Skip to content

Ohio State will struggle if it can’t support Deshaun Thomas

Feb 10, 2013, 4:12 PM EDT

Deshaun Thomas AP

You can’t fault Deshaun Thomas Sunday. The 6-7 junior scored 26 points, including going 8-of-9 from the free throw line in Ohio State’s 81-68 loss to No. 1 Indiana.

The cause for concern, though, is the point distribution.

Thomas will get his points, as those who lead a major conference in scoring will, but it is the complementary pieces like Aaron Craft, Lenzelle Smith, Jr., Sam Thompson, and LaQuinton Ross who need to step in and produce.

To Craft’s credit, he had 16 points, but Thomas still accounted for 38.2 percent of Ohio State’s total offensive output, even higher than his usual 27 percent portion of production. Thompson was just 2-of-8 from the floor. Smith, Jr. had six.

Ohio State should be pleased with the progress of Ross, who had 11 points, but the Buckeyes need more of a split like they had in their overtime loss to No. 3 Michigan earlier this week if they want to make a run in the NCAA tournament.

In that loss to Michigan, Thomas accounted for just 22.9 percent of the offensive, helped along by Ross, Craft, and Smith, Jr. in double figures, along with strong single-digit production from Amir Williams and Sam Thompson. It’s that balance that keeps the defensive-minded Buckeyes able to compete.

That is why it may be difficult for some to pick Ohio State to advance deep into March because it’s unclear whether the Buckeyes can string together a series of games against high-level competition with Thomas as the lone go-to scoring option and defense as the focus. This also hurts when Ohio State begins to slip behind, as it did Sunday against Indiana.

Thomas can only do so much. It would be asking a lot of a single player to dig a team out of a 10- or 15-point hole in an NCAA tournament game.

The Buckeyes return to the floor Thursday against Northwestern.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Latest Posts
  1. Boise State lands graduate transfer guard from Boston College

    May 4, 2015, 10:00 PM EDT

    (Getty Images) Getty Images

    Boise State might have found some production in its backcourt to help replace Derrick Marks.

  2. Quinn Cook’s senior speech at the Duke banquet is tremendous (VIDEO)

    May 4, 2015, 9:01 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP Photo

    Quinn Cook had plenty of ups and downs at Duke and this senior speech caps it all off.

  3. Four-star Class of 2016 forward commits to San Diego State

    May 4, 2015, 7:55 PM EDT

    AP AP

    San Diego State landed a top-100 player in the 2016 class on Monday night.

  4. Report: Former Clemson guard Rod Hall has interest from multiple NFL teams; college football also an option

    May 4, 2015, 7:30 PM EDT

    (Getty Images) Getty Images

    Former Clemson point guard Rod Hall has some decisions to make regarding his future in football.

  5. Four-star Class of 2016 guard Frank Jackson will take a mission trip before playing college basketball

    May 4, 2015, 6:15 PM EDT

    (Kelly Kline/adidas) (Kelly Kline/adidas)

    Class of 2016 guard Frank Jackson is a unique recruit because of a two-year mission he plans on taking after high school.

  6. Former Kansas State guard ends up at Seton Hall

    May 4, 2015, 5:15 PM EDT

    (AP) AP

    Seton Hall picked up a potential impact guard as a transfer.

  7. Terry Rozier surprises three-year old at his birthday party

    May 4, 2015, 3:18 PM EDT

    CardChronicle CardChronicle

    It was a Terry Rozier-themed birthday part. Awesome.

  8. VCU’s Mo Alie-Cox charged with misdemeanor assault in incident with woman

    May 4, 2015, 2:56 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP Photo

    Mo Alie-Cox is one of the biggest and strongest players in college basketball.

  9. Looking Forward: Potential Breakout Stars in 2015-16

    May 4, 2015, 2:42 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP Photo

    A quick look at some guys that can be stars in 2015-16.

  10. Bo Ryan helped raise more than $1 million for cancer this weekend

    May 4, 2015, 11:54 AM EDT

    Bo Ryan Bo Ryan

    Ryan has set records for his ability to raise money at events like this.

  11. Remembering when NBA MVP Stephen Curry first became a star (VIDEOS)

    May 4, 2015, 11:27 AM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Curry burst onto the national scene with a huge 2008 NCAA tournament run.

  12. SMU loses Class of 2016 commitment

    May 4, 2015, 10:51 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 10.49.59 AM

    LeGerald Vick could end up moving into the class of 2015.

  13. Pittsburgh adds to interior depth as graduate forward Rafael Maia commits

    May 3, 2015, 11:30 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    Maia led the Ivy League in rebounding in each of his three seasons playing at Brown.

  14. Notre Dame lands four-star 2016 point guard Temple Gibbs Jr.

    May 3, 2015, 10:55 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    Notre Dame’s first commitment in the 2016 class is an important one.

  15. Four-star point guard becomes Texas A&M’s first 2016 commitment

    May 3, 2015, 10:05 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    The Aggies are on the board in 2016, and they’ve landed one of the top distributors in the class.

  16. Excerpts of Wisconsin forward’s testimony in Kessler lawsuit unsealed Thursday

    May 3, 2015, 8:25 PM EDT

    Nigel Hayes, Frank Kaminsky AP

    Nigel Hayes believes that each individual school should be allowed to decide how much they give an athlete should they be allowed to pay them in the future.

  17. Former Penn State forward headed to Houston Texans rookie minicamp

    May 3, 2015, 6:10 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    The Texans will hold its rookie minicamp next weekend.

  18. UNLV-bound Derrick Jones wins yet another dunk contest (VIDEO)

    May 3, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT

    Kelly Kline/Getty Images Getty Images

    Jones hasn’t played a college game yet, but when he arrives on campus at UNLV he’ll be one of the best dunkers in college basketball.

  19. Colorado transfer will finish his career at Arkansas

    May 3, 2015, 4:00 PM EDT

    (AP) AP

    Former Colorado guard Dustin Thomas is heading to Arkansas.