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Deshaun Thomas ready for leadership role as Ohio State goes for Big Ten crown

The Ohio State men's basketball team is hoping to push for another Big Ten championship, and Deshaun Thomas is ready to play a big role in that pursuit.

Joe Robbins

The Ohio State men's basketball team will need a big season from junior forward Deshaun Thomas if they hope to challenge for a Big Ten championship, and Thomas says he's up for the task.

Last season he averaged 15.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game -- he also posted strong 31- and 24-point games in the NCAA Tournament. After flirting with an NBA declaration, he decided to return for another college campaign.

Thomas informed FOX Sports Ohio of his lofty goals for 2012-13:

"I still have goals to take care of. That's trying to get a Big Ten championship, then a national championship, then the sky's the limit for me," Thomas said.

"I'm best running that wing, creating off the bounce," Thomas said. "But ain't nothing wrong with getting an easy bucket down low sometimes. There's a lot to my game, and it's not about me. A rebound and a putback at the right moment, that helps the team. Being able to step out and stretch the defense, that helps too."

Head coach Thad Matta has certainly been impressed with Thomas, and he's glad to have the talented scorer back: "His evolution as a college basketball player has been a phenomenal thing to watch," Matta said.

The Buckeyes open their season Oct. 30 vs. Walsh. This year they have tough non-conference games against Marquette, Duke and Kansas. As always, the Big Ten conference schedule will also present a big challenge.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.