2015 Intro: Daniel Giddens

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Quality big men that value the traditional role of post players are rare. Daniel Giddens not only understands his role, he embraces it. A 6-foot-10, 210-pound sophomore from Wheeler (Ga.) Marietta, Giddens doesn't shy away from contact and doesn't float around the perimeter.

"Actually, a numerous amount of coaches have said I'm a throwback big man," Giddens said. "Just defense first, and then the offense will come, and I think I like that more because more and more people I see that want to be big men shoot threes and dribble and all that, and that's not really me. I feel as if I'm a defensive presence first, that will help my team more."

At the Chick-Fil-A Classic this past weekend, Giddens showed his defensive ability and helped Wheeler to a 2-1 record and a 3rd place finish in Classic I division. Giddens averaged 9.6 points, 9.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game.

"The defensive side is my best attribute to my team," he said. "Blocking shots, putting my hands up, taking charges, getting rebounds, and just being a defensive presence for my team.

Giddens admitted that his offense has a ways to go, and that he's working to improve. He said he models his game after a couple of players from different eras.

"(I'd compare myself to) Andre Drummond," he explained. "He has a more offensive side right now, but on the defensive side he blocks shots and is very active. Dikembe Mutombo also – he wasn't much of an offensive factor, but he got a bunch of knowledge over time rebounding, blocking shots."

He also threw out current Florida forward Patric Young as someone he likes to watch. Wheeler head coach Doug Lipscomb, who coached former N.C. State big man J.J. Hickson, said he's already seen improvement in Giddens this year.

"He's kind of understanding the game a lot better," he said. "Fundamentally, he's solid. But I think right now his timing is getting better as far as blocking shots and he's getting better from the free-throw line. The sky is the limit for him and we're just trying to continue to push so he can max out."

Giddens' father has been taking calls from colleges and, recently, the North Carolina staff reached out. On Thursday, UNC head coach Roy Williams watched Wheeler win its opening game.

"It's a blessing, first off (to have coaches come watch you)," said Giddens. "Growing up you never expect coaches you see on TV day in and day out to come and see you play. It's a humbling experience for me, and it just motivates me to play my hardest."

UNC's interest is in its early stages but Giddens already knows a little bit about Chapel Hill.

"I was on campus this past summer with my family, it wasn't an unofficial visit or anything," Giddens said. "We were in town for a tournament and just drove through the campus. It was really nice, we saw the Dean Dome and everything, it was really nice."

During the drive through campus Giddens got to see UNC's Kenan-Flagler Business School.

"UNC has an excellent business program and my goal is to become a lawyer and major in history, so that was very interesting," he said. "They have a huge business facility, so that really attracted me in a good way. The atmosphere and the environment were really nice during our brief time there."

Giddens calls himself a "huge college basketball fan," who watches any game that comes on television to help learn tendencies and pick up new moves. This helped him learn a lot about the Tar Heels.

"I like how their big men run the floor, like James Michael McAdoo, he's going to be a lottery pick," said Giddens. "The new freshman, Joel James, he's a big body. I saw him in high school, he was kind of overweight… he's trimmed his body down, he's playing well. He has a lot of post moves and I like that because it shows some diversity in what they teach there, instead of just running and dunking all the time."

With offers already from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Oregon State, Tennessee and UCLA, Giddens will play high-major basketball at the school of his choice in two years.

He's just not worried about it right now.

"I'm taking my time right now," he said about recruiting. "I'm focused on the season right now. We're in the gym every single day, working on our skills. As of right now, I'm trying to focus on basketball."

When he does decide, Giddens is thinking about more than on-the-court results.

"(I'm looking for) a school that really runs a good offense, good guards, and a good program that will set me up not only in basketball, but academic-wise through life," he said.

Daniel Giddens Profile

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