Sunday, February 24, 2013

Deshaun Thomas: Tale of a Ball Hog

Deshaun Thomas in isolation
In a conference filled with Player of the Year candidates, Ohio State's Deshaun Thomas leads the Big Ten at 20 points per game.

Thomas is OSU’s sole playmaker, and the only Buckeye averaging over 10 points per game this season.

The stretch-forward has emerged as one of the nation’s most effective scorers because of his ability to beat defenders both inside and out. Play him tight and he’ll drive-by for an easy bucket. Give him space and he’ll step back for a three. In fact, Thomas also leads the Buckeyes with 59 made 3-pointers.

However, Thomas' arsenal of offensive moves is a double-edged sword for the Buckeyes. Too often the team defers to isolating Deshaun, taking his teammates out of the flow.

In this SnapCall, we decided analyze how often Ohio State relies on Deshaun to score on his own.

As the game unfolded, the answer was evident: Thomas rarely sees a shot he doesn't like.

The 6-foot-7 forward attempted 16 shots, including one in which he was fouled from 3-point range. Of those 16 shots, a whopping 15 came from isolation. He made just 2 of those 15.

Hero ball personified.

Despite Thomas' lack of team play, the Buckeyes grabbed the signature-win. Ironically, Aaron Craft ignored his star forward down the stretch, with great success. In fact, Thomas' final FG attempt came with four minutes still to go in a close game. No surprise, it was an isolation post-up.

There's no doubt, Thomas is an incredibly talented scorer, but the $64,000 question remains: can a one trick pony bring Ohio State a National Championship?

Download SnapCall from the iTunes App Store and play along to find out!

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