The "Elite '15" nickname stuck to football's 2015 recruits, but it might be more appropriate for that year's basketball class.
Daniel Giddens celebrated his and America's birthday by committing to the Buckeyes, and his addition to the 2015 class gives Ohio State a well-rounded group, filled with "elite" talent. In addition to the Marietta, Ga. center, Thad Matta's collection of rising high school seniors includes forward Mickey Mitchell, point guard A.J. Harris and guard Austin Grandstaff.
The Giddens File
- Class 2015
- Position C
- Size 6-10/235
- School Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.)
- AAU Each 1 Teach 1
- Composite ★★★★
- Rank 11 (C), 46 (overall)
Giddens is considered a five-star talent by 247Sports, but every other major recruiting outlet lists him as a four-star recruit. The 6-foot-10-inch big man is a raw offensive talent, but there are flashes of potential. Due to his strength, he can consistently finish around the rim and through contact. This summer, he's also shown the ability to hit jump shots from the high-post.
Defensively is where his athleticism is most noticeable. He is agile at 235 pounds (ESPN lists him at 250), can run the floor as well as any big man in his class and is an explosive leaper. Again, because of his strong upper and lower body, he also tends to hold his position in the low-post.
During an EYBL session in May, Giddens spoke to SNY.tv's Jason Morrow about his interest in Ohio State.
"I talk to them every week; twice, three times a week, maybe," Giddens said. "There is a great relationship with Coach [Thad] Matta."
The Georgia native switched AAU teams before this summer and now plays for Each 1 Teach 1, which is based out of Florida. Coincidentally, though they weren't teammates, E1T1 was the same AAU squad freshman D'Angelo Russell played for. Assuming Russell is still on the roster, they will team up in Columbus, after Giddens chose the Buckeyes over Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Texas A&M and Wake Forest.
Matta and assistant Dave Dickerson were more heavily involved in Giddens' recruitment than any other school he considered. The Buckeyes considered him a priority for over a year, paving the way for an unofficial visit to Columbus in December. He has not openly disclosed a visit to another school since.
Matta returned the favor by making a pair of trips to watch Giddens. The Ohio State head coach travelled to Georgia for a Wheeler High School game in February (also scouting teammate Jaylen Brown) and attended the opening EYBL session, when E1T1 played in Sacramento, Calif.
Over the course of the 2014 EYBL season, Giddens played in 16 games, averaging nearly 20 minutes per contest. He scored 6.6 points per game, while hitting 53.2 percent of his shots on a loaded offensive squad. Giddens' speciality is blocking shots, and he averaged 2.6 blocks per game. E1T1 will look to defend their Nike Peach Jam title later this month.
In addition to being a part of one of the nation's top AAU programs, Giddens also won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship.