Ohio State's desperately needed a big for their already stout 2015 class for about as long as anyone can remember. Though the Buckeyes sured up some of their short term interior presence needs by landing the transfer commitment of former Virginia Tech center Trevor Thompson, 17-year-old Daniel Giddens has all the potential to be the sort of player Amir Williams was projected to when he first stepped foot on campus in Columbus.
Though Amir, likely the second best defensive interior presence in the Big Ten, never quite turned into the player on both ends Buckeye hoops aficionados had hoped he would, Giddens, assuming he fills out in a major college strength and conditioning program, very well could. The 6'10, 235-pound Marietta, GA product checks in as the 46th best player in the 247Sports Composite rankings for the class of 2015 as well as the 11th best overall center and third best player from the state of Georgia in the class.
But let's get down to brass tacks. With today not only the Fourth of July, but also Giddens' birthday, this announcement has proven to be the kind of celebratory day for the Ohio State basketball recruiting brain trust that Wednesday represented for the OSU football contingency. Let's check out what Giddens brings to Ohio State:
Giddens' size and length isn't teachable, but he'll need to show serious signs of improvement on the offensive end of the game if he wants to evolve into a future NBA caliber player. CBS Sports' Jeff Borzello said of Giddens after the NBPA Top 100 camp late last month, "his offensive game is still essentially non-existent outside of dunks, but he can be a dominant rebounder and shot-blocker. Still getting better."
When you watch his tape or catch him in person, Giddens' best attribute is first and foremost his defense. He approaches blocking shots with an aggressive but focused mindset and uses his advanced strength to put himself in defensive positions to be successful. His frame is still such too that while coaches already speak highly to his interior presence, he'll have the ability to fill out more and get even stronger
Even more impressive than his approach or his growth potential, Giddens' motor is quick to draw high praise. Both on offense and defense, Giddens never stops trying to make an impact on a given play, and his relentless effort could prove more than palatable to cheer on for the Ohio State fan base lucky to land his services.
As mentioned, Giddens' offensive game is on the raw side. Though it's not uncommon to say the least for a 6'10 16/17-year-old big to need some additional polish on that side of the court, don't expect day one offense from Giddens.
Partially because of the role he's accustomed to playing presently, Giddens is clearly most comfortable immediately around the hoop. Expanding his range to keep college big men honest will only benefit him over time. If he can develop a reliable short-to-intermediate game, he could prove impossible to keep off the court at the next level.
Out of the gates, Giddens can be a good rebounder, interior defender, and player who doesn't need the ball in his hands to be successful. If he wants to reach his full potential, he'll have to develop more versatility and reliability offensively.
Now that he's announced he'll be a Buckeye, let's take a look at some highlights of the junior below: