The stat sheet will say that Kansas freshman forward C.J. Giles only played 11 minutes during the Jayhawks Tuesday evening’s 91-51 shellacking of St. Joseph’s. However, it was a very loud 11 minutes as the six-foot-ten product of Seattle (WA) Rainier Beach put together a crowd pleasing eight point, five rebound and three block effort.
For Giles it was just a matter of getting some minutes and doing what the coaches and his teammates expect of him.
“The past two or three games I wasn’t playing like I was supposed to,” said Giles of the conversation with his father Chester. “So I had a long talk with my dad and he told me to just come out and play my game so that’s what I did.”
The former Jayhawk stressed to his son the importance of getting out and doing what he does best, providing energy with blocked shots and rebounds. Most importantly, the elder Giles urged his son to do three important things and let the game come to him.
“My game is blocking shots and rebounds really,” said Giles. “My dad just told me to come out and play and don’t worry about it. Most of the time I’m worried about knowing the plays, knowing the offense and defense and all of that stuff so he just told me to come out and play my game and play as hard as I can.”
“There’s only three things that I really need to do, rebound, seal and run. Everything just came along after that.”
Don’t get Giles wrong, knowing the plays and where he needs to be on the court are very important pieces of the puzzle. However, he also deserves credit for knowing what his role is and focusing on the things that he knows he can do first and using his athleticism and length to impact the game around the basket.
With impeccable timing, quick feet, and explosive leaping ability, Giles also has the ability to be much more intimidating than his slender frame might opponents might think at first glance. His first half tip dunk and improbable up and under jam may suggest that he isn’t more than a dunker, but he is also capable of knocking down 12 foot jumpers and soft jump hooks thanks to good shooting mechanics.
Still, Giles won’t rush his offense because he loves blocking shots as he demonstrated with a two handed block during the second half.
“I gotta have at least one good blocked shot for me to get into the game,” said a grinning Giles. “I don’t know what I was thinking (on the two handed block), I just saw him coming in and coach always tells me to just jump up with two hands so I did.”
Finally, with a trip to Canada, two exhibition games, and two regular season games under his belt, Giles is seeing a bigger picture. He has learned the difference between being comfortable, and being too comfortable and is focusing on giving a more consistent effort down the road.
“Earlier the past two games, I was just too comfortable. I was in just a comfort zone and I knew I had to break out of that, that’s what I did today,” said Giles. “I was too comfortable and I just felt like I had the starting lineup sewed up but obviously I didn’t because I wasn’t playing as hard as I was supposed to.”
“Now I just know that I have to come out and bust my butt every single game to earn that. I need a lot more energy.”