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Deshaun Thomas, Aaron Craft among preseason top 15

Deshaun Thomas and Aaron Craft were both ranked among the top 12 players in CBS Sports' preseason top 100.

Andy Lyons - Getty Images

Ohio State juniors Deshaun Thomas and Aaron Craft both made CBS Sports' preseason list of the top 100 college basketball players.

Thomas was ranked No. 10, which was the third-highest of any Big Ten player. Only Cody Zeller (No. 1) and Trey Burke (No. 9) were ranked higher among players in the conference. Thomas had a strong sophomore season, averaging 15.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. CBS Sports expects him to play an even bigger role this season with Jared Sullinger and William Buford no longer around.

Here is what CBS Sports had to say about Thomas:

With Jared Sullinger and William Buford gone, the focal point of the Buckeyes' offense will be Thomas. The lefty is an impossible matchup, given his ability to overpower defenders and finish at the rim.

Craft was ranked just below Thomas, checking in at No. 12. That position ranked him as the third best pure point guard, checking in behind Burke and Missouri's Phil Pressey. Craft averaged 8.8 points per game and 4.6 assists per game last season. CBS Sports also lauded his defense.

The consummate point guard, the Buckeyes junior is arguably the best perimeter defender in the country. He provides leadership, makes his teammates better -- and will need to become more assertive on the offensive end.

Craft and Thomas will attempt to lead Ohio State back to the Final Four when the Buckeyes begin their season on Nov. 9 against Marquette.

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