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Ohio State’s Deshaun Thomas apologizes for loving to score (but he shouldn’t)

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Let’s agree on one thing: Deshaun Thomas loves to shoot the basketball.

There’s no time when that has become more apparent than in the first three games of Ohio State’s run in the NCAA tournament, as Thomas has averaged 25 points per game on an average of 18 shots.

Thomas says the trend goes back to high school in Fort Wayne, Ind.

“Coaches had the ball in my hands 110 percent of the time,” Thomas said in a press conference on Friday. “That’s what I do. I love to score. I’m sorry.”

Apology accepted, though for what reason, I’m not sure. Averaging 25 points seems to forgive itself.

After exploding for 31 points against Loyola (Md.) in the Round of 64, Thomas’ most important performance came on Thursday night, when his early scoring outbreak helped Ohio State over Cincinnati.

“He came in with the mentality of being a scorer,” Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. “We’ve talked a lot to him about [how] there’s so many other ways that he can affect our team in a positive way.”

The most striking thing about Thomas is his frame. At 6-7, 225 pounds, he is solidly built, yet still able to work both inside and outside to be effective.

The one area where Thomas needs to improve drastically, though, is on the defensive end. Matta famously began referring to Thomas as simply “Shaun,” saying that have the “De” in front was too ironic, because of his lack of effort on the defensive end. If he can do that, it could help to neutralize the depth and athleticism of Syracuse in their Elite Eight game Saturday night.

As Nick Fasulo points out in his Ohio State-Syracuse preview, Thomas’ versatility will be important if the Buckeyes want to crack the Orange zone.

In hand with forward Jared Sullinger, Ohio State has a solid one-two scoring combination in the frontcourt.

Ohio State and Syracuse tip off at 7:05p.m. Fasulo is in Boston, so check back to CollegeBasketballTalk for live coverage after the game.

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

VIDEO: Arizona State’s Torian Graham dunks over teammate

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Arizona State fans won’t get a chance to see Torian Graham take the floor this season, but he did sky over fellow teammates (and transfer) Shannon Evans on Friday night at the team’s Maroon and Gold Madness. The 6-foot-4 Graham is a former Buffalo commit — Evans also came from Buffalo — and both players will have to sit out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer regulations.

Graham hasn’t had a chance to get into a Division I game, but he’ll be able to play for the Sun Devils next season. For now, fans can look forward to Graham’s athleticism on the wing in pregame dunk routines.

A former top-100 prospect, Graham also pulled off this ridiculous move in the dunk contest.


VIDEOS: Bill Self makes two skits, Bragg plays piano

Bill Self
AP Photo
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Kansas head coach Bill Self is known for being unique for the annual Late Night at the Phog and this season, he went with some parody videos centered around the recent DirecTV ads. In the two skits, Self plays himself — which acknowledges his many accolades — while playing alongside “short shorts Bill Self” and “graduate assistant Bill Self”.

Hard to say if these videos top Self showing up in a suit like Andrew Wiggins last year, but there do have good promotional value for the program and Self.

Kansas players also had their chance to shine, with both men’s and women’s teams doing dances. Perry Ellis and Jamari Traylor also attempted to lip sync to Michael Jackson. Freshman forward Carlton Bragg showed some solid ability on the piano, which got the crowd going. Bragg was also one of the strong points in a scrimmage.

Of course, the highlight of the night is Bill Self losing $10,000 on a halfcourt shot, but here’s everything else notable from Late Night at the Phog.