All eyes are on Ohio State junior forward Deshaun Thomas.
Thomas, who elected to stay with the Buckeyes after former OSU forward Jared Sullinger declared for the 2012 NBA Draft, was named a preseason All-American by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook Wednesday.
A second team all-Big Ten selection and a starter in each of OSU’s 39 games during the 2011-12 season, Thomas averaged 16 points per game on 52 percent shooting.
Thomas caught fire in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, leading the Buckeyes in scoring with 19 points per game on their way to the Final Four.
His postseason performance prompted some to question whether he’d stay at OSU for his junior season. OSU coach Thad Matta collected information about Thomas’ draft stock from NBA teams.
Instead of leaving for the professional ranks, Thomas will remain as one of four upperclassmen on the 2012-13 Buckeyes. Junior guards Lenzelle Smith Jr. and Aaron Craft and senior forward Evan Ravenel will join Thomas as team elders.
Jared Sullinger’s father, Satch Sullinger, tweeted about Thomas Wednesday, from his Twitter account, @satchsullinger: “Now DT gets all the opponents attention. Like Tupac; All Eyes On You!!!!”
OSU is scheduled to open the 2012 season Nov. 9 against Marquette in the Carrier Classic, which will be played on the museum ship the USS Yorktown in Mt. Pleasant, S.C.