I'll be writing about each B1G team's recruits for the 2015, 2016, and 2017 classes over the next month or so, and I figured I'd start with my favorite player from the best team-wide class, Daniel Giddens. Giddens--currently at the prestigious Oak Hill Academy in Virginia--stands 6'10 and weighs a wiry 240 lb. He can finish at the rim with authority and patrols the paint well enough that he should already have some B1G guards afraid of their matchups with the Buckeyes next year; a touted four-star recruit, it seems he will be ready to make an immediate impact come November.
Giddens is listed as a center and will probably spend most of his time in the lane at Ohio State, and for good reason: he's going to be a force on defense immediately, with what seems like a preternatural ability to locate opposing players' shots around the rim. He may be better suited as a power forward or a small ball center given his frame and speed, although it looks like he could bulk up before the start of the season.
It will take him some time to develop his attacking, catch-and-finish-at-the-rim offensive game, but there is reason to be encouraged about his offensive potential. Even at seventeen, he has developed a nice little drop step, meaning that at least a couple of times a game--and likely more as he develops--OSU can throw the ball down low to run isolations and offensive sets out of the post, which the Buckeyes haven't been able to do effectively this year. He needs to develop a jump shot, even if it's only out to the elbows, so he can be a credible jump shot threat from the perimeter on pick and rolls since he's going to be able to get to the rim effectively, and also because he's a deceptively good passer. Witness his strengths and potential in this highlight video:
Giddens will start the first game of the season and, if you're asking me, will almost undoubtedly develop into an all-B1G player by season's end. The Buckeyes will, in all likelihood, lose D'Angelo Russell to the NBA after this season, and Giddens will be able to step in as a primary offensive option by the time the B1G season starts.
This season represents one of the first times Thad Matta has had a dominant guard without a dominant big man, and despite how great Russell has been this season, Matta's system benefits from being able to run an offense through a player in the post, and given a few months of development, Giddens should be able to transform into that figure. Giddens will also fill a need for the Buckeyes next season as they lose three (semi) productive big men to graduation and are left with big men who haven't contributed any meaningful stats this year.
Ohio State has a great class this year (#6 in the country, according to 247Sports. Giddens is the consensus second best player in the class, but he's my pick for most successful in college.