Recruiting Notebook: Recruiting Momentum Could Extend to Hoops

By Mike Young on July 2, 2014 at 5:00p

Giddens Prepares to Announce Friday

Regardless of your opinion of him, Amir Williams' impending graduation leaves a hole on the roster.

Dave Bell and Virginia Tech transfer Trevor Thompson are the only big men left once Williams and incoming senior Anthony Lee depart campus. Bell's ability to step in will be determined after what will likely be a redshirt season. Thompson plans be a major contributor by 2015-16, but that's no guarantee.

So, Matta and his staff look to the 2015 recruiting class for reinforcements. With Mickey Mitchell, A.J. Harris and Austin Grandstaff already committed, the only thing lacking is a low-post player to round out the class.

That may be coming, Friday. Composite four-star center Daniel Giddens is expected to announce his college choice on his – as well as America's –  birthday.  As of February, the Marietta, Ga. native narrowed his list to Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas and Ohio State. At the NBPA Top 100 camp, he told the assembled media he's also considering Texas A&M and Wake Forest.

"The environment at Wake Forest [is why he's considering the Demon Deacons]. Tim Duncan, Chris Paul, Al-Farouq Aminu, their development of players," Giddens told "Danny Manning is excellent, excellent at developing and coaching big men."

At this point, however, it feels like the Buckeyes have separated themselves from the other schools. The Ohio State coaches have been heavily involved in Giddens' recruitment for over a year, which led to an unofficial visit to Columbus in December.

Matta followed up that campus visit by traveling to Georgia for one of Giddens' high school games in February. The OSU head coach also watched him play for Each 1 Teach 1 – freshman D'Angleo Russell's former AAU team – during April's EYBL session in Sacramento, Calif. 

"I still talk to Ohio State every week," Giddens told, in June. "I talk with Coach Matta and Coach (Dave) Dickerson all the time, and I have a good relationship with them."

The 6-foot-10-inch, 235 pound center hasn't developed a consistent offensive game, yet, but there are flashes of potential – outside of being able to consistently finish around the rim. Giddens' shot-blocking abilities were also on display at the NBPA Top 100 Camp, two weeks ago:

Grandstaff, Ahmad at Durant Skills Camp

Over the course of three days last weekend, several Ohio State targets and a commit participated in one of the summer's top camps.

Buckeye pledge Austin Grandstaff and Shaker Heights forward Esa Ahmad were among the 60 campers at the Kevin Durant Skills Academy for wing players. They, along with 28 other high schoolers and 30 collegiate wings, received special instruction from Durant and reputable coaches, such as John Lucas.

Naturally, a bit of recruiting took place among the campers:

At the camp in Washington D.C., Ahmad talked to UMHoops about Grandstaff's attempts to woo him.

"Austin is a cool guy." Ahamad said, "You know, he’s trying to persuade me to get down to Ohio State again, visit, and try to get me to come there with him."

Grandstaff plans to visit Columbus for the Buckeyes' football home opener. Meanwhile, here are some new highlights of the Texas two-guard (via Courtside Films): 

Dickerson Decommits

Ahmad and Giddens appear to be the top frontcourt targets in the 2015 class for Ohio State, but one more option is now available.

Noah Dickerson, who recently transferred to Montverde Academy, has decommitted from Georgetown:

The composite four-star power forward visited Columbus in September and received a scholarship offer in December. We'll see if the Buckeyes choose to pursue Dickerson again. 


Comments Show All Comments

Seattle Linga's picture

HOLY COW - This would be completely unbelievable - the only question is:--- Can the 11W Interweb withstand another 5* recruit? - Go get-em Thad your turn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

+4 HS
bigDbuck's picture

Awesome if it happens! On side note, sure will miss Amir's aggressive attempt at layup from under the basket.

+4 HS
IGotAWoody's picture

I believe it's possible we could be looking at 5 players in the 2015 class, so I'd love to see any combination of Giddens, Ahmad, Dickerson, Teske, or some other big body to pair with Trevor Thompson. Keep that train rolling, Bucks!!

“The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination.” ~Carl Rogers

+1 HS
MN Buckeye's picture

The momentum is at flood stage right now.

+1 HS
Homey1970's picture

"...round out the class..."???  Please tell me Bragg is still interested.

theopulas's picture

gif....."we are bigger then U.S. Steel"....we are on the way to where we should be.....the top recruiting school in every sport.....!!!....we are Ohio State....!!!


+2 HS
BeijingBucks's picture

I... I believe... I believe that...

