Daniel Giddens Alabama

10 Things About Daniel Giddens’ Commitment to Alabama

Here are the 10 things you should understand about Daniel Giddens’ commitment to Alabama.

Fans are going to overreact to the Daniel Giddens commitment news and a lot of the same old arguments are going to come out again.  Giddens’ decision not to come to Georgia should not be a shock and actually is not reason for any sort of outrage.

1.  He’s a True Center

Daniel Giddens as mentioned before in a previous article has a limited offensive skill set and is comfortable on the low block.  Once outside of the low block, he struggles.  Note that comfortable does not mean dominant or even strong.  He’s just comfortable on both ends of the floor being on the low block.

2.  True Centers do not thrive under Mark Fox

The last True Center to thrive on a Mark Fox coached team was JaVale McGee.  Versatile combo forwards and Power Forwards have thrived under Fox.  Trey Thompkins, Jeremy Price, Yante Maten, Marcus Thornton and Nemanja Djurisic have all done quite well at UGA.  John Cannon, Tim Dixon, John Florveus, Albert Jackson and Osahen Iduwe have all sputtered.

3.  The Age of the True Center in Basketball is Over

Bill Russell, Bill Walton, Wilt Chamberlain, Patrick Ewing, Shaquille O’Neal, Alonzo Mourning, Robert Parish and the list goes on of great Centers in College Basketball and in the NBA.  Name a prominent Center in College Basketball.  Try really hard to think of a dominant Center in College Basketball this past season.  It’s a challenging task.  There were only a handful.  Jameel Warney of Stony Brook, Jakob Poeltl of Utah, Rokas Gustys of Hofstra and Egidijus Mockevicius of Evansville could be considered dominant Centers.

In the NBA, the Center position is purely nominal for many teams.  For instance, Al Horford is not going to be mistaken for a Center.  He’s a Power Forward with Combo Forward skills.  Tim Duncan was never really a Center, he was a Power Forward that was able to block shots.  Dwight Howard, Hassan Whiteside and Roy Hibbert are the most prominent Centers in the NBA, a league that is slowly strengthening its emphasis on versatility.

4.  Jimmie Taylor passes the torch to Daniel Giddens

Jimmie Taylor has not been very productive in Tuscaloosa.  He was also part of the one of the most embarrassing rebounding efforts in Alabama Basketball history against Georgia in Athens a few months.  Taylor will be a Senior next season and he did not have much in his way to stop him from earning a lot of playing time this past season.

If Taylor’s metrics are alarming they should be.  He’s similarly built to Giddens and has a nearly identical skill set.   Giddens’ metrics are also alarmingly similar as a freshman!  Giddens was just far less effective scoring in the paint.

When it comes to efficiency ratings, Jimmie Taylor regressed significantly as an offensive player and improved on the defensive end.

As for Daniel Giddens, he was already ahead of Taylor on defense, but so far behind on offense.  Giddens is also a fouling machine.

Taylor as a freshman was extremely effective in the paint and was good outside of the paint as well.

Giddens was effective as well, but not as effective as Taylor’s efforts.  Giddens took more Field Goal Attempts for Thad Matta’s squad last season.

5.  Look at Alabama’s Depth Chart

Daniel Giddens is being handed the keys to the Alabama frontcourt.

The names in blue are all being recruited by Alabama for the Class of 2017.  Braxton Key and Daniel Giddens as a starting frontcourt would be a very similar combination to Shannon Hale and Jimmie Taylor.  The Crimson Tide are expected to add a post or two in the Class of 2017.  Would Giddens’ transfer impact Garrison Brooks’ or Ikey Obiagu’s decision?  It might.  More on Garrison Brooks to come next weekend.

6.  Perimeter Shooting Needs for Georgia

Everyone knows that J.J. Frazier can knock down three pointers from every angle and location on the floor.  However, there are open questions about the perimeter shooting capabilities of this team without Kenny Gaines and Charles Mann being there.

Georgia was a 36.8% three point shooting team last season, good enough for 69th best in the country.  This is not something to take lightly as Georgia has not been a good three point shooting team for years.  This was the best perimeter shooting Georgia Basketball team under Mark Fox.  The best in the past decade was the 2006-07 Georgia Basketball Team (38.1%) that left a lot of people wondering, “What if?”  

Georgia loses Kenny Gaines, a 38.3% three point shooter and a much improved three point shooter in Charles Mann, who shot 40% from long range using smarter shot selection.

Yante Maten was not really a perimeter threat for much of the season as he was scoring from the high post and low block for much of the season.  Turtle Jackson appears to be primed to step up as a perimeter shooter and as long as E’Torrion Wilridge is involved and confident, he can be threat from beyond the arc as well.  Kenny Paul Geno is serviceable, but certainly is not going to fill the void left behind.

Juwan Parker’s struggles from three point range are well-chronicled and hoping for him to return to his shooting ways from High School is unrealistic at this juncture.

