Thomas Selected by the San Antonio Spurs in Second Round of the 2013 NBA Draft
June 28, 2013
June 28, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Deshaun Thomas, a 6-foot-7-inch forward from Fort Wayne, Ind., played three years in Columbus for the Buckeyes before deciding to forgo his senior year to enter the 2013 NBA Draft. That decision was rewarded Thursday when the San Antonio Spurs drafted Thomas with the 58th overall pick in the second round.
Thomas said being drafted is only the beginning to what he hopes will be a lengthy professional career.
“After today, I need to work even harder,” Thomas said. “This opportunity means a lot to me. I have believed in myself all along. There are a lot of people who have dreamed of being in this situation but have given up because it became too much work. I didn’t give up. Now my goal is to stay in the league for a long time.”
Thomas is the ninth Buckeye coached by Thad Matta, head coach at Ohio State, selected in the annual professional draft, held this year at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
“We are so proud of Deshaun and what he was able to accomplish during his time on and off the floor as a Buckeye,” Matta said. “Being drafted in the NBA has been a goal of his and we are thrilled he was able to make that happen.”
Along with classmates Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr., Thomas helped lead the Buckeyes to 94 wins over the last three years. He finished with 1,630 career points, good for the No. 9 spot all-time in Ohio State history. His 205 points scored in NCAA tournament play rate No. 2 all-time.
As a junior, Thomas led the Big Ten Conference in scoring with 19.8 points per game. He also topped his teammates on the boards, averaging 5.9 rpg. His 1,630 career points and 560 career rebounds placed him in a select group of Buckeyes to score more than 1,000 points and record 500+ rebounds. He was the 25th Buckeye to do so all-time.
Seven of the nine Ohio State student-athletes selected in the NBA draft since Matta took over the program (2005-present) were taken in the draft's first round and there has been at least one in each of the last seven draft classes.
The last first-round selection was Evan Turner, selected in the opening round by the Philadelphia 76ers with the second overall pick in 2010. He followed in the footsteps of Greg Oden, Mike Conley Jr., and Daequan Cook, all freshmen from Ohio State's 2007 NCAA runner-up squad, who were taken in the opening round of the 2007 NBA Draft. Freshmen centers Kosta Koufos (2008) and B.J. Mullens (2009) also were first-round selections.
Portland, with the first overall pick in 2007, selected Oden. He was the first Buckeye selected with the opening pick. Conley went to the Memphis Grizzlies with the No. 4 pick and Cook was selected by Philadelphia with the 21st pick of the opening round. Koufos was taken by the Utah Jazz with the 23rd pick in 2008 while Mullens went originally to the Dallas Mavericks with the 24th pick in 2009. He was then traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder on draft night.
Jon Diebler was taken in the second round of the 2011 draft.
Since 1947, 50 Ohio State basketball players have been drafted by NBA teams, including 23 first round selections.
Thomas joins Sullinger, Turner, Mullens, Koufos, Conley and Cook as Buckeyes currently active in the NBA.
Ohio State made its 25th appearance in the NCAA tournament last season, advancing to the program's 14th Elite Eight. The Buckeyes finished tied for second with a 13-5 record in Big Ten regular-season play and advanced to the title game of the conference tournament. Ohio State won the league tournament title with a win over Wisconsin. With 29 overall victories (29-8), the ninth-consecutive season with 20 or more wins, Matta recorded his 13th-consecutive year with 20-plus wins as a collegiate head coach.
NOTING Deshaun Thomas CAREER HONORS
• 2013 Big Ten All-Tournament Team
• 2013 Sporting News Second Team All-American
• 2013 Associated Press Third Team All-American
• 2013 USBWA All-District V Team
• 2013 First Team All-Big Ten, coaches/media
• 2013 Wooden Award finalist
• 2013 Oscar Robertson Trophy finalist
• 2013 Naismith Award Midseason Top 30
• 2013 Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch List
• 2012-13 Big Ten Player of the Week (Nov. 19, Jan. 14)
• Hall of Fame Tipoff All-Tournament Team (MVP)
• 2012-13 Wooden Award Preseason Top 50
• 2012-13 Naismith Award Preseason Top 50
• 2012-13 Preseason All-American
• 2012 NCAA All-East Region Team
• 2012 Second Team All-Big Ten (coaches)
• 2012 Third Team All-Big Ten (media)
• 2011-12 Big Ten Player of the Week (Dec. 19)
• 2011-12 CBSSports.com Preseason Top 100 Players - No. 73
• 2010-11 Big Ten Freshman of the Week (Nov. 29)
Ohio State STATISTICAL RECORDS
Thad Matta Era NBA Draft Picks
2013:>Deshaun Thomas (2011-13) – San Antonio Spurs – 2 (58)