As we all go through our college hoops offseason cleanse, withdrawal or general sadness programs are heading into it with only worries about their future. It is the time of year when underclassmen bounce for the pros, transfers happen at high rates and coaching vacancies are filled.
While Aaron Craft may have gotten more than enough of the credit for Ohio State’s success, it was Thomas who was their best player. The junior bucket-maker has already declared for the draft and left a gaping hole in production for the Buckeyes. Thomas averaged nearly 20 points and six boards per outing — not really numbers that can be replaced with a wink of an eye.
Ohio State will certainly take a hit with the loss of Thomas. It isn’t every year that a team possesses such a talented player. Still, even with the loss of Thomas, the Buckeyes are returning a slew of talent that shouldn’t result in some form of a monumental drop in wins for next season.
Thad Matta seems to be dealing with these problems every few years or so. Matta recruits so well, in fact, that he is constantly replacing top-tier players after they leave for greener pastures.
Lost in his ability to recruit professional-level players is the fact that he does a great job developing the talent that sticks around for awhile. Thomas, while a possible lottery pick, is a pretty good example of a player who Matta helped reach his full college potential.
After a “name” player leaves a program, it is easy to try to write them off. Ohio State might be losing that type of player, but they constantly bounce back and play well that it is hard to think that they will be anything but good next season.