The Ohio State Buckeyes are in the midst of a youth movement, which features a five man recruiting class and a bevy of underclassmen on the roster - 10 out of the 12 members on the team are underclassmen.
One of the jewels to Ohio State's 2015 recruiting class is former Oak Hill (VA) big man Daniel Giddens. Giddens ended his high school career labeled as the eighth ranked center and No. 49 overall prospect in the 2015 class, per 247Sports. Giddens chose the Buckeyes over the likes of Kansas, Georgia, Arizona and Indiana, among others, per Adam Zagoria.
Giddens brings a high ranking to Columbus, but rankings mean nothing now as the college season quickly approaches. With tremendous defensive upside, and a motor that would make the energizer bunny proud, Daniel Giddens is in prime position for a starting spot in the frontcourt in 2015.
At a solid 6'10, 238 pounds, Giddens possesses a strong frame that is capable of adding more mass. Giddens was a highly sought after recruit last year due to his impressive size mixed with an elite level motor and relentlessness on defense and never-ending pursuit for rebounds.
Giddens' best attribute on the court is his defense, specifically his shot blocking and altering. The former Wheeler High School standout can change the trajectory of shots in his area as well alter shots out of his area. His quick feet and instincts allow for a quick recovery for help defense and the ability protect the rim from various angles in the paint.
With impressive ambidexterity, Giddens can score on the low block comfortably with either hand. Giddens owns an impressive turnaround jump shot with his right hand, and has range from about the free throw line extended.
While his shot is still improving, Giddens will claim a majority of his points at the rim through alley-oop opportunities and put backs or fast break opportunities. Running the floor with ease for his size, Giddens will serve as a terrific running mate for point guard JaQuan Lyle.
Areas for Improvement
Giddens has limited offensive capabilities, as he lacks a package of reliable post moves. The 6'10 freshman bullied defenders in high school in order for him to get ideal offensive positioning. Giddens is big, but so are A.J. Hammons, Isaac Haas and Alex Olah. He'll need to develop some post moves that will allow him to diversify his game.
Shooting has never been a strong suit for Giddens, but this is an area that's improving. It'll be interesting to see how often he has the green light to shoot, but if he continues to expand his range, his mechanics will need to be tightened up in order for his shot to gain respect from defenses.
Giddens has a tendency to play the game with too much emotion - bordering arrogance. After highlight reel dunks, Giddens has no problem boasting his superior athleticism and getting under the skin of the opponent. Playing composed, smart basketball will be key for Giddens' development and whether or not the Buckeyes become a team to watch out for come conference play.
Giddens has all of the physical tools to be a successful big man in the Big Ten. With the potential of adding weight and playing more under control, Giddens could evolve into an all-conference defender. His offense is still taking shape, but with time, Giddens has the make-up of turning in to a solid overall player throughout his tenure in the Big Ten.