Posted: Friday January 18, 2013 3:20 PM

Thomas central figure in Buckeyes-Spartans matchup

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - When opposing coaches start strategizing how to beat No. 11 Ohio State, the first objective is hardly a secret.

After all, Deshaun Thomas leads the Big Ten in scoring.

When 18th-ranked Michigan State welcomes the Buckeyes on Saturday, Thomas will again be a marked man.

That kind of focus might bother some players. But Thomas, who steps off the team bus ready to shoot, relishes the challenge of being surrounded by defenders. It's like solving a puzzle, or passing a test.

As a result, the outcome of the game will likely revolve around whether the Spartans (15-3, 4-1 Big Ten) can guard Thomas well enough or whether the 6-foot-7 junior can score enough to carry his team.
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