Giddens has major interest

Elite class of 2015 prospect Daniel Giddens is off to an excellent start to his sophomore season and college coaches are paying close attention.

Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler product Daniel Giddens checks in as the No. 10 ranked player in the 2015 class. The true center dominated over the summer on the AAU circuit and during the fall at the USA Basketball Training Camp. As would be expected with a prospect of his caliber some of the top schools in the nation are beginning to make him a priority recruit.

"Right now he is about 6-foot-10 and 220 pounds and he is averaging a double-double," said Giddens father Harvey.

The elder Giddens said his son was very impressed with everything at USA Basketball.

"He learned a whole lot over there," said Mr. Giddens. "He faced great competition going up against the best big guys in the class of 2015 and 2016. He had a chance to compete against them and the whole camp exceeded his expectations in terms of the learning, teaching, and the coaching."

Daniel himself echoed that stating it was an honor to be there and the camp gave him a major boost in confidence.

"I was blessed to even get an invite," said Giddens. "I know the first time they saw me was at the John Lucas combine when I was in eighth grade. For me to be in the back of their minds and get the opportunity to play against the best kids in the country was an incredible experience."

He continued, "I feel I played real well there and it gave me the confidence to feel like I am one of the top players in the country."

Because of his play this summer as well as at USA Basketball, Giddens has attracted a ton of attention from college coaches.

"I hope I don't miss anyone, but the local ones Georgia Tech and Georgia, Florida, Alabama," said the elder Giddens. "We have heard from South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, LSU has inquired, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Arkansas, and Kentucky was down here last Wednesday to watch practice, and Coach Doug Lipscomb at Wheeler said he heard from North Carolina. Also one of Daniel's former teammates, Charles Mitchell, is at Maryland and I have heard from them, and then Georgetown as well."

Daniel listed verbal offers Alabama, Florida, Oregon State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, UCLA, Tennessee, and Maryland.

For the younger Giddens he was warned that the recruiting process would be crazy, but so far he says everything has been under control.

"To be honest with you when I first heard about the recruiting process coming into my freshman year I was at an athletic conference in San Diego," said Giddens. "They told us the recruiting was going to be crazy and hectic and they would be trying to get to you, but it has been cool for me. All of the coaches have been straight up and my parents have done an excellent job of getting the negative factors out of the way and keeping the positive coaches and the positive influences around."

Daniel continued, "I feel like those are the coaches with the best chance. I feel like if a coach goes to my parents first and then to me it is a sign that they are doing it right way and respect me and really want me.

Growing up Giddens never saw this coming, and for him all the attention from coaches is great.

"I never thought any of this was going to happen," he explained. "I remember going to a Georgia Tech game in sixth grade and thinking I would never be able to go to Georgia Tech for basketball. Then just two years later when I was in eighth grade and they called saying that I could visit and I just never thought that would happen."

For his father Harvey all the attention from college coaches is nice, but he has other priorities for his son.

"From my point of view I am more concerned with him getting out of chemistry and doing good in school," said Harvey Giddens. "I want him to remain humble and do well on and off the court. He is just a sophomore and a 15 year old kid."

Harvey continued, "I am humbled by all of the attention, but right now my wife and I want him to live his teenage years and be a kid. I mean you can only be a kid once so we put an emphasis on that and make sure he stays humble and worries about what it is important. We're not pushing him out there too fast and we want him to enjoy the tenth grade and to live that life. My wife and I just want to continue to prepare him and make him as accountable as possible. As long as he takes care of business off the court he will be an asset for himself, our family, and society as a whole."

One of the reasons why Giddens has so much attention from colleges is because he embraces being a big man. Instead of trying to be the next Kevin Durant like so many kids want to be, Giddens knows his bread and butter is dominating down low.

"Shooting threes and dribbling and stuff is cool, and one day I will work on it, but right now for me to get to where I want to get to I have to dominate in the paint," said Giddens of his game. "That means rebounding, blocking shots, changing shots, running the floor, posting up, and just doing all of the little things. Every team needs a post presence."

He continued, "I even see the smaller teams in the NBA and in college who have a real big man who works hard in the paint and does all of the little things down low. That is the stuff that really helps your team win, not jacking up threes and trying to dribble the ball down the court."

In fact that self awareness and knowledge of the game translates into what Giddens is beginning to look for in a potential college.

"To be honest with you I am looking for a school that runs a pro style system," said Giddens. "I look for a system with back cuts, screens, zipper screens, flare screens, a point guard who knows how to run an offense and not just run plays the coach calls, a team that is defensively sound, and that is good in transition. That is the type of system I look for the most."

Daniel went on to say, "I don't really have a team that stands out yet because I am just now looking more in-depth at the college game. I just want a team that plays good basketball. I am not in to all of that rah-rah stuff. I look for a good fundamental team."

For now Giddens is just at the beginning stages of his recruitment, and is just now paying attention to things, but as an elite center who likes to dominate down low one can be sure his offer list will get a lot longer before it is all said and done.

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