COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Michigan State coach Tom Izzo knows that to stop Deshaun Thomas is the surest way to stop No. 11 Ohio State.
“Thomas is shooting the lights out. He’s been really effective,” Izzo said during preparations for his 18th-ranked Spartans’ home game against the Buckeyes on Saturday night. “We’ve got to contain Thomas.”
The thing is, no one really has been able to do that all season.
The 6-foot-7 junior leads the Big Ten in scoring (by more than two full points) at 20.3 a game. He hasn’t been held below 14 all season, and he’s been between 16 and 24 points in each of his last 10 games.
What’s more, he actually likes it when opposing teams key on him, double-team him or throw some junk defense at him.
“I’m a mismatch nightmare out there,” he said Friday. “They go small, I can post them up. If they go big, I can go around them or pick and pop. It’s sort of a challenge.”
Thomas was one of the leading scorers ever in the basketball-mad state of Indiana at Fort Wayne’s Bishop Luers High.