Sullinger and Thomas peaking for Buckeyes

By John Marshall

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, March 31 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Ohio State forward Deshaun Thomas talks to reporters during a news conference in New Orleans, Thursday, March 29, 2012. Ohio State is scheduled to play Kansas in an NCAA tournament Final Four semifinal college basketball game on Saturday.

Gerald Herbert, Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS — Jared Sullinger's decision to return gave Ohio State a boost. Deshaun Thomas' emergence as a scoring threat has taken some of the weight off his teammate's shoulders.

Together, the sophomore forwards helped lead the Buckeyes into the Final Four.

Sullinger could have been a lottery pick after his freshman season, but opted to come back for the chance to win a national championship in Columbus. Shaking off a late-season funk, he's been superb in the postseason, scoring 18 points a game.

Thomas was little more than a bit player last year, but has picked up his scoring this season, leading the Buckeyes with 21.8 points per game in the NCAA tournament after being their second-leading scorer during the regular season.

Ohio State faces Kansas in the Final Four on Saturday.

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