It’s safe to say the Ohio State Buckeyes are going to go as far as Deshaun Thomas can take them. Thomas is the undisputed go-to guy for the Buckeyes, the player who is counted on to score in bunches night in and night out.
On Tuesday night against Purdue, Thomas returned to his home state of Indiana and dropped 22 on the Boilermakers in a 74-64 win. Thomas was showered with boos from the Purdue, but he didn’t let the crowd get in his head.
For Thomas, it was all about getting the Buckeyes back on track after a humiliating loss to Illinois on Saturday.
“We came out with toughness and our offensive production was going well. We knew we needed to do that after the Illinois game and that’s what we did,” Thomas said in a post-game press conference. “We came out with toughness and executed really well.”
Thomas came in averaging 20.2 points per outing and he did nothing to harm his scoring average against Purdue. He drilled four treys and scored 14 of his points in the opening half as the Buckeyes stayed a step ahead of the Boilermakers.
Ohio State head coach Thad Matta had nothing but praise for Thomas after his latest stellar effort.
“He’s come so far in the the three years he’s been at Ohio State and in this program, just his demeanor, from the day he arrived at Ohio State from (Fort Wayne) Bishop Luers to where he is today,” Matta said in a post-game press conference. “I’m just excited for him because he’s worked really, really hard and I hope he continues to play at the level he is.”
The Buckeyes indeed have to hope Thomas continues to play at a high level because they will only go as far as he takes them.
Brian Lester is a featured Big Ten columnist for Rant Sports, and is a member of the USBWA. Follow him on Twitter @BLester1993 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.