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Ohio State F Thomas to enter NBA draft

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Forward Deshaun Thomas will forego his final season of eligibility at Ohio State and will enter the NBA draft.

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Thomas finishes his Buckeyes career ninth on the school's all-time scoring list. He averaged 19.8 points and 5.9 rebounds this season as the Buckeyes landed in the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament.

``My three years at Ohio State have been the best years of my life,'' Thomas said. ``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.''

Ohio State went 29-8 this season. In three years, Thomas helped lead the Buckeyes to 94 victories, three NCAA tournament appearances and a Final Four appearance in 2012.

The Buckeyes also won Big Ten regular-season titles in 2011 and 2012 and earned a pair of league tournament titles in 2011 and 2013.

``To see Deshaun grow into the man he has become has been amazing,'' Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. ``His accomplishments on the floor speak for themselves but I am just as proud of him and what he has done off the floor. We recruited him offering the opportunity to grow as a person and player and that is exactly what happened.

``I know there is much more in-store for him in the future and I am proud to have been able to coach him.''

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