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton

+2 HS
BuckeyeNationforLife's picture

What I hope this class turns out to be like:

PF: Ahmad, Bragg

C: Giddens

SF: Mitchell

SG: Grandstaff

PG: Harris

Although it is most unlikely we get both Bragg and Ahmad, a man can dream.

Paralyze resistance with persistence. - Woody Hayes

+1 HS
drtz's picture

I just love seeing a big that can catch the ball!

WOLFofOHIO's picture

More....good news...:D

there is no greater joy than watching Michigan get slammed. in anything

chowoon97's picture

Austin Grandstaff is just like Nik Stauskas. He can shoot.

PasadenaBuckeye626's picture

I love what Grandstaff brings to the Buckeyes.  His ability to hit threes will make it hard for teams to use a zone defense and will make their man to man defense more spread out.  Can't wait for him to suit up in scarlet and grey.

Go Bucks!

+1 HS
Shangheyed's picture

~"The environment at Wake Forest [is why he's considering the Demon Deacons]. Tim Duncan, Chris Paul, Al-Farouq Aminu, their development of players," Giddens told "Danny Manning is excellent, excellent at developing and coaching big men."

So he has noticed the lack of a true center at OSU since Oden....

We do need to get a Big Man Coach who can develop and recruit  players... maybe get Oden back if he and when he is finished with the Pros...  Or bring in someone who can develop bigs... Williams situation is shocking a McD's All American has only gotten marginally better than average in his time at OSU.

+1 HS
Yenots11's picture

Not sure why you got DV'd on this assessment. I'd get you back to even if I could.

William's HAS only gotten marginally better. I believe a lot of that could be placed on him though. His lack of energy on the floor, I think, is an indication that he just isn't a hard worker; not committed to truly honing his craft.

Re: Oden...I question his coaching chops, but he could be a valuable recruiting tool to target the big guys I suppose.

Go Bucks!! 

"Aut viam inveniam aut faciam!"

+1 HS
MordenoftheSith's picture
Well I attempt to imbed an amusing photo, but it failed.
I up-voted to even the post out.

If you only knew the POWER of the Dark Side.

+1 HS
Shangheyed's picture

Since I am being critical or honest rather, however you look at it... more hoops hopes below!

I would lastly like to add that I think coach Matta should get a proper strength and conditioning coach... we all have seen what Meyer and Staff did for the Oline last year same peeps but MUCH different results on the line of scrimage. 

It is embarrassing that the last two drafts OSU had the fattest players (and I am a fat man so I can say that haha).  We had Craft engineering a running program for Williams making a 6 minute mile or something to that effect... mightn't have happend if weren't for Craft...its like Matta doesn't want to be critical (but we hear Meyer calling out players and coaches alike to step up their game or else).

Williams was a 5 star recruit McD's All American...Lack of development and blaim can all be placed on his shoulders as some would do... but its also the coaching staff's job actually to make them better, if the players is not working... Like Meyers has done has pulled the schollie or even forced a D Coordinator out the door (or forward thinking... recuit players who ARE coachable).  Both player and staff are to blaim IMO.

For the record I am a huge Matta fan just think we have some gaps in the system that need attention... I wouldn't trade Matta for any coach in the B1G, he is an amazing recruiter, great PR guy, solid gameday coach and indeed a winner!  IMO best coach OSU has ever had.... the only thing he is missing is a true Center.  Last time we had a true Center like Gidden we were in the NC game... GIDDEN COME ON UP AND REPEAT HISTORY!  HE IS THE MISSING PIECE.

Just my 2 cents and believe me I know that is all its worth!!!  I wear my downvotes with pride!!  :-P

Bolt's picture

The fact that Williams was a McD's AA in the first place was a total joke. It was a weak recruiting class for big men. It's hard to say we haven't had any big men since Oden. Jared Sullinger played center for us and was an all-american. Koufos was solid and could've been a really good player for us if he'd stuck around for more than one year. Mullens was going to take time to develop but he left after his freshman season. Dallas Lauderdale was pretty formidable and one of the best defensive centers in the country by the time his playing days wrapped up at Ohio State.

buckskin's picture

At the spring game I saw Matta introducing Meyer to one of his recruits (maybe Lee) in the end zone.  They all chatted it up for about 15 minutes with Meyer doing most of the talking and leading the way.  Maybe someone can help me with the recruit's name, but he committed the very next week.

sivaDavis's picture

I believe you're thinking of Trevor Thompson possibly. VTech transfer.

"I've had smarter people around me all my life, but I haven't run into one yet that can outwork me. And if they can't outwork you, then smarts aren't going to do them much good." - Woody Hayes