Annually the Los Angeles Athletic Club announces 10 student athletes who are deemed to have not only proven to their university that they are making progress towards graduation, but have also performed at the highest levels of the sport of college basketball.
Ohio State junior forward Deshaun Thomas was amongst those announced Monday late afternoon on ESPN U as 2013 John R. Wooden All-Americans, capping a day in which earlier he was named a third team AP All-American. One year prior, former teammate Jared Sullinger was amongst the ten honorees. After a strong junior year which saw him finish the regular season as the Big Ten's leading scorer, Thomas can add this honor to an already distinguished resume.
Joining Thomas as Wooden honorees are Michigan guard (and national player of the year favorite) Trey Burke, Miami point guard Shane (and son of former Cincinnati Red shortstop Barry) Larkin, Creighton's Doug McDermott, Kansas's Ben McLemore, Indiana's Victor Oladipo, Gonzaga's Kelly Olynyk, Georgetown's Otto Porter Jr., and Indiana's Cody Zeller. Of course McLemore is expected to leave college after just one season and it's unlikely many of these names actually make good on their early academic progress, but the 10 mentioned certainly earned the praise in terms of their outstanding play on the court.
Now our attentions turn to whether or not Thomas returns for his senior year. The odds are certainly long, but given that Thomas' primary reason for coming back last season was that he wasn't a first round pick (and that would still appear to be the case), nothing's out of the question.