Originally written on College Chalktalk  |  Last updated 11/20/14
(Credit: Ohio State Athletics Communications) Watch Ohio State forward Deshaun Thomas play for all of two minutes and the skills and physical tools are undeniable.  At 6-7, 215 pounds, Thomas has the rare ability to glide past a defender in one instant and overpower another in the next.   He possesses and inside-outside game, range beyond the three point line and versatility on the defensive end to guard multiple spots. Last season Thomas averaged 16 points and 5.4 board per game.  So far this year he’s averaging 22.5 points and 6.5 caroms through the Buckeyes’ first two contests. Beyond the numbers, however, Thomas’ game is expanding in a different way – mentally. “I’ve worked hard on not getting down after missing my first shot or two to begin a game,” Thomas said after yesterday’s win.  “Missing my first shot or two used to be a pet peeve of mine… and I’d let it affect me, but I’ve matured and have learned to keep playing hard and stick with it, knowing the shots will fall.” That ever-improving focus and perseverance was on display yesterday.  OSU, with its hands full against a stubborn and well-coached Rhode Island team, clung to a 30-26 lead at intermission.  Thomas scored a pedestrian eight points and didn’t connect from long range on two first half attempts. In the second frame, Thomas maintained focus and asserted his will on both ends.  The junior exploded for 17 points on five of nine shooting overall, including a three of four effort from long range.  He also got to the line four times, made several clutch hoops to maintain Ohio State’s cushion, and came up with a key steal and bucket down the stretch as OSU escaped. The end result, an 11 point win for OSU and as fluid a double-double as you’ll see, as Thomas scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the full 40 minutes of action. He may have not expected to play the entire night without a breather.  But Thomas responded after a slow start early and – as figures to be the case on many night this season – was the engine that led OSU to victory. “I can’t take any games off,” Thomas said.  “I have to treat every game the same, play hard all the time and stay positive and do all the things to help this team win.  It’s a passion.”   Related Posts:Defending inside with collective effort key for UConn against Wake in St. ThomasBig 12 Notebook: Checking in on Stellar FreshmanBig 12 Notebook: Royce White Emerges as one of Nations bestBig 12 Notebook: Jones returns, Momentum building at K-StateBig 12 Notebook: Surprises and Disappointments Edition
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Pacquiao knocks down Algieri six times in easy win

John Calipari gets daughter's birthday wrong

Carson: Hall of Fame career not worth concussion problems

Tiger hires new swing coach

Is Sting making his WWE debut at Survivor Series?

Eric Decker: It's tough watching Emmanuel Sanders, Broncos

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Semaje Perine breaks Melvin Gordon's rushing record

Report: Chip Kelly, Eagles GM not seeing eye-to-eye

Pete Carroll open to playing Richard Sherman at WR

Jay Gruden: RG3 has been 'coddled for so long'

Red Sox have best offer on table for Pablo Sandoval?

LeBron: Kevin Love will get the ball 'if he demands it'

WATCH: Young reporter asks Helfrich funny question

Sager makes first appearance since leukemia diagnosis

Harvard kicker wears glasses

WATCH: Tennessee fans go a little overboard celebrating TD

Dwight Howard out indefinitely after having PRP on knee

Report: Mike Gundy pursuing Florida job

WATCH: Jameis Winston gets away with shoving an official

WATCH: Georgia's Chris Conley makes diving TD catch

WATCH: Nebraska blocks field goal, returns it for TD

Florida DL shows support for Will Muschamp with eye black

WATCH: Javale McGee kisses elderly fan sitting courtside

WATCH: Tim Tebow busts out a brief Steve Spurrier impression

Buckeyes News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Cal gets daughter's bday wrong

Carson: Career not worth concussions

Report: Gundy pursuing Florida job

Tiger hires new swing coach

WATCH: Jameis Winston shoves ref

Florida DL supports Will Muschamp with eye black

Jay Gruden: RG3 has been 'coddled'

LeBron: Love needs to 'demand' the ball

Bills-Jets game will be free admission

Pete Carroll: Lynch is 'our guy'

Which NFL team will get the #1 pick?

Game of the week: Patriots vs. Lions

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.