Giddens reflects on season

Very few players in the class of 2015 have the upside of 6-foot-10 center Daniel Giddens. College coaches are flocking to Atlanta to check in on the five-star post prospect.

Five-star class of 2015 center Daniel Giddens from Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler had an excellent sophomore season. As one of the best defenders in the country, Giddens is attracting major recruiting attention, and is taking a long look at everything.

"We finished in the Final Four, but we exceeded expectations by far," said Giddens about his sophomore year. "We lost a great senior class last year and a lot of people expected this to be a re-building year and not have us compete for a state title, but I feel even though we were young we showed people what we could do."

In terms of his individual play, Giddens says things went well for him and he continued to improve.

"I feel individually I improved tremendously all season long," said Giddens. "My coaches helped me a ton by helping me improve my motor, and they got me in great condition. Defensively I became smarter. Instead of swatting down and fouling people on the hand, I am getting more shots at the backboard now and getting more blocks."

He continued, "On offense I have also improved a lot. I can do a drop step, I can spin baseline, and my jumper is coming along. I am looking to carry that into the summer."

When it comes to his recruitment, Giddens says that there is a very long list of schools after him with more contacting him on a daily basis.

"I am not sure offer wise," said Giddens. "I don't keep track of that my dad does that more, but college wise I know that Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Maryland, North Carolina, Texas, and more and more schools."

One school that Giddens had hoped to visit was North Carolina. He didn't have time to fit that trip into his schedule, but Giddens says being recruited by the Tar Heels is huge.

"Just for me to be in their pool of people they are considering is an honor," explained Giddens. "It is North Carolina, the Tar Heels, Roy Williams, if they offer you, you have to consider them automatically. The recruiting class they have coming in next year and the year after is very good, and I can see myself in that environment, not only as a player but as a member of that university."

A school with a connection to Giddens is Maryland. The Terrapins have former Wheeler star Charles Mitchell on the roster already, and they have been working very hard on Giddens.

"Maryland, I saw them play on TV versus Duke and that environment was crazy," said Giddens. "I love seeing crazy environments at home. When I talk to (Mitchell) he says how they always work hard and are always in the gym. I see what they have done with his body. He went from kind of husky to being 260-270 of all muscle and that shows the dedication they have. Maryland is a good program and Coach (Mark) Turgeon is a good coach with a good coaching staff. I can't wait to hear more from them."

When it comes to the local schools, both Georgia and Georgia Tech have made Giddens a priority, and he is taking a close look at each of them.

"Obviously Tech and Georgia didn't make post season play and that is disappointing, but they are both up and coming," said Giddens. "Georgia had a good recruiting class last year so all they are going to do is grow and get better, and I played against them so I know they are competitors who will get better."

He continued, "Tech in about a year or two is going to skyrocket. They have recruited real well. Marcus Hunt, Chris Bolden, and Robert Carter, they are about to take off. They had an astronomical freshman year so I know the lights are about to shine and I can't wait to see them improve more."

While Giddens is no doubt looking at colleges, he is keeping everything in perspective at the moment. Right now his main focus is on getting better and helping his high school and AAU teams rack up wins.

"My number one goal is for our team to be in the top 10 in 17 and under even though we are only a 16 and under team," noted Giddens. "I feel if we make it to the top 10 as a 17 and under team playing up that would be a huge accomplishment."

About his individual goals, he said, "For my personal goal, I want to be known as the top rebounder and defensive player in the class of 2015. I feel if I get that goal accomplished and my offensive game comes along then I feel there will be no stopping me."

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