At least 48.6% of the three point shots made and 46.3% of the attempts need to be made up somehow.

Tyree Crump and Jordan Harris are very talented freshmen with a lot of potential, but it would be extremely unfair to expect them to take the shooting torch.  Crump and Harris may make a lot of trips to the Free Throw Line like the way Charles Mann did, but to expect them to shoot the lights out is unrealistic.  Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was a 30.4% three point shooter as a freshman, Kenny Gaines shot 34.9% from long range and J.J. Frazier was only shooting 32.4%.

Jackson and Wilridge are expected to be the ones that take the biggest step forward on the perimeter and they both should be improved as shooters.  J.J. Frazier will take the Marcus Paige sort of a role in the backcourt.  Although one can argue that Frazier is far superior to Paige, but that’s a different article altogether!

7.  Georgia’s Offense is Predicated on Versatility and Spacing

The need for a versatile Combo Forward was met in the immediate term by Pape Diatta who can play the perimeter, high post and low block on both ends of the floor.  Georgia’s ability to run the floor and spread out defenses to set up cutters, drivers and spot-up shooters requires that everyone on the floor is capable of being able to play in the space of the floor that they occupy.  Versatility and shooting ability forces opponents to have to either overreact or play completely honest on defense.

Last season, Houston Kessler’s struggles allowed defenses to double up Yante Maten and take away a staple of the Mark Fox offense, the cross-screen in the key.  The cross-screen in the key is a part of a bread-and-butter set that has worked throughout the years.  However, the non-threat at the perimeter or high post allows a defender to sag and play a cross between a man and a zone.  Mike Edwards was also effected by this last season, but he actually took on the challenge at times and dribble-drived rather well.  Edwards’ ability to work off the high post will be a big part of Georgia’s success next season.

An additional perimeter shooter would dissuade defenses from collapsing on Ogbeide, Edwards, Maten or Diatta.  It would also provide dribble drivers with the option to dish the ball out for a catch-and-shoot three point opportunity as defenses typically collapse.  Against zone defenses, having another perimeter shooter also comes in handy.

8.  Why not Jakeenan Gant?

Let’s consider the case for Jakeenan Gant, as he would be a better fit for Georgia.  Gant’s rather versatile and had the same sort of potential for upside that Yante Maten showed as a Freshman.  The difference between Gant and Maten is that Gant did not improve much at Missouri and Maten went through “The Process”.  Maten committed to ameliorating his game and he was aided greatly by working with Jonas Hayes.  Gant did not enjoy such an advantage.

What Future150.com had to say about Gant as a High School recruit is rather eerie considering the same description could be used to describe Yante Maten at that point!

Yante Maten’s freshman to sophomore transformation shows the difference between his experience at Georgia and Gant’s at Missouri.

Given two offseasons with Jonas Hayes, a full season of practices and a trip to Spain, Gant should be able to make a significant difference in 2017-18.
Gant is coming back to the State of Georgia to be closer to his ailing mother.  Gant has been through a lot in Missouri and he may be best served getting a fresh start in a more structured environment that has greater expectations in all facets of the student-athlete experience.
Gant’s rocky road at Missouri includes NCAA sanctions resulting from benefits received in relation to moving Gant to Osage, Missouri so that he could be eligible to qualify academically for college.  Gant was suspended nine games for accepting improper benefits from a booster.  There was also an internship experience with T3 Solutions based out of Martinez, Georgia that Gant failed to take part in, but yet was compensated.
Gant was arrested for charges related to a third-degree assault in September 2014, he and two other suspects had been involved in attacking three students at around 1 AM.  It was discovered that Gant had been a part of this incident when his wallet was discovered at the scene.  He did plead guilty to a lesser misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace by fighting and placed on two years probation.
Gant and teammate Russell Woods were arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia in February, which was discovered when police raided their residence as it related to a home invasion robbery that their roommate was considered a suspect.
Gant did not have any problems until the University of Missouri came into his life.  Gant’s mother is sick and back in Georgia.  This is an opportunity for Gant to get a fresh start and surround himself with better influences.  It is an opportunity to make his mother proud and take greater responsibility for both himself and others.

9.  Jakeenan Gant’s Eligibility

Lying is not a quality that is deemed acceptable, especially when it comes from someone that has the responsibility of helping mold young adults.  Kirby Smart’s lie concerning NCAA and SEC rules is jarring.  Unfortunately, when a lie is repeated enough, it becomes the truth.  It is why this publication exists, too many people believe the lies.
Clearing up the matter on Jakeenan Gant is simple:  He can transfer to Georgia.  There’s no SEC rule that says he cannot do so.  Missouri is not known to have placed any sort of a limit on his options either, but Gant already has put a limit already considering that he wants to go back home.
Jakeenan Gant can transfer to Georgia after sitting out for two whole semesters to earn eligibility.  Nothing too complicated.  He is able to play after a full year sitting out of action.  He gets two more years of playing eligibility after sitting out and staying academically eligible. Transferring within the Southeastern Conference. A transfer student from a member institution shall not be eligible for intercollegiate competition at another member institution until the student has fulfilled a residence requirement of one full academic year (two full semesters) at the certifying institution. Further, a transfer student-athlete admitted after the 12th class day may not utilize that semester for the purpose of establishing residency. Student-athletes meeting the terms of NCAA Bylaws,,,,,,, and may seek a waiver of the provisions of this bylaw. [Revised 6/2/00; effective 8/1/2001; Revised 6/1/08]

10.  There will be space made.

Cannot reveal how the space for an addition to the team will be made.  Just know that the space will be made.


