants to remain a Buckeye. We are looking forward to building on the success our team enjoyed in 2011-12 with Deshaun playing a significant role next year.”

Thomas hopes to help the Buckeyes toward a goal of a fourth-consecutive Big Ten title next season.

“We have a great team returning next season and I want to be a part of another championship run,” Thomas said. “My family, my coaches and I looked at my future as a professional but I love being a Buckeye and want to continue my education and development as a player and as a person at Ohio State.

“If I do have an opportunity to play basketball professionally, I want to have an immediate impact,” Thomas said. “Working with my teammates and coaches at Ohio State will help me achieve my future goals.”

Thomas, a native of Fort Wayne, Ind.,  is the top returning scorer and rebounder from Ohio State’s Final Four team that finished 31-8 in 2011-12. He averaged 15.9 points and 5.4 rebounds.

Over 39 games last year, Thomas connected on 52 percent of his field goals (243-467) and connected on 75 percent of his foul shots (83-111).  For his career, Thomas (6-7, 225) has scored 897 points (11.8 ppg.) over 76  appearances and 39 starts.

Ohio State has won 65 games with Thomas’ contributions over the last two seasons. The Buckeyes have won two Big Ten regular-season titles, made two trips to the NCAA tournament “Sweet 16,” advanced to a pair of Big Ten tournament title games and have won 38 games in Columbus with Thomas in the lineup.