Amongst the crowd of future professional sports stars that roam the campus of The University of Alabama, only a few athletes truly stand out as being physically imposing.
One of those athletes is Daniel Giddens.
Standing 6’11”, it’s hard not to notice Giddens when he’s walking to class, and he uses that height to his advantage on the court.
His athleticism is outrageous, throwing down thunderous dunks while he was at Oak Hill Academy in high school, Ohio State as a freshman, and now with Alabama.
While at Ohio State, he averaged 3.8 points and 3.6 rebounds per game in around 18 minutes contest. However, he should see plenty more minutes at Alabama, due to his relative offensive versatility.
His mid-range jumper is not broken as far as mechanics are concerned, and he can operate in the low post, which increases his utility as a player who can play on both ends of the floor.
To that point, he can also make an impact on the defensive end by using his athleticism to affect shots in the paint.
Look for Giddens to split time with Donta Hall at both the 4 and the 5.
Inside the Numbers
The most encouraging part of Giddens’ game is his ability to affect shots from the weak side in defensive rotations.
Giddens’ block rate of 9.1%, which indicates the percentage of defensive possessions that end in a block for one particular player, is comparable to that of current Golden State Warrior and former Oregon defensive standout Jordan Bell.
That high block rate is quite promising to Giddens’ potential as a weak-side shot blocker alongside fellow swatter Donta Hall in an Alabama defensive system that encourages aggressiveness in the passing lanes and a lot of switching in the pick and roll.
Giddens is quite an important player in Alabama’s frontcourt to maintain their defensive identity.
His arrival also comes at a good time after the loss of Jimmie Taylor, the sixth-leading shot blocker in school history.
Giddens’ two-way play is very critical to Alabama’s success, and the duo of himself and Hall is going to need to defend the rim in the Crimson Tide’s heavy switching system.
If he can maintain his high block rate and raise his rebounding rate up to an elite level, Giddens should be one of the driving forces in Alabama’s defense-first philosophy.
That could potentially lead to an appearance on the SEC’s all-defensive team.