Buckeyes' Thomas declares for draft

Ohio State forward Deshaun Thomas announced Friday that he will forgo his final season of eligibility and enter this year's NBA Draft.

Thomas is coming off an outstanding junior campaign in which the Indiana native led the Big Ten in scoring (19.8 ppg) and was named a third team All- American. The 21-year-old ends his collegiate career ninth in school history with 1,630 points and is one of only 25 Ohio State players to record 1,000 points and 500 rebounds (560).

"My three years at Ohio State have been the best years of my life," Thomas said in a statement. "I have grown tremendously as an individual and as a basketball player. I intend to return to finish my degree, but I believe that now is the best opportunity to pursue my dream and begin my career as a professional basketball player. I will always be a Buckeye and am blessed to be a part of the Ohio State University family."

Thomas started his final 76 games as a Buckeye and was an integral part of three Ohio State teams that advanced to at least the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament. The Buckeyes reached the Final Four during Thomas' sophomore campaign and were ousted by Wichita State in last weekend's West Regional Final.