Big Ten pack leader Ohio State is trying to capitalize off of their success not only on the football field, but on the basketball court as well. On July 4th, the Buckeyes got a verbal commitment from Daniel Giddens to join the 2015 recruiting class, choosing Ohio State over fellow Big Ten rival Indiana University, Florida, and Wake Forest. He is the fourth addition to the school’s 2015 draft class, following A.J. Harris of Dayton, Austin Grandstaff of Rockwall, Texas, and forward Mickey Mitchell of Plano, Texas. Ohio State’s 2015 recruiting class is already projected to be No. 2 in the nation.
Ranked the No. 11 center and 46th player overall in his class, the 6’10”, 235 lbs Giddens is a solid addition to the Buckeye squad. Though his offensive game leaves room for improvement, he is a great defensive pick-up for the team. Giddens is extremely athletic for a center, which enables him to cover more of the floor down low and contest shots. His strength and size are also a plus: the combination of both allows him to finish against contact at the rim, and he is also able to shoot mid-range if pressured by defenders. He defends the rim well with his leaping ability and blocks shots with ease.
Coach Thad Matta has taken a different approach to improving Ohio State’s athletic program-recruiting outside state borders. Only one of the four players to commit to Ohio hails from the hometown (Harris, a point guard from Dayton). Matta says that the program is more focused on its needs and building towards the future than making adjustments. He believes that Ohio State’s program is equally as good to compete with any other school’s recruiting program. Ultimately, he says, recruiting is about “trying to find the right fit” rather than where a player is from.
Matta has one or two more tricks up his sleeve as he continues the recruiting process, possibly eyeing someone at the forward position. Though its start may be months away, the Buckeyes’ basketball season is looking better than ever.