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Former Ohio State forward Deshaun Thomas looking to fulfill NBA dreams

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OSU junior forward Deshaun Thomas dribbles the ball during the Elite 8 game against Wichita State at the Staples Center in Los Angeles March 30. OSU lost, 70-66.

Lantern file photo

Former Ohio State basketball player Deshaun Thomas is looking to make his NBA dreams a reality Thursday night at the 2013 NBA Draft.

Thomas announced he was going to forgo his senior season on April 5 and enter the draft after helping guide OSU to an NCAA Tournament run, which ended abruptly in the Elite Eight to Wichita State on March 30 in Los Angeles.

Upon declaring for the NBA Draft, Thomas was projected a late first round to early second round pick, only to see his stock fall this summer.

The 6-foot-7 forward is projected by NBADraft.net to be taken by Memphis with the 41st overall pick, which would make him the 11th selection in the second round.

DraftExpress.com has the Los Angeles Lakers taking Thomas with the 48th pick.

Thomas, a forward from Fort Wayne, Ind., posted 773 points last season, which landed him at No. 3 on the Buckeyes all-time scoring list. He averaged a Big Ten-best of 19.8 points per game and collected 5.8 rebounds per contest.

A proven scorer, the former Buckeye’s critics are skeptical after his performance at the pre-draft combine. His results were less than impressive, as he recorded the sixth-most body fat among participants at 9.1 percent as well as a 12.94 lane-agility test time that was the slowest among 51 players.

Thomas hopes to be the fifth Buckeye in as many years selected in the draft, and the ninth under coach Thad Matta.

The 2013 NBA Draft is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on June 27 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The Cleveland Cavaliers hold the first pick in the draft after winning the lottery on May 21.

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