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COLUMBUS, Ohio – For a change, Thad Matta doesn't have to introduce a bunch of newcomers to college-level hoops this fall.
Having lost eight players early to the NBA draft in his nine seasons with the Buckeyes, the Ohio State coach is accustomed to acquainting first-year players to the college game while plugging holes left by premature departures.
Deshaun Thomas, the Big Ten's leading scorer, surrendered his senior season last spring to be drafted in the second round by the San Antonio Spurs.
But Matta has a veteran crew back that includes two seniors and seven juniors from a 29-win squad that came within a whisper of its second straight trip to the Final Four.
Led by Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr., the Buckeyes return four starters.