  1. I agree and disagree with some of your points, heck. I agree that we will not miss Giddens. While he is athletic, to me he doesn’t seem to be a basketball player. He doesn’t play with a lot of effort and desire. Ogbeide is better right now and will be in the future. The ’17 class has other players who can succeed for us in the post.

    I disagree that true post players cannot succeed in Fox’s scheme. I think they clearly can. DO is more of a true post, as he has no exhibited the ability to consistently hit the perimeter shot. The posts you indicate that have been unsuccessful in Athens were not good players to begin with. Dixon, Florveus, Cannon, et al., will make no one forget Shaq They shouldn’t even be in the same article with good post players. Fox has only just been able to recruit a good low post guy in DO. I guarantee that Tony Parker would have succeeded in Athens. The traditional 5 can play a big role in Fox’s Triangle offense. We just haven’t had a decent one yet. And I believe Fox has been able adapt decently to not having that type of player., but I’m reasonably sure he would rather have one.

    You are certainly correct that basketball is evolving away from the dominant center, but there is still room for them to be successful if you can find them. I like having a true center, but I am also fine with having a player that is more versatile in the post and can drag a defender away from the basket.

  2. Bitter much? I can certainly understand you being sour about this commitment because Avery has all of the momentum and Mark Fox is stuck in basketball purgatory. More stale than a brown banana. Let’s not assume that Daniel Giddens is automatically going to start as Donta Hall has the versatility to play PF or C, although it is likely that Giddens will eventually start. Bama will have the option to play smaller will Hall at center or go big with both Hall and Giddens on the floor. Giddens is a bit of a wildcard, but look at the way he dunks the ball in that Oak Hill footage. He takes it to the hole with authority and I find that he will be a nice change in style from Taylor. More athletic and able to run the floor and defense the PF.
    Consider the way the Warriors use Andrew Bogut, sure Giddens isn’t as good of a passer but saying that the true center has no place is simply ignorant. Enjoy next year because Georgia will be in a world of hurt come 2017-18. Roll Damn Tide Paul!

    1. We’re already in a world of hurt considering our awesome coach has led us to exactly ZERO NCAA tourney wins in a tenure that is starting to get fairly lengthy. But..but….he’s won 20 games blah, blah….never mind that 90% of them have come against inferior opponents inside and outside the league.

      It would be easy to see how someone could think that true Center’s don’t do well in Mark Fox’s system, but it’s really about his failure to recruit post players. Thornton (only came to UGA because Clemson coach left) came on late in his career and Maten is a stud. Beyond that, Fox’s recruiting of front court players has been embarrassing. It includes a long list of non-contributor’s who had no business being on scholarship.

      You can make 10 excuses for Fox (he is in constant need of those), but the reality is Giddens is far, far more talented than any post player on our roster outside of Maten. We’ve got guys playing 15-20 minutes per game who are doing almost nothing on the court. Having a true Center with some talent who could protect the rim, get some offensive rebounds and show some post moves would help immensely, in my opinion.

      1. I am no Fox apologist, believe me, and I agree with you that our recruiting in the post leaves something to be desired. But losing Giddens is no great loss. I’ve seen the kid with my own eyes. Yeah, he’s athletic for a post, but he is far from a complete player, doesn’t seem to play with much heart and seems to have issues everywhere he goes. I would rather have an Ogbeide who will fight you every second he is on the floor than a guy like Giddens. BTW Nemi was a pretty solid front court player, too. And I like our 2 now sophomore posts quite a bit.

    2. You are basing you take on Giddens on film from Oak Hill? I’ve seen the kid live. In an AAU game I saw, Giddens wasn’t getting the ball in the first half like he wanted. He started loafing around, and his dad in the stands went berserk on the AAU coach. To his credit, Giddens told his dad to cool it, but he played badly in the second half of that game and left that AAU team right after. Then he transferred to Oak Hill away from his powerhouse HS team in Marietta. Now he has transferred away from Ohio St. Kid seems to have issues with commitment. I’ll grant you he has athletic ability, and perhaps he will flourish under Johnson, but I don’t seem him as any great loss for UGA. If he wanted to come to Athens, then he could have done so out of HS. We’ll let him be you headache now.

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