Daniel Giddens was a highly sought-after recruit in the 2015 class out of Marietta, Georgia. The 6'10, 235 pound big man had a list of basketball blueblood suitors, like Indiana, Louisville and North Carolina, but the Buckeyes beat all of them out to secure his commitment, and replenish a front court that badly needed an infusion of talent.
The first thing you will hear about Giddens is his defensive presence in the post. At his size, it is clear that he would give people problems, especially at the high school level. The college game is clearly a different animal, but Giddens has great athleticism to go with his size, and is somewhat of a raw talent, especially on the offensive end.
A Look Back:
Giddens played the majority of his high school ball at Wheeler High School in Marietta, GA, which has produced NBA talent such as Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Jermareo Davidson, J.J. Hickson, and most recently, DeQuan Jones. He was teammates with Elijah Staley, who is now a forward and backup quarterback at Mississippi State, and Jaylen Brown, the 5th overall prospect in the 2015 class, per 247Sports. Giddens finished his high school career at the famed Oak Hill Academy (VA), which, has a list of NBA players of its own.
Outlook for 2015-16:
Giddens should expect to get time immediately with the Buckeyes. He comes in as the Buckeyes lose Amir Williams, Trey McDonald, and Anthony Lee, so his presence in the post will absolutely be critical, especially for rim protection and rebounding. Thad Matta has been able to develop bigs and help them become first round draft picks such as Greg Oden, Kosta Koufos, B.J. Mullens, and Jared Sullinger. Giddens is expected to be next in that line.
The Big Ten has been one of the best conferences in college basketball the last couple of seasons, and Giddens' long term development on the offensive side of the ball will be key. Doing some in early nonconference play makes a lot of sense before the degree of difficulty ramps up. His size should really work to his advantage, and make the transition somewhat easier for him. It also helps that he is extremely athletic, and explosive. At the high school level, he was known to send shots into the stands, something his coach had to teach him to harness.
Best Case Scenario:
Giddens already comes with a great defensive skill set on top of his athleticism. He is a powerful shot blocker, and can really make the offensive rebounds add up. But a dream scenario for him would for him to develop into a reliable option on offense. The Buckeyes coaching staff is more than capable of helping mold this raw, extremely athletic big man, and if done correctly, Giddens won't just anchor the five spot for Ohio State, but develops into an option to get buckets.
Worst Case Scenario:
Giddens struggles to acclimate to the speed and physicality of the college game, and gets beat out by Trevor Thompson in the starting rotation. While on the court, he's still able to help redirect shots and make driving to the basket difficult, but he struggles with foul trouble and/or turnovers, limiting his ability to stay on the court. Giddens demonstrates flashes of what he is capable of, but the learning curve proves to be a little too steep for him to make an impact